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Full text of "The Waverley Novels: With the Author's Last Corrections and Additions"

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FROM THE liSTATE OF 



JAMES BRADSTREET GREENOUGH 

pROFi^^OR OP LaTTK en HARVARD CoLLEGK 
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SIR WALTER SCOTT; 

HORATIO N JOY 



WITH 



A BIOGRAPHY, 



AND HIS LAST 



ADDITIONS AND ILLUSTRATIONS. 



VOL. V. 



PHILADELPHIA: 

CARET & HART. 

1847. 



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MEMOIRS 



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LIFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT, Ba«t. 



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PREFACE.. 



In obedience to the instructions of Sir Walter 
Scott's last will, I bad made some progress in a 
narrative of his personal history, before there was 
discovered, in an old cabinet at Abbotsford, ah 
autobiographical fragment, compo^ by him in 
1808, shortly af^r the publication of his Marmion. 

This fortunate acciaen( rendered it necessary 
that I should altogether remodel the work which 
I had commenced. The first chapter of the fol- 
iowii>g Memoirs Consists of the Ashestiel frajg- 
ment, which gives a clear outline of his early life 
down to the period of his call to the bar — July, 
1792. All the notes appended to this chapter are 
alio by himself. They are in a hand writing very 
difierent from the text, and seem, from various cir- 
cumstances, to have been added in 1826. 

It appeared to me, hbwever, that the author's 
modesty had prevented him from tMling the story 
of his youth with that fulness of detail which 
would now satisfy the public. I have therefore re- 
cast my own collections as to the period in Question, 
and presented the substance of them, in five suc- 
ceeamg chapters, as illustrations of his too brief 
autobiograpny. This procedure has been attend- 
ed with many obvious disadvantages ; but I greats 
ly preferred it to printing the precious fragment 
iman appendix. 

I foresee that some readers maybe apt to accuse 
me of trenchine upon delicacy in beitain details 
of the sixth and seventh chapters in this volume. 
Though the circumstances there treated of had no 
. irivialinfluence on Sir Walter Scott's history and 
character, I should have been inclined, for many 
reasons, to omit them; but the choice was, in fact, 
not left to me, — for they had been mentioned, and 
misrepresented, in various preceding sketches of 
the Life which I had undertaken to illustrate. 
Suc)i being the case, I considered it as my duty to 
tell the story truly and intelligibly : but I trust I 
have avoided any unnecessary disclosures ; and, 
after all, there was nothing to disclose that could 
have attached any sort of blame to any of the par- 
ties concerned. 

For the^copious materials which the friends of 
Sir Walter have placed at my disposal, I feel just 
gratitude. Several of them are named itf the 
course of the present volume ; but I must take this 
opportunity of expressing my sense of the deep 
ODlieations under which I have been laid by the 
frame communications, in particular, of William 
Clerk, Esq., of Eldin,— John Irvii^, Esq., W. S.. 
— Sir Adam Ferffuson, — ^James Skene, Es(i., of 
Rubislaw, — Patridc Murray, Esq., of Simprim, — 
J. B. S. Morritt, Esq., of Rokeby,— William 
Wordsworth, Esq.,— Robert Southey^ Esq., Poet 
Laureate, — Samuel Rogers,Eisa^William Stew- 
art Rose, Esq., — Sir Alexander Wood, — ^ihe Right 
Hon. the Lord Chief Commissioner Adam, — the 
Right Hon. Sir Williiim Rae. Bart,— the late 
Right Hon. Sir William Knighton, Bart.,— the 
Right Hon. J. W. Croker,— Lord Jeffrey,— Sir 
Henry Halford, Bart., G. C. H,,— the late Major- 
General Sir John Malcolm, G. C. B., — Sir Fran- 
cis Chantrey, R. A.^Sir David Wilkie, R. A., — 
Thomas Thomson, Esq., P. C. S.,— Charles Kirk- 



Patrick Sharpe, Esq.,— William Scott, of Raebum, 
Esq., — John Scott, of Gala, Esq., — Alexctzider 
Pringle,of Whytbank, Esq., M. P.,— John Sw^in- 
ton, of Inverleith-pUce, Esq.. — ^John Richardson, 
Esq., of Fludyer Street, — ^John Murray, E5<}^., of 
Albemaile Street,— Robert Bruce, Esq., ShenfT of 
Araprle,— Robert Ferguson, Esq., M. D., — G. P* 
R. James, E8q.,-«-Waiiam Laidlaw, Esih, — Ro- 
bert Cadell, Esq.,— John Elliot Shortreed, Eso ., — 
Allan Cunningham, Esq.,— Claud Russell, Esq., 
— James Clarkson, Esq., of Melrose^ — the late 
James Ballantyne, Esq., — Joseph Train, Esq., — 
Adolphus Ross, Esq., M. D.,— William Allan, 
Esq., R. A.,— Charles Dumergfue, Esq., — Stephen 
Nicholson Barber, Esq.,— James Slade, Elsq^ — 
Mrs. Joahna Baillie,— Mrs. George Ellis, — Mrs. 
Thomas Bcotx^ — Mrs. Charles Carpenter, — Miss 

Russell of Ashestiel, — Mrs. Sarah Nicholson, 

Mrs. Duncan, Mertoun-Manse, — the Right Hon. 
the Lady Polwarth, — and her sons, Henry, Mas- 
ter of Polwarth, the Hon. and Rev. William, and 
the Hon. Francis Scott. • 

I beg leave to acknowledge with equal thankful- 
ness the courtesy of the Rev. Dr. Harwood, Tho- 
mas White, • Eisq., Mrs. Thomson, and the Rev. 
Richani Garniatt,* all of Lichfield, and the Rev. 
Thomas Henry White, of Glasgow, in forward- 
ing to me Sir Walter Scott's eany letters to Miss 
Seward : that of the Lord Seafora, in intrusting 
me with those addressed to his late cousin, Gteorge 
Ellis, Esq. : and the kind readiness with which 
whatever papers in their possession could be ser- 
viceable to my undertaking were supplied by the 
Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, and the Lord 
Montagu ;— the Countess^Duchesa of Sutherland, 
and thCgLord Francis 'Egerton ; — the Lord Vis- 
count Sidmouth, — the Lord Bishop of Llandafif, — • 
the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel, Bart.,— the IMy 
Louisa Stuart— the Hon. Mrs. Warrender, 'and 
the Hon. Catharine Arden, — Lady Davy, — Miss 
Edffeworth— Mrs. Maclean Clepnane^ of TOr- 
loisk, — Mrs. Huffhes, of Uffington, — Mrs.Charles 
Richardson, — Mrs. Bartley ;-— Sir (Jeor^ Mac> 
kenzie of Coul, Bart.,— the late Sir Frantfis Freel- 
ing, Bart.,— Captam Sir Hugh Pigott, R. N.,— 
the late Sir William Gell,— Sir Cuthbert Sharp, 
—the Very Rev. Principal Baird,— the Rev. Wil- 
liam Steven, of Rotterdam, — the late Rev. James 
Mitchell,ofWooler,— Robert William HAr, Es^.. 
lately Under Secretary of State for the Colomal 
Department,— John Borthwick, of Crookstone, 
Esq., — John Cay, Esq., Sheriff of Linlitheow, — 
Captain Basil Hall, R. N.,— Thomas Crofton 
Croker, Esq., — Henry Cheney, Esq^- Alexander 
Young, Esq., of Harbum,- A. J. Valpy, Eaq»— 
James Maiament, Esq., Advocate,— th^ late Do- 
nald Gregory, Esq.,— Robert Johnston, Esq., of 
Edinbur^,- J. J. Masquerier, Esq., of Brigh- - 
ton, — Owen Recs, Esq., of Paternoster Row, — 
William Miller Esq., formerly of Albemarle 
Street,— David Laing, Esq., of Edinbip"^,- and 
John Smith the Youngest, Esq., of Glasgow. 

J. G. LOCKHART. 

London, Dee. 20, 1836. 



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MEMOIRS 

OF THE 



LIFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



CHAPTER L 

MfiifOU or THE EAILY LJPE Or sm WALTER SCOTT, 
WttlTTtS tv HiMe^LF. 

nie present age has discovered a deeirtj. or ralher 
a rage, for literary anecidoie and private hiscory, that 

^hliTl Lvf & "^^^ '^^^ fli"eiiuor» of the public 

Snll m! Hnn(f VH^^ '*'* '^^^'^^'*^*^ '^^^ excVjed, aoi 
di^?^ iVi'''*" r ^ P<?riTmted without an ei rBor- 
recordm;? n fcw leadmg circumfitancefi ihtvda not 

iqfm life-ihai, should my hteniry reputatton sur- 
vive my temporal edslcncA the puhlfe may Uow 
fmm Bood amhonty ail thai il,Jy are mltl^d to 

From the lives of some poetSL a most ijnmi-tanr 
moral lea.o« may doubUeas b4erivS?aiidTl s^r 
mooi* can bo read w,th ao much proki a* the M^ 
nioir^ .>f Burns, of Clmtle^ton.ar oi^Sav^ We^ 
I conacioua of any ifuna pticuW in my o!«n muraJ 
Character which couid^ndbr »udi developmeni nJ^ 

Iwourd bequeath my body to dff^Bection. if the 
^wro I ion could tend topomtout iht nature and ihe 
h^U^ f A""^"?^ ""''^ peculiar jualftdv. B,ii a« |„y 
habits rjfthinkifiij and act n«, a.s weU a« mvrank 

or cyen pretended to, any poetical rcpuratiotr.* anj 
8e It prfjduc*4 when acquired, no reiinirkahle 
diaiigti upon tiiher, it jb hardiy h. \m expt^r^tcd thai 
much tn/orniatfin can be derived ir.)in minutely in- 
veatu^aimft fradtica, folhcs, or vic^^^, nyt v, ry differ- 
en I in mimbcr or d^ee from thos(M^f other men 
{L''V«^^nrj'"'?ft^"^ havo notbe^t; h\e.^,,i with 
the taknia of Burna or Chatttnon, I have been 
htippdy exeiupied froin the iaflucnot^ of ihnr vioient 
pa^ftoDs, exasperated by the siruaale of f**IineH 

quis 



t. althonsh I canno: tdi of a^fficul(i«gi van- 
Humlred. and di^^tancc of rank annihiJEiicd by the 
fhI!S M-ri""^ ihoajwho ahaJI hertalieT rej^d 
thia littre Menioir may rind jn it ^nne bints tu be 
mipmvpd, tor Lhe rwulaiioti of thnrown mmda, or 
the training: those of others. *"t"<i*, yr 

EVery Seoitl&hmaa has h pfidisre^i. It i& a nation- 
al prct^Kative as unalitiiabf^ aa bi^ pn !e "nd b^^ 

£SHid''A??^.^'^ ^T '^^'^^^^^ cli.t/n,m.h.di>or 
sordid. According to tbo prejudices of my country, 

wj^^ma! |.«'reimoiiB. ^i„^^ | hnv,' tjeen fi-ailMy rcS'vr^l in the 
?i.**r.7*l^ lit7^1il«^h fiMwt hflJ}-^^i,^aTPd Pffjrrhi™, ,r? rarlv 

Iwik 2f"* anr,*ifl3n)l chang,. fn JiluiKiufi, b* the Pi«n«rt 
A* 



U waa eatrsmcd gmtte^nM I was connflcted, thoush 
reiwotdy, with ancwnt famdiea both by mv fa the? a 
and motWs atdc My father's graifdfaihei Zl 
Walter Scott, well known m Teviotdale by the 

Walter iscott^^rm Latrd of Raebuin, who was tha 
third son of Sir Wilbam Scott, and the grandson 
li' ilf ^^rif*^".*^ commonly called in tradilton Autd 
yfatt, of Harden. I am therefore linealJy de&cendcd 
trom (bat ancjent chieftain, i/i-hoac name I havo 
made to nn^ m mon^ a ditty, and from hia fair 
cfftine the J; lower or\ orrow-^no bfid j^enc^a Wy for 
a Kurder mmaire , Bt^rdii, my Mreai-^andTatbar 
alortwaiiL denveii bis twnomen from a venerablo 
heard, which hi' wore unbTemiahcd by raztiror scia- 
tfora, in t^kfln of hia n^^n-et for Ih^ baniahed dy- 
nasty of Stuart- It would have been well that \\m 
ze5l had stopped there. But he took arms, »nd in- 
ingut'd in their cauws, until he iost all he had in the 
worfd, and, a** I have heard, run a narrow ruk of 
bemK handed, hod il not be*n fonhe intorferenoe 
ot An tie, Dpche&ft of Bncdtuch and Monmouih. 
Ifeardie s elder brother, WiHiam Scott of Rat burn 
my great-^randuridpt was killed about ttie ai?e of 
(wt3t^ty-one» in a duel wuh Pringle of C^richton, 
ffrandfather of tbu i>resent Mark Prinirle of Chf- 
ton They foup;hi with swords, aa was the 
fashion of the time, in a fidd near Selkirk, called 
irom the einastn>pbc the Rarbum Afmdint-jipot 
Fnneic flod from Scotland to Spain, and was lai\g 
a captive and slave* in Barbary. BeardU becalne. 
*jf course fW qf Haehurrt, as the old Scottish 
piirafid eall^ him, that la, f»unrdian to his infant 
fieplitw, futht^r of the present Walter Scott of Rae- 
buni- H e aJ eo ma na «ed the es \ a t«s of M ak t-rflt nu n 
being, nearly rcinted to that family by hifi mother. 
I^firbara Mac Oou«al 1 suppo5« be had some al- 
io wonoe for hjs earn m ntbcr ca^se, and Bub^iatod 
upon that and the l^riitne whi^h he had by his wifc;^ 
a Jliij^ Campbell of fciilvercrai^js, intheiveat, throiih 
wnidi conniiuon my faiht^r ii;scd to call «m^\^, as 
they^^ay, wuh the Campbdls of Blythswood. 
f Si n^^"^ s man of isome learmnp, and a friend 
pi Uf. fucfJirn, to whom his poHtica p fob ably nj^dc 
I"'" JFJtptiible. Th(;y had a Tory or Jac/dJitt chib 
ii\ Ldmburf^bT m which iht^ converitalion is said to 
havt! been maminined jn I^siifi. OM Bearthe died 
1(1 a hou*e, still s»[andjfjg at the northeast tntrant^? 
to the C.htircb\ nrd ui Keltso, about . . , 

He Icfi three s-ms. The ddcsi. Waller, bad a 
fnrndy, of which any that now remain have htfin 
tons set ib^ ui America;— the male btira arp lona 
sjnce L^*lmcL Th%! third waa William, fath«T of 
Jarrifls Scott, well knowfi iu India ns< fine of the 
omuial ivnilers of Prince of Wak^s'a island f- he 
had, btsidecj a nutnerous latndy both of son a and 
dau^httrs, bikJ died at Las&wade, m Mid-Lolhian. 
abndt .... ' 

The socoml, RoW.rt Seott, wa^s niy ^grandfather. 
Ho was oriKmoily br<?d tn the aea; but, biinif uUip- 
u rcjck^d near Dun dee in his trial voyaeo, h« look 
such a Bin ct re dislike to that clemtnt, that he couM 
not tie persuaded to a second aitcmft- Thia occa* 
filmed a quarrd betwton him and his father, who 
left htm to fthift for him^t If Robert wns ooi^ nf 
those active gtpirits to whom thi^ wti?^ ^ fm^^vt^ 
ttine. He turned Whi^-tt?^m fbr nrr^t. najfl fairly 
abjured tuiittbw'ipoitttc^ and htelearaod poverty- 



LIFE OP Snt WALTER SCOTT. 



HiB chief and relatiTe, Mr. Soott of Harden, save 
him a lease of the farm of Sandy-Knowe^^m- 
pr^ending the rocks in Uie centre of ^((hid^ 9ntfi^- 
holm or Sandy-Knowe Tower is situafed. tl6 tbok 
for his shepherd an old man, called Hogg, who 
willingly lent him. out of resp^t to his famuy, his 
whole savings, about iSSO, to stodk the new ftttn. 
With this sum, which it seems was at the tmie 
sufficient for the purpose, the master and servant set 
off to purchase tat^ck of sheep at WhitS^-Try/te, 
a fairnejdon srhifl neiarWoOler In WofihumBer- 
land. The old shepherd went carefully from drove 
to drove, till he found a hirsel likely to answer their 
purpose, and then returned to tell his master to come 
up and conclude the bargain. But what was liis 
surprise to see him galloping a mettled hunter about 
the race-course, asm to find he had expended the 
whole stock in this extraordinary purchase I-'Mo- 
ses's bargain of green spectacles did not strike more 
dismay into the Vicar of Wakefield's family, than 
my grandfather's rashness into tho >p<x>r old shep- 
herd. The thm^, however, was irretrievuble, otid 
they returned without the sheep. In the course of 
a lew da^ however, my fi^randfather, who was 
one of the nest horsemen of his time, attended John 
Scott of Harden' s hounds on this same horse, asd 
displayed him to such advantage, that he sola him 
for doable the <>riginal price; The faito ^as now 
stiKked. in earnest: vhd the rest of my grand- 
fether's-career was that of snccessftil mdustry- He 
was one of the first who were active in the cattle 
Cradi^ afterwaFds carried to such exteht between 
(he Hifiiilands of Scotland and the laadin^ coun- 
ties in KnglanfL and by his droving transactions ae- 
qvired ^a consicierable snm of roonefy. He was a 
man of middle stature, extremely active. <iuick, 
Keen, and fien^in hiatemperf stubbornly honest, and . 
•0 distingttisfied for his skill in: ootmtry matters, r 
that he was the general referee in all pomts of dis- 
pute which Dciorrsd in the neighboorhood. His 
birth being admitted as gtntUy gave him 'accessto 
the best society in the oomty, and his dexterity 1h 
country sports, partieularlv hunting, made him an 
acceptable companion in the field as well as at the 
table.* 

Robert Soott of Sandy-Kriowe^jnafried^ 1T88, 
Bfibara Halibarton, daughter of Tliomas Hahbnr- 
ton of Newmisins. an ancient and resr^ectatpe 
iamily in Berwickshire. Anumg other patrimomai 
possessions, they teioyed the part of Drybnrgh, 
now the property of the Earl of Buehan, compre- 
hending the ruins of the Abbey. My granduncle, 
Robert Haldnarton, having no male neirs, this 
estate, as well as th/s representatwn of the fam- 
ily, would have devolved upon my Iktber, and 
hraeed Old Newmains had settied it upon him \ 
but this was prevented by the misfortunes of my 
grandnncle, a weak, silly man, who engaged in 
trade, for which he had neither stock nor talents, 
and became bankrupt. |1ie ancient patrimony 
was sold for a trifle, (about jBSOOo,) and my fathe^ 
who might have purehased it with ease, was dis- 
suaded by my grandfather, who at that time believed 
a more advantageous jnirchase might have been 
made of some lands which Raebum thought of 8<^11- 
ing. And thns we have nothing left of Dryburgh, 
although my father's maternal inheritance, out the 
right of stretching our bones where mine may, per- 
haps, be laid ere any eye but my own glances over 
these pages. 

Walter Scott, my father, was bom in 1729, and 
educated to the profession of a Writer to the 3«rnet. 
He was the eldest of a large family, several of whom 
I shall have occasion to mention with a tribute of 
sincere gratitude. My fother was a singular in- 
stance of a man rising to eminence in a profession 
for which nature had in some degree unfitted him. 
He had indeed a tnrn for labour, and a pleasure in 
analyzing the abstruse feudal doctrines connected 
with conveyancing, which would probably have 

» The PTOMu t Lord Hftddtoffton, and other ffentl«mefn eonwr- 
•ant with the Muth ooutrr, remember my fWidfafber well. 
He wat a fine alort tffoe, otid woro a jockoy «ap over liie fiajr 
htir.—llWi.l 



rendered him unrivalled in the line of a _ 

6 leader, 1^ th^e been such a profeesbn ia Sopft* 
Irrd^ liitm the actual business of the profession 
whidfa he embraced, in that sharp and intuitrre per^ 
ception which is necessary in driving bargains for 
himself and others, in availing himseuof the inrmnts. 
Necessities, caprices, and folhes of some, and guard- 
ing against Hhe knavery and malice of others* 
uncle^by himself com4 not have conducted litni' 
selfwaiRioresfcnphcity'thfltnmyfother. Most at- 
torneys nave been suspected, more or less justly', of 
making their own fortune at the expense of t near 
clients— my father's fate was to vindicate hia calling 
from the stain in one instance, for in many cases Ixis 
clients contrived to ease him of considerable sums. 
Many worshipful and be-knighted names occur to 
my memory, who did him' the honour to run in tus 
deot to the amount of thousands, and to pay Iiini 
I with a lawsuit, or a commission of banlcruptcy', ss 
the cast happened. But thev are gone lo a difFeren c 
accounnng, and it would Se ungenerous to visit 
their disgrace upon their descendants. My father 
was wont also to give openings, to those wno were 
pleased to take them^ to pick a quarrel with liina- 
He had a leal for hischents whicih was almost 
ludicrous : fitf from coldly dischargihg the duties of 
his employment towards them, he thought for ^ecz% 
fek for thdr hdnournsfor his p^Vn, and rather naked 
diaoblighiirthem than neglecting; any tbmg to which 
he c<mceiv6d rh^ duty bound them. If there was 
an ola mother or aunt to be maintained, he tvas, X 
am afhiidi too apt to administer to their necessities 
ftom what ttveyottn^heir had destined exclusively to 
his pleasttt^ This refady, discharge of obligation sw 
which the CivflianbteH us are only natural and not 
legal, did not, I fear, irecommenu him to his ekn- 
eioyers. Yet nis practice was, at one period of His 
life, very extensive. He understood his businees 
theoretically, and was early introdu^ to it by a 
pifftnerrtiip with George Chalmers, writer to the 
Signet, tmder whom he hsd served his appren- 
ti^hip. 

His person and face if%tt uncomthonly handsome 
With an exprdsiAon Of sWc^ess of temper, whidn 
was not fallacious j h!s manners were rather formill, 
but full of genuine Idndness, espei;ially when exerpii- 
sing the dtftles of hospitality. His general habitii 
were not only temperate, but severely abstemioua ; 
but upon a festival occasion, there were few whom * 
a moderate glass of wine exhilarated to such amrely 
degree. His religvon, in which he was devoutly sia- 
oere, was Oalvanism of the strictest kind, and hia 
fiivourite study related to church history. I suspect 
the |?ood old man was often engaged with Knox and 
8pottiswoode*s folios,'wh^n, immured in his solitary 
room, he was supposed to be immersed in profbs- 
sional re^searches. In hrs political principles he was 
a steady friend to freedom, with ia oias, however, to 
the monarchical part of oor constitution, which he 
considered as peculiarly exposed to danger during 
the later years of his life. . He had much of ancient 
Scottish prejudice respecting the forpis of marriages^ 
funerals, christenings, and so forth, and was alw ays 
vexed at any neglect of etiquette upon such occa- 
sions. As his education had not been upon an en« 
larged platu it could not be expected that he should 
be an enlightened scholar, but he had not passed - 
through a Dusy life without observation ; and nis re- 
marics upon times and manners often exhibited 
strong traits of practical though untaught philoso- 
phy. Let me conclude this sketch, which I am .un- 
conscious of having overcharged, vnth a few lines 
written by ihe late Mrs.Cockbum* ujJDn the subject. 
They made one among a set of poetipal characters 
which were given as toasts among a few friends, 
and we must hold them to contain a striking hke- 
ness, since the original was recognised so soon as 
they were read aloud. 



•*To a thrta that's uncomoKm— 
A yoath of discretioB, ^ 

Mrs. Coekbam (botp Mifi Rutl 
antborea of the beoutif 

> I have aMB Uw sBilltBC 
or fertuoe lMraiHi>f."-f I8SS-] 



•• I have aMB Uw sBilltBC O 



lth» 



3smi>wimBmiijBX»^iS(m. 




B^axlDf aflecUoQ, 
a qiBT haar the Jast'tmmp 
hont dread of detecttdn." 
JnJlpnl, 175^1 ray ffillitr inajTjCid Anjia Etuihur- 
Sir^tfidedt Jaugh:ef o( Dr. John RuihtirlurJt pro(o»- 

Sir ct mtJicliie ia the UuiForpity of EtiuiLur^^h. 
e was one af those pujiila of KoerhaaTS to \^ \^<jffi 
tha school of uieiiicuiirm our norihei-i) soetro'.'hB 
owea^itAV0e^ and a man distirif^uiisheJ for i<i<»M8- 
sional lulant, lor Uvvly w'li, and ror littrury a. -jmrfir 
menu. Dr. Ruditrkfrd v^is iwici: marriLd. Jiis 
first VI [f£, «f ihlioEii TEi^ ntrtiliL^jr iti ihf 9<ik fiurvivijig 
rfiil ci, w 03 a d ai J j:jh ti- r of ^ If J u U n S Win I o a nf S u J n- 
lon, /I family lAnick pruiliKCii Tiiaiiy niii^iifiii^iji^lied 
wacncrs diJiiniij ihc^ uuJdlo ugt-i*, and w/iith, fi^r ; iiii- 
9uiiy^ajidhonuurabLB iilEiLHiceJ^, may riitik hl[U lay 
la Britaui. My ^niiiit^theH^ ^cond viifd wat Mias 
Mackfl>\ by whtim fie haJ a dCiamtl faiiuJ>% of w N..m 
are n«w (iao6) hUvl, Dr, Dank J Uuthrrfoni ^rulos- 
0or oi VoUQy iti the University of EdLnbur^li, und 
Hi^ae^ JaoelanU Christian Rutborfurd, aiiiijsble uad 
^ccorapliflbM women. 

My ikclief ^d mother had a very numerous fami* 
ly. DO iewer, I bcUere, than twelve children, of 
^hommaay were nighJiy promising, though only 
£re wnvcati very early youth. My eldest oroiher 
(fhac is, the eldest whom I remember to hiive seen) 
waa Aobert Scott, so called after my uncle, of whom 
1 shall haTe much to sey hereafter. He was bred in 
theKii^s 6ervice,4mder Admiral, then Captain Wit- 
fiajn Dickson, and was in most of Rodney's batU^s. 
His temper .was bold and haughty, and to me was 
olleQ cfackpkered with what I felt to be capricious 
In other respects I loved him much, for 



^lig d]0«&(rtyy«^*«9&id, while her 



ttste- 

which „ „, -^r-^. -^ 

Witness the. following elegy upon^the 

tHPI>ftsed lo#s of the vessel composed tqe night be- 
ifmtMnev'a celebrated battle of Apnl the 12th, 
tna. It aUudas io the various amusements oft his 



*^ jiior4 -chs geese AaU sacJcIs 4hi (he fosp,^ 

Mo moss ths^Wpipe throqgh the or}op sound, 
BO jQtore Ihe midshipmeo. a jovial (frouft 

Shall toast ^i^ta, ««d push the bottle round. 
laAsath's do-k road at anchor fttat they stay, 
' vni Heaten's Icmd signal shaD in thunder roar, 
Then stertiog ap, all hands shall qajck obey, 
4hset luxaa the topnil, and with apeed vttaioor." 

Rofb^ fxmg agreeably— (a virtue wl^ch was never 
seen m me)-^nder9tood the mechanical arts, and 
when ID good humour, could regale uBwith many a 
tale of bold adventure and narrow escapes. When 
in bad fatunonr, however, he gave us a practical 
taste of what was then man-of' war's discipline, and 
Jacked and cuffed without mercy. I have often 
thoimht bow he might have distinguislmd himseli; 
had ne continued in the navy until the present 
times, 90 glorious fbj* nautical exploit. But the 
peace of Paris cut off all hopes or promotion for 
those who had not figreat interest ; and some disgust 
which his proud ^rit had taken at harsh usage 
from a superior omcer, combined to throw poor 
Robert into the East India Company's service, for 
whtdi his habitt were ill adapted. He made two 
voyiBg^ to the East, and tlied a victim to the di* 
mate ra , . . , 

John Scott, my second broth^n is about three 
years older than me. He adoicted himself to the 
mifitary service, and is now brevet-major in the 
73d reflment.* 

I had an only sister, Anne Scott, who seemed to 
be from her cradle the butt for mischance to shoot 
arrows at. Her childhood was marked by perilous 
escapes from the most extraordinary accidents. 
Among others, I remember an iron-raited door lead- 



* Bb was tWs narayu^B 



t^nhMeawid battalion, by the 
r at the War Office- 18Q0.— Ho 

.^^~. tL •«"?• *«* *iV^ b"!^ ^^ ^y mothet. Hit 

bMlth was totattr btuwn, aod be dieii, y«t a younc mSb, on 8Ui 

Mar, tsM.'itm] 



indkral hoiU 



tiJiLtiiiiu 

^9a| ffarqi 

b&tiKat We hiiiipand^ s^ ~ H«f fiand"wa^ SS 
lociked in. and muwt have been smashed to piebes, 
hFadVfot the boneti of her fingers been remarkably 
wighi and Ihm. A« it was, the hand was cruelly 
ijianglttl. On anothpr orcaBion, she iri?: nmrlv 
drown rd ill a pwid. or oid qiJArrV'holt', in wh^x was 
then^allt'd Browii^s Park, on the south eidt! of thft 
squart- Bur iht moat unfortunntt arddtntj and 
which, thoufrh it happened whik she wns only six: 
years old, proved tlit rcftnotc cause of her dmrh, 
was lier crip a cd den rally lakiiis fire Tht' child 
was a!'>n!r' \i\ tlieroom, and befifre asaistonce cauld 
be obt I J ri id, h^t hf ad was dreadfully Mconrhed. Af- 
ter a hiiKL Tiitfi QJird dangeruiiA iilnc^s, she recovch?il, 
but nevi?r to trnjny perfect health. The alighleai 
cold occasioned swdlit)^ in htr fact\ and other id- 
dicationt» of a dt" lien re eonstifiilLon. At length, in 
[1801], V'wr Anne ivfis taken ill, and died 'ni\^T a 
very phort interval. Her temper, like that of her 
brothi TH. w as p''**^" I jar. attd in her.jperhapfi, it show- 
ed mo r^- oddi from the habits of ind!th?cnce whieh 
her nervm* tllnesfles had foTmed. But she was at 
heart an affociioriaie and kind ij^irl, m^ith^sr i-oid of 
talent nrif of ft?t' ling, thotijijh iivinpin an ideal world 
which sht' had framed to herself h>' the force of ima- 
gination. Anne was my junior by about iv year. 
) A year luwcr in the list waa nty brother Thomas 
I Scott, who is still alive.* 

Ltist, and most unfortunate of our famOy, was 
ihy youngest brother Daniel. With the same aver- 
sion to labour, or rather, I should say. the same de- 
termined indolence that marked us all, he had nei- 
ther the vivacity of intellect, which supphes the wdnt 
of diligence, nor the pride which renders the most de- 
tested tabour better than dependence or contempt. 
His career was as unfortunate as might be augured 
, from soeh an unhappy combination, and after vari- 
< 0118 unsuccessful attempts to establish himself In 
I life, he died on his return from the West Indies, in 
[/uhr, 1806.] 

Having -premised eo much of my family, I return 
to toy own story. I was born, as I beUeve, on the 
16th August, 1771, in a house beloi^ging to my fa- 
ther,* at the head of the College Wynd. It was pull- 
ed down, with others, to make room for the north- 
ern front of the new College. I was an uncommonl/ 
healtl^ child, but had nearly died in consequence 
of my first nurse being ill of a ceuiumption, a cir- 
ouHlstanee which she chose to conceal, though to 
do 80 was murder to both herself and me. She 
want privately to consult Dr. Black, the celebrated, 
professor of chemistry, who imt my father on his 
^ard. The woman was dismissed, and I was con- 
. signed to a healthy peasant, who is still alive to 
boaflt of her laddie being what she calls a grand 
gmtlemaritf I showed every sign of health and 
i 8tieng;th until I was about eighteen months old. 
One night, I have been often told, I showed great 
reluctance to be eaught and put to bed, and after 
beiR^ chased about the room, was apprehended, and 
conasned to my dormitory vrith some difficulty. It 
was tne last time I was to show such personal agil- 
ity. In the momm^ I was discovered to be affected . 
, with the fever, which often accompanies thecutting 
of large teeth. It held me three days. On the 
<' fonrth, when they Went to bathe me as usual, they 
discovered that 1 had lost the power of my right 
leg. My grandfather, an excellent anatomist as 
I well as physician, the late worthy Alexander Wood, 
) and many others of the most respectable of the fa- 
I c)]dty, were consulted. There appeared to be no 
I dislocation or sprain ; blisters and other topical 

I * Poor Tom, a man of infinite humour and excellent parta, 
I porsuedfor iome tine my iather'a profetaioa \ but he wai anior 
I tunate, from ennfinff in ipeculations mpocUnf faitns and mat- 
ters out of the line of hia, proper biuinem. He alterwanu be- 
came pannaater of the 70th reghnent. and died in Canada. Tom 
manied Elizabeth, a dauffater of the family of M'Culbch of Ard- 
well, an ancient Galweffan atock, by whom he lef\ a aon, Wal- 
ter SiQott, now aecood Keutoaant of »o«ineera in the Eaat India 
* Compony'a aervice, Bombay, and three daugfateia— Jeaaie, mar* 
I riod to Lieutenant- Colonel Huxley ; 9, Anoe ; a, Eliza— toe tw» 

laat8tillunmarTied.-[1898.I . 

i t She died fai I810.-iin8] ^ 



jpov OF Bm wAunn 600R. 



tfimediev w^re applied In ¥ nia . When Um. tfhftBcf 

Te^kr pbysidana had b^Ei e;ch«utteai withoat the 
a^Kbti^fft ffuccesB, my ntixioufi parants, aariog the 
ctmr&e. of raaay vcara, ^iiiprW grasped at nvrrg 
pro^p^ct of cute wiiicL wo&lielJ out l»y tlio prrjriijse 
of eijipific^ or of indent Udiea or fjeniiciiiLii, who 
CQjicoived lb em selves eniiUed to recomriit;rid vnii- 
oue rerxiediesj aome of which were ctf a naturt i^ufli- 
ciotitlyuinfiiilar^. Bunhendvioeofmysrandfalhpr, 
Dr» Ruiherfordi that 1 should bp «?ni to rei^idc in 
lh« douniry, lo ^ivc the dnim*£ of rraturnl exr— t-o, 
cxdt4jd by free aif and lihiif ly, was iirsr Te&>r 9, 
and before T have the recollectioii of ihe tL^^^Jt 
event, I was, agrconbly to thi^ friendly counsel, 
inmate In the farm -boose of Sindy-Knowe. 

An odd ineident ia iv»rth T^eordiog. It seems my 
inoiher had sent a maid tu take chaiKO of me, that 
I might he no ih convenience in the family. But the 
damat'l Bent an that Importam mission had left her 
b^art behind beT| in the keeping of some Mrild fel- 
low, it is likely, who had done and said more to her 
tbanhewa? like to make gfiod. She became ex- 
tremely desirou!^ to return to Edinbui^gh, and as my 
Jnolhcr madr ri pdrit of h?r rf^rnaimng wheie she 
v/ai, «iw v;ori:raciixI a. auti of iiaiiAid at poor me, as 
the cause of her heing detained at Sandy-Knowe. 
This rose, I suppose, to a sort of delirious affection, 
for she confessed to old Alison Wilson, the house- 
keeper, that she had carried me up to the Craigs, 
meaning, under a strong temptation of the devil, to 
cut my throat with her scissors, and biiry me in 
the moss. Alison instantly took possession of my 
person, and took care that ner confidant should not 
be subject to any farther temptation, so far as I was 
concerned. She was dismissed, of course, and, 1 
have heard, became afterwards a lunatic 

It is here, at Sandy-Knowe, in the residence of 
my paternal grandfather, already mentioned, that I 
h&ve the first consciousness of existence ; and I re- 
collect distinctly that my Bituatk>n and appearanoe 
were a little whimsical Among the odd remedies 
recurred to, to aid my lameness, some one had re- 
commended, that so often as a sheep was killed for 
the 119C of the fiimily, 1 should be atnpped, and 
swathed i]p m ih^ akin wtirrn ss it was ilayedfrom 
thf? corcasa fif tbe animal. In ihh Tnrtar-lik^ ha- 
IdUnient^ I well inc member Iving upon tlie fioorof 
the Little parlour in the farm -IjOMsts whiir my grand- 
fa ih<;r, B veniciruble old tivati with v,\uui hair, used 
every ejtcitt men t to make me try ti> eravvl. 1 also 
diitinetly remember the Ute SirGoome MacDoiigal 
of Mflketstoutii fatber of the pre sen* Sir Henry Hay 
MacDougal Jottiing in ihw kindly tkxtempx. He was, 
CjikI knows how^* a relation of tiyri^ and 1 still ro- 
i:oltt4^^t hiru m liis old faEhtonBl military habit, (he 
had been coluneJ tit the Gmy^) with n r^mall, cocked 
hatj deeply taefrd^an embfoiderfd &c;arli 1 waistcoat, 
tind a bRiit coiourerj coal, with milk-white locks, 
tied in a mil i ta ry f aehio n , kne* I m e o n 1 1 1 ^ ground be- 
fore me^ anddraijRmghis watch along ;] in carpet, to 
iniiuefi me to fiillow it. The benevokni dd soldier, 
nnd the infant wrapped in hia eheepskin, would 
have aflbtded an odd group tji> nninierei^ied specta- 
lora. This must buve hnppanid about my third 
year, for Sir George BlacDotJgal and niy grandfa- 
ther both died shortly after that period. 

My Krjmdtiiolher contmued for some vears to take 
chtiKir of the farm, aE^iaied by my father's second 
Jtfothtr, Mr, Thomas Seott, who reside d at Crail- 
mg, lis factor, ur land-aleward, for Mi Scott of 
nriUL'sfix'ld. llii-i [>ioi>TO(^M- i>t thnl c^iule.t This 

_* He waa a Moond oouain of my nantlftxher*!. bnbel Mac* 
Dooeal. wife of WaJter. the fint Latrd of Raebum, and mother 
of wdt««r Scott, called Beardie, waa grandaunt. I uko it, to the 
late Sir Ckiorge MacI>ou<ai. There waa always groat fricndahip 
twtween us and tlie Makentoan fhmily. It singularly happened 
that at the burial of the late Sir Henry MacOougal, my cousin, 
WUbam Scott younger of Raebam. and I myself, were tbo near- 
est blood-relations present, although our connexion was of to old 
a date, and ranked as pallbearers accordingly.— [1826.] 

t My uncle arterwards resided at Bllinton, and then took fhwn 
Mr. Comefaus Elliot the estate of WooUee. Finally, he retired 
to Monklaw. In the neighbourhood of Jedbureh, where he died. 
iwo, at the advanced age of ninety years, and in full jpoasesskio 
of Ms AMwltMs. It waa a line thing to hear him talk over the 
ohonge of ibe cotsitry |ych he bad witncned.-Cl»0.1 



waa during lh« but cf th« Atnofetn #&r. and I m- 
in<;ml>er beine as (iniiouB on my uncIe^H wiaekly 
V»]ts (for we hpard news at no other time) tohasr 
of i\u defeat of Waahin^ton, as if I had had ■oma 
detrp and pt't'sonal cauBO of Antipathy to hinL I 
know not how this was eomhined with a v«ry ^ troW 
prejudi( e in favour of the Sfuart family, wbifehX 
had originally imbibed from th<j aon^s and tkles of 
the Jaeobitea. This latter ffobticftl jjropenaity was 
deeply confirtned by the b Tories told in my htmiag, 
of the cniehit'S fcxerdsed in the eJteeutions nt Gar- 
lisii , and in the Highlands, afU*r Ihe KaKle of Cul- 
lotun. Om* orTwr> of eiiroMTi djatant relniionihad 
falJt ' llmt i-ccft!Jii!iTf, nnd T Tciifember detesting 
the name of Cumberland with more than infant ha- 
tred. Mr. Curie, farmer at Yetbyre, husband of one 
of my aunts, had been present at their execotion : 
and It was probablv firom him that I first heard 
these tragic tales, which made so great an impres- 
sion on me. The local information, which, I con- 
ceive, had some share in ibrming my ftiture taste 
and pursuits, I derived from the old songs and tales 
which then formed the amusement, of a retired 
country family. My grandmother, in whose youth 
the old Border depredations were matter of recent 
tradition, used to tell me many a tale of Watt of 
Harden, Wight Willie of Aikwood, Jamie Tellf^ 
of the ftir Dodhead, and other heroes— merrymen, 
all of the persuasion and calling of Robin Hood and 
Little John. A more recent hero, but not <^ less 
note, Mras the celebrated Did qf LattlecUan, whom 
she well remembered, as he had married her mo- 
ther's sister. Of this extraordinary person I learned 
many a story, grave and gay, comic and warlike. 
Two or three old books, which lay in the window 
seat, were explored for my amusement in the tedi- 
ous winter days. Aotomathes and Ramsay's Tea- 
table Miscellany were my favourites, although, at a 
later period, an odd volume of Joscphas's Wars of 
the Jews divided my partiality. 

My kind and affectionate aunt, Miss Janet Scott, 
whose memory will ever be dear to me, used to read 
these works to me with admirable patience, until I 
could repeat long passages by heart The ballad 
of Hardyknute I was early master of; to the great 
annoyance of almost our only visiter, the worthy 
clergyman of the parish, Dr. Duncan, who had not 
patience to have a sober chat interrupted by my 
shouting forth this ditty. Methinks I now see his 
tall, thin, emaciated figure, his \m cased in clasped 
gambadoes, and his lace of a length that would 
have rivalled the Knight of La Mancha's, and hear 
him exclaimmg. One may as well speak in the 
mouth of a cannon as where that child is." Witn 
this little acidity, which was natural to him, he Waa 
a most excellent and benevolent man, a gentleman 
'in every feeling, and altogether different urom those 
of his order who cringe at the tables of the gentrv, . 
or ffnTT'ir^r ipi*. r-v* -^t fhr\^r r>^ thf •'—• --.-.n-t-. fn 
h ...■■. . .■ ,■•■ : ■! , ■, '. i.jrd 

Mirehinonl-^bud attn Poiie— imd cunU laik luanl- 
iotly of many charaelera who had survived tij^ Au- 
giipfnn aRe of Q^ueen Anne. Though valttuditinry, 
b iived to be nearly ninety » and to weloonic to 
S< itland hia sotJj Col end William Duncan, who, 
Hi'h the titrrhcstcniLracter for iiiilitarj and etyil tne- 
rif, hnd niad<:: a conaidenible fortune in India. In 
[lro:>]* a few day.^ hefore hifl dt^alh, 1 pmd him a 
vi-^(, to inquire nfier his health, I found him cma- 
ciijrid to im tasi dceret^ wrapped in a tartan night* 
gcjwn, and employed with nil the jjctiviry of health 
anrf voath in corrtciing n hifttory of the R^voluijon, 
whlHf hf intended should be Kiven to the paMic 
whfn he wrasnoniore. He read me ecvcraf P»«— 
Sfi-*:^ wi'li voiee namrally strong, and whioh rhe 
fes l;ri^'^ uf an author then riistd alcove the de^srea- 
sJMrt of F,i;e and deehninp hctilth. I be*i|red hioi to 
SI nrf til is fattguo, whit^h could nof hnt tnuire his 
hf alili Hrs nnBwer wtia reniarkable. '* I kuuWj" 
hi !iaid, ''Oiiit 1 eannot snmve a fortnight— and 
what sjginfitij mi tiJceition tUnt canal worst only 

8ni tlenitJf' my dealh n few daffr^" 1 rmirvflled at 
ti? cofiiposnfp of J|(i*^|ig^ IsTilCl Bfttrltiituc snf- 
fieitotly vouchee! the I ruth of his pTopWyi ut^d rode 



iaPB>QF.fl& ma^raERaoovr. 



them ooulif b* te the apiru of aathonhipithftt conU 
iai|iii« ifii yotaries with the canraKe of martyrs. 
Be Aed within lees than tbe period he asaiffned^ 
'With which event I ckMn my di^eeaion. 

I was in my fourth year^ when my father waa adr 
Tbed th«t the Bath wmters might be of some ad- 
vantage to my lamenesa My afieotionate aunt, 
although sach a journey promised, to a person of her 
letiied habits, any thiliK out plsaaore or amusement, 
mdertook as readily to acoompapy me to tbe wells 
of Bladud, as if she had eipected all the delight 
that ever thejirospect of a watering-place held out 
to its most mipatient ? isitants. M? health was 
by this time ajgood deal confirmed by the country 
aiTf and the infloence of that imperceptible and un- 
frogoing exercise to which the good sense of my 
grand£sther had subjected me; for when the day 
was fine I was tisuaity carried out and laid down 
beside the old shepherd, among the crags or rocks 
round which he fed his sheep. The impatience of a 
child soon inclined me to struggle with my infirmity, 
and I began by degree t^ [<i ^tmd, to walk, nml to 
run. AltEoogh the lim b u. Hl^ r 1 1,^ J w aa ititi i: li si k fu (ik 
and contracted, my-gen<:rHi htrnlth. wUich wa^of 
more impqrtancer was n i u i: h a iren gth e n id by h ( i ng 
frequently in the open atr, md, in a wortli f. wlw in 
a atr had probably been condeiimc^ io ficip< loss 
and oeipiess decrepitude, vvn^ nuw n henlthyi hi^'h- 
spirited, an5i, my lamenf^^ nynTt. •., .tninlv ^j! M— 
nan ^ne diis animoaua infajia. 

We wont to London by sea, and it may gratify the 
eonoaiiy of minute biographers to learn diat our 
wjyage was performed in the Duchess of Buccleuch, 
Cqitain Beatsoii, master. At London we made a 
short slay, and saw some of the common shows 
cshibited to strangers. When, twenty-five years 
afterwards, I visited the Tower of London and 
Westnuaater Abbey, I was astoni^ed to find how 
accnrate my recollection of these celebrated places 
of visitation proved to be, and I have ever since 
tnisted more implicitly to my juvetiile reminiscen- 
Abs. At Bath, where I lived about a year, I went 
through all the usnal discipline of the pump-room 
and baths, out I believe without the least advantage 
to my lameness. During my residence at Bath, I 
ao^uned the rudiments of reading at a day-school 
kept by an old dame, near our lodgings, and I had 
never a more regular teacher, altnouglrl think I 
did BOt attend her a quarter of a year. An ocoa- 
aonal lesson from my aunt supplied the refit Af- 
terwards, when grown a big bov, I had a few les- 
sons from Mr. Stalker of Edinburgh, and finally 
from the Rev. Mr. Clure. But I never acquired a 
last pronunciation, nor could I read with much pro- 
pnety. 

In other respecter my residence at Bath is marked 
by very pleasing recollections. The venerable John 
Home, author of Douglas, was then at the water- 
ing-place, and paid nerach attention to my aunt and 
to me. His wife, who has survived him, was then 
an invalid, and used to take the air in her carriage 
on the Downs, when 1 was often invited to accom- 
ranv her. But the most delii^htfid recollections of 
atkin are dated efter the arrival of my uncle. Gap- 
tain Robert Scott, who introduced me to all tne ht- 
tie amusements which suited my age, and, above 
all, to the theatre. The play was As You Like It ; 
and the witchery of the whole scene is alive in my 
mind at this moment. I made, 1 believe, noise 
more than enough, and remember being so much 
scandalized at the quarrel between Orlando and his 
brother, in the first scene, that I screamed out, 
" A' n't they brothers f - A few weeks' residence at 
hom« convinced me, who had till then been an only 
child in the house of my grandfether, that a quarrel 
between brothers was a very natural event. 

The other circumstances I recollect of rov resi- 
(knce in Bath are but trifling, yet I nevei^ecall them 
without a feeling of pleasure. The beauties of the 
parade, (which of them I know not,) with the river 
Avon winding around it. and tbe lowing of the cat- 
tle from the opposite hills, are warm in my recoUeo- 
tkxi, and are only rivalled by the splendoni^ of a 
2 



toy*ahOp aomfiwlMm near th« Oraoi^Osefye. I ]|ad 
acquired, I know not by what means, a kind pf^su- 
peratitioas terror for statuary of all kmds. No an- 
cient leonodast, or modem Calvinist, comd hav^ 
looked on the outside of the abbey church (if I mis- 
take not, the principal church at Bath is so called) 
with more horror than the linage of Jacob's Ladder, 
with all its angels, pre9ented to my infant ey^. My 
uncle efifectually combated my terrors, and formally 
introduced me to a statue ot Neptune, which per- 
haps still keeps guard.ai the skie of the Avon, where 
a pleasure boat crosses to Spring Oardeas. 
^ - After bang a year at Bath, I returned first to Ed- 
inburgh, and afterwards, for a season, to Sandy- 
Knowe ;~and thus the time whilea away till about 
my eighth year, when it was thought that sea-bath- 
ing might be of service to my lameness. • 

For this purpose, still under my aunt's protection, 
I remained some weeks at Prestonpans, a circum- 
stance not worth mentioning, excepting to record mjr 
juvanile intimacy with an old military veteran, Dal- 

S9tty by name, who had pitched his tent in that Ut- 
e villi^e, after all his campaigns subsisting upon 
an ensign's half-pav, though called by oourtesy,a 
cwtain. As this old gentleman, who had been in 
all the German wars, found, very few to listen to his 
tales of mihtary feats, ha formed a aort of alliance 
with me, and I used invariably to attend him for 
the pleasure of hearing those communications. 
Sometimes our conversation turned on the Ameri- 
can war, which was then raging. It was about the 
time of Burgoyne's unfortunate expedition, to whic)^ 
mF captain and I augured difi*erent conclusions. 
Somebody had showed me a map of North Ame^i^ 
ca, and, struck with the rugged appeara.nce of tW 
country, and the quantity of lakes» 1 expressed some 
doubts on the subject of the geiieral's arriving safe- 
ly at the end of his journey, which wers very mdig- 
nantly refuted by the captain. The news of the 
Saratoga disaster, while it gave me a little triumph, 
rather shook my intimacy with the veteran.* 

* BciLlut tfrii rEftpr&n, 1 (mind finjotlu>r aj)^ at Pcnt^oDDans, k 

odiffTfltyrt ti) t^n) Ittnf, buL rt?Ur^ utton bii ilKleiwnrtent praiiuftjr, 
ADii f crterftlhf rfltidinf n^Ar DuikJon. Ha liuil irujr of Lhow pq- 
CUNAnUeitf orttimtJiL^r wbitcfa luuij flfterwunl* f trip.^f lu d? vtlop ib 
thi5 thanjcUircf Jurnthftfl OlriSufk. It im ^trr otl''r (hfli rhocitrh 
[ mm unDDOjeinui 4if aiiF Ojinc in wlijrh I iinfiJv f*^i^*^A Van 
mawtrrv of niT okl (ti»:uH- tbe re««nyat»oi! wm n^ivnhclos* dv 
tecietl luj^ G^^uri^Cli^lntk^n, Eflft , «alii:Ll.ur, UiiHtuD. ftmuliiJ fncDd, 
bdil] uTinv falhnr tinJ Mr. Ccwtftt»(h>, *nd who antrmed t^% mi 
lib' iVii'ruf, lifird H rnf;di^!f , thut I rriuil m-r-A* lie the amhorf)! 
thi' Aiiitiqi>B]7, cjni^ h« rf'eDgniaiHl Jhe port/aiit (if Gwtjje Cod- 
cM^ble. fiui mf fririni ti-^orB* wa* m\ tt* cbtiid^d ud efi-^tnjr to 
^ftiuiaciXini:! itf hu nuin'Hjiili&tJ^^ ^oiikbama. On the contriir), 
r rather iiiiiv»?t ih^E he had n.ien>i'-rA»€ f«nny Auni J^^ony. w&j 
e*vri rh*>n wii h nio»cli^nurilij| wn^tri. thdufli Hou^Hbat iwJ- 
virii/i'vl in ^tn>- To \^im nU^^v iit' kipr Ijlif^ibfi hnt1 Ihc Grmle^^t 
mn>'t T^>i1^l I isvat iAw, ojhl ihaniihiU- wjuUl Ikj mjincitfiiUir itharp 
\s\»'i\ «Ik^ \\nA « tuindr Is^r Gi'ni'ral Udmvkiur wn^ j^uiiltf I aud 
!fl[h Irkiv Hni<fitvTT thiv tiiichf \i^y 1 ilrrh\ij pv En-nt ^H\ of cua- 
fHti» irirt^firviition tK*™ ^mit^ Cuosl/itiJiv VrjlS rit lliiii «iHf tw- 
■iu- 1 . ri I hi ai}j T>vn rdi^ VI k wit) ronitn n t ly ) <bilHud«rLar elUiuI my 
aui r, (trfd tjf i^tmr-i: inrj^ kind U* inc. Jit wfls Vim fifit r^n^on 
vi\»\ ti*k! TTifl aJdmi rnl^ta-ffacid Hoipjittr, anri othesTrhnjupfi-fs tq 
f¥H Lr: ^imurt^. WIjaE uIpq T arinM^i^ kithahi L fcnOW miL lint t imwit 
baii: :iriii'iMi.>j (rori]t>. fnr f r<*ni«nbenaite Well Uijnu icit'j'irvitiMl 
«n L|«! *iito^'i f Imlefd, t mthai tiwwc^t Ihai fJiiddrt2« jinnv*' im- 
pu^^t'^ ufji jj^i^^crfkil aiid imiNJitiinl kiud In bcttrtnir ibinpi \^hJrJi 
thfv ^^aTino( cijiEin'I.F cflrtiprehK-mJ ^ nftd, l>ipfi?fiirt?. ijait to i*TilO 
dcfiFn to ^'.tiitdrvtt'B tiiidr-rttjinihh? ii a miitahf k a* i liirxii on ih« 

E fit, anil ^i ih«ni cueaia it uul, T<r mtum Lq Urfs/itn Htxmti- 
, ] kn'^w hiiti wpII al a. m(j,rb laua- vvfiiy^ Il« tuiNf dway» to 
e at my Jlkibi-^'ji Jioum m ft i4un<lar. and wnf aal]1(lrlIl^d lo 
(Sin tlio conWiMtlofi wit frf" tba aiuU^ra #iml CatvtuSKw (uflif, 
whirh ri qirinllf fiiajqtaiued (ill lliMtdBf rtri^xi «utfl*fcuc.f haiiofr. 
w mikl 9ai«?yoiA Ba njin^hibenvt lUt' foptir fivt^ oud Hukl oitojr 
tjcfi'^llpnt qtrvrii'fir all wItJi a Atrrjuf iTa»h of a v>^i^Jjliai anuliP 

hrl'i"'Uf. 

■fdi Uun Ki'pfiMif the Sriffiei; srid I wmmilmr (ii* flBUKTina 
iind 4'. ,riH" I JJtg TOO U tfo indiicw llirse- A wtiIi i a upijitriiUc^q witli 
ibe Kntifj(?r oftliy 9\^^i. w Jsu^' liAst oEni?c!T k^ii m iiitjn3<^rE— 
rt Vfi* an Tivrfril ewnt. ThitliiTr, hoM^<?vr^ J wi-iti Aillt wnii! ■','- 
etvt'«]irtctatii3Autfttrjiti.tJmtfnf{:orhlH;in?t. Mr. Zi. liMctAitm 
wtv>M^ tAAta int'-UiH-'i] Itim to Uw anojr, to ^•htr'h bis l^ibcr. wbo 
bail deilrDod him ibr tfan Laj, laic tt mow^ UEt^v|]Iin« fmaenL 
He ifiLb at thit tima a jcjun^ omr^iri 4ii'l Ij4* nn^l t Inrtinf the twQ 
Hsititra to iifof^ed hi Uieir otiai aa thi>f Hea**;;dn m**v onw 
OliF'ruvl oLir iTJOuthdi eilVn^T lo tJwm tir porb ollior. Thu Pf»innhTit: 
&[|M ijon hr^r^^aud unfuminntely to tmconK} rbe Usenw oi' Uicjf 
cQijivmnuon, wlinn PqanTailih aufd in jc»(. *' NojWt Jnftn, i^l itad 
jtti a piMk Ihit oDilbi^r of ttt«ie t*t] lnd*ifei^ bcfurt* <^ iJjg 
Pnura^iiUe iSftficli&n."-'^ ^ot heii)i^i>ti*[i>l?0!fl)m«rHiii!i*J<afr 
Haid John Darifbufi ; ' T w«i)d lite 18 ••» n»iti'^ flind ivith « 



to 



issf^omwBJWiXBmRiBaocr. 



tiom Pfe0tofep«iii I Wis fMnspottMl iNMikKnnr 

filtber's house in Oeorffcrf Souare, Whieh (xnitinBed 
to bd fay most establisned plaoo of ramdened, anti 
> ray mamage in 1797. 1 Mt the change from beinK 
a aingle indulged brat, to becoming a member of a 
large family, very aererely; fbr under the gentie 
government of my kind grandmother, who was 
meekness itself; and of my aunt^ who, tboagh of a 
higher temper, was excecwlingly attached to me. 1 
had acquired a degree of license which could mjtibe 

Eermitted in a large family ; 1 had sense enoofith, 
owever, to bend my temper to my new circum- 
stances ; but sQch waa the agony which 1 internaHy 
experienced, that I have guarded against nothing 
more in the education of. my o#n fiimily, than 
. against their acquiring habits of self-willed caprice 
and domination. I found much consolation during 
this period of mortification in the partiaUty of my 
mother. She joined, to a light and happy tem- 
per of mind, a strong turn to study poetry and 
works of imagination. She was sincerety ^vout, 
but hdr religion was, as became her sex, of a cast 
fsss austere than ray father's. Still, the discipline 
of the Presbyteinan Sabbath was severely strict, 
and I think mjudicionsly so. Although Banyan's 
Pilgrim, Gtesner's Death of Abel. Rowe's Letters, 
ana one or two other books, whkm, for that reason, 
I still have a favour fiYr, were admitted to relieve cne 
gloom of one dull sermon succeeding to another- 
ttiere was far too much tedium annexed to the du- 
ties of the day; and, in the end, it did none of us' 
any good. 

My week-day ta»ks were more agrseaUe. My 
fineness and roysolrtarv habits had made me a 
tMerable reader, and my hours of leisure were usu- 
ally spent in reading aloud to my mocker Pops^s 
transtalion of Homer, which, exx^ting a few tra- 
ditionary ballads, and the songs in Allan Ramsay's 
Evergreen, was the first poetry which 1 penised. 
My mother had a good natural taate, and great feel- 
ing : she ttsed to maks me pause upon those passages 
which expressed generous and worthy sentiments, 
and if ahe could not divert me from those which 
wore descriptive of battle and tumult, she contrived 
at least to divide my attention, between ^nL My 

2wh enthusiasm, however, was chiefly awakened 
y the wonderfuL and the terrible— the common 
taste of children, but in wfaidi I have remained a 
child f'T^'iri - ■ t . t! '. ' ,,. T got by heArl, not as a 
tnak, biii u I . , fending it, the passages 

wiih wiiich I )^'uA iTiJi^t pli.used, ana used to recita 
thi*m n loud I boih whfn aUine and to others — more 
Willi n;?Ij', howev^er, in my hi>iirs of solitude, for I had 
oWrvi'J ugme nudjtofi^ »rmUu and I dreaded ridicule 
at th tu Li mn of liffi «inre ihn r I have ever done since. 
In [1775] i wa*i nmt I*? tlie second class of the 
Gruiumiir School, or Hii^h School of Edinburgh, 
Ihtw taujLjht by Mr. Luk*' Praser, a good Latin 
scholurT and a vpry worthy iiian. Though I had re- 
cijivtKl wjTb aiylirofht're.in firivatc, lessons of Latin 
frriiji Mr Jhuik^^ Fr^DcU, now a miniater of the 
Kirkof Srwilmid, I wns, ^nevertheless, rather behind 
^ the 1 1. IBS in which ! wn.i pfaced both in years and 
111! ^^if^Ttj^i. Thit? •vi.fi.^ :i Ti:ii\ dissdvantagG, and one 
to which a boy of lively temper and talents Ought 
to be as little exposed as one who might he less ex- 
pected to make up his lee-way, as it is called. The 
situation has the unfortunate effect of reconciling a 
boy of the former character (which, in a posthu- 
mous work, I may claim for my own) to holding a 
subordinate station among his class-fellows— to 
which he would otherwise affix disgrace. There is, 
also, from the consiimtion of the High School, a 
certain danger not sufficiently attended to. The 
boys take precedence in their places, as they are 
called, according to their merit, and it requires a 
jonff while, in general, before even a clever bov, if 
he falls behind the cla^s, or is put into one for which 
he is not quite ready, can force his way to the situa- 

voice of thofider, he aaked hk son the fatal quettion. A» yoang 
p. modeitlj miowed be knew notbiof about it. bii Iktbcr droto 
km fhim tbo table tn a rafo. and I abeoonded during the eonfu- 
aioo: aw couid Conitable over bnof me back afoin to bit friond 



ffinr^vAidlr|^fc'ihai^i^ iiuillf^qititb sbipa to MiT 
c, iifeilM meuriffW^'ho i» nmK»$vnfM to wpm- 
ifaa ttMOci&ie and'CoiiuianiDi»x>f ihoae inferior i|^- 
rilS'with whom ho is pkcod ; fcr the nyBtom of pnei- 
cedenoe, thon|(h itiddes noi limit jifae gofioral intei^- 
oourso among the boya^ has, neverth^Ms, the eflbcC 
of throwing tkem into efaiba'end coteries, ftccotdioor 
to the vkmiCy of the seats they hold. Aooyofgootf. 
talents, thesefore, placed, erc^ for a time, amofttf^ 
Me inferiors, especiaily if they be also his oldera| 
learns to participate in their i^rsuils and objecta oF 
ambition, wkkn are usually very distinct from, tho 
acquisidon of leaninig ; and it wiU be well if he doaoi 
not also imitate thsm in that indifference which im 
contented with bustluwc over a lesson< so as to avoicl. 
punishment, witfaomamctingaupoiiority, oraiininiK 
at reward. It was probably owing to this otrcum*- 
stance that, although at a more advanced period oT 
life I hav« eoiovied considerabla laciUty in acqiiilios 
languues, I did not nmke any great figure aft the 
High School—or, at least^ any exertions which JL 
made vrere desultory, and tittle to be depended on. 

Our class contained some very excellent scholara. 
The first Dux was James Buohan, who retained 
his honoured place afanost without a day's interval, 
all the while we were at the High School* Ha ^i 



1 giaDoea hkc a meteor from one ena ot 
the other, and commonly di(Kttsted najr 
r as nmeh by negligence and filvolity, mm 
ily pleased iutn by flaahos of intellact and 



afterwards at the head of the medical staff in Eg^^ 
atid in expoaing himself to the plague infectiom, hgr 
attending the hosDitals there, displayed the same 
well-regiilated ana gentle, yet determined perse> 
verance, which placed him most worthily at th« 
head of his school^fellows, while many kds of Uve- 
het parts and dispositions held an inferior statioa. 
The BSKt best scfaolara ised lomgo mUrtaUoi weiw 
mv' friend David Douglas, the hair and i(h» of the 
celebrated Adam Smath, and James Hopei n^w a, 
Writer to the* Simiat, both since wall known ajid 
distinguished in Oieir departments of • the biw. Am 
fbr myself, I glaneed kke a meteor from one end Oif 
the class to the other, and commonly di( 
kind maeter as nmCh ' 

I occasionaily pleased ^ 

talent. Among nty companions, my gobd fiatnn^ 
and a flow of ready insagmation, mnderpd me venr 
Mopular. Boya are tmcdmraonlv Just in their feei^ 
mgs, and at least equally gencroua. My lameaeaai, 
and the efibrts which I made to supply that diMid<> 
vaniaj^ by making up m addveas what I warned 
in acQvtty, engaged the latter principle in mv-fii^ 
vours and in tlie winter play hours, wnen hani ex- 
ercise was impoBsihle, my mles used to assemble 
an admiring aadience round Luckie Brown's fire- 
tide, and happy waa he that could sit next the inez- 
hanstihle narrator, i was, also, though Often negli* 
gent of my own task, always ready to assisl mj 
friends, and hence I had a little party of stannoQ 
partisans snd adherents, stout of nana and heart, 
though somewhat dull of head, the very tools for 
raising a hero to eminence, so, on the whole. I 
made a brighter figure in the farda than in the 
claw* ^ 

My father did not trust our education solely to omr 
High School lessons. We had a tutor at home, 
S young man of an excellent disposition, and a la* 
borious student. He was bred to the Kirk, but un- 
fortunately took such a very strong torn to fanati- 
cism, that he afterwards resigned an excellent living 
in a seaport town, merely because he could not per- 
suade the mariners of the guilt of setting sail of a 
Sabbath,— in which, by the by, he was less likely to 
be successful, oa, cmtcria parwust sailors, from an 
opinion that it is a fortunate omtm, always choose 
to weigh anchor on that day. The cnlibrs of this 
young man's understanding may be judged of by 
this anecdote ; but in other respects, he was a faith- 
ftUand active instructor; and from him chiefly I 

• I read, not long «mee. in that autheotjc record called the 
Percy Anecdotes, that I had been educated at Miuaettmrih 
aehona. where I had beendittincuished aa a»ahM>lulediaaoe«ool]r ' 
Dr. Bjair, Msauff fkrUicr tnio the milbtoae, bad pronouooed theiv 
wa« Ore 10 It. I never was at MusMlbarah eqiiool in mr Uie. 
and thoufffa I have met Dr. Blair at mr Atner*i and ebewbero. 1 

B never had the geod furtone to attract Kb notiee. to mrknowledgew 
7,1 waa oever a duooe. nor thoaafat to be ao, bat an iaoar 



XrtPiS h^itB, WALTfeR SCbtt" . 



a 



l^anied writiBg tnd tnthmetic. I repeated to him 
my Froncli lessont, tnd studied wiih lum my 
theiqeaiii the claMics, but not elasaically. I tUBo 
acquired, by disputing with him, for this he readily 
Mrvittedy some knowledge of school-divinity and 
qhurch-history, and a great a<»vaintanee^ in partica* 
lar, with the old books desonbing the early history 
of the Church of Scotland, the wars and. sufferings 
of the Covenanters, and so forth. I, with a head 
on i&re for chivalry, was a Cavalier : my friend was 
a Roundhead; I was a Tbr7, and he was a Whig. 
I hated Presbyterians, and admired* Montrose with 
his victorious Highlanders I he. liked the Presbyte- 
rian Ulysses, the dark and politic Argvle \ so that 



Adnm, enf^oiimW a snviif^e fcUo w^ called NicoL one 
of (ill? ur]dermaB(er^ iii int»itlliiiii ma person and au- 
ihontv. This uinn whji an exdJuUcnt cla^'tdcal acho- 
lar^ ami an admirable coiwivin] humourist i t which 
\fiiUr qualiiy recomriuniJed him lo tho frietidnb5p 
at Burn 1:4 1] but 'nunhk^fi, dnmkori, atid inhuman* 
\y c rufil to the boys unrJer bis charge. Hij carried 
my frud agmnflt the Ht^cior whhin an itirh yl &^ 
i*(\jf^\n^i\i}n, for he way Ian J apdi kufickc-'d litai dawn 
tij ih^ dark. The favour whirh thja >vorUiiesB nval 
iiliiaMiefJ m Ihe lowu-eouncii led to mher conw- 
ijijr jK'oe.^ which for soim^ time tloijjjed poor aid am' a 
hii[i[»inff*(H eimi loir fame. Whtin the French Ri^yo- 
liiLiftii lin>keoLit, and pariied ran hi^b in approvinif 



we never wanted subjects of dispute, out our dis- , orcundt inning it, the doctor mcauti*ualif jmnqi ihe 



putes were always amicable. In aU these tenets* 
.there was no real conviction on my part, arising out 
of acquaintance with the views or principVes of either 
party : nor had ray antagonist address enough to 
turn the debate on such topics. I took ud my poli- 
tics at that period as King Charles II. did his reli* 



forn^^r "rhU was Vtriy PHtuml; fpt as uU lua idtaa 
Lif exisiin^ (invef nuientd were derived from hia lx- 
pgritincu uf the to^'Ji-cu until oJ Edinburgh, it must 
bo adirtUtwi they ecarce brooked compitrijinn wi(h 
the frtie stattfl uf Ij^me and Greetje, from winch 
he bnrrowed bis opinionE^ c(iiicerpiii« rppubhcd. 



gion, from an idea that the Cavalier creed was the His wani of caution tn apcakmit on ibt pohiical 
more gentlemanlike persuasion of the two. lopirs of the day, lost huii the respect of the boy^ 

After having been three years under Mr. Fraser, : most *jf wh^jm were oceuatomerJ lo hear very dif- 
our class was^ the usual routine of the school, I fertnt ofMnjonson im^a mntttra m (hf bosom of 
turned over toDr. Adam, the Rector. It was from rhtir fonniirs. Thjs. bow'^JvL-ri {which wne lotig af. 
this respectable man thall first learned the value < ter my time,) paaaed away with oibtHT heata oi tho 
of the knowledge I had hitherto considered only as' p^^rbd, and the doctor conimncd his labour? ttil 
a burdensome task. It was ihe fashion to remain | ahtnit a year sinL-e, when be was struck with |iiil#y 
two years at his class, where we read Cesar, and v\hde tcachmg bi» dass. He sun^ivert a few day^ 
livy, and Sallust, in prose ; Virgil, Horace, and ' but bt^iTotiiinK dthnounbtrbite his dia»oluhon, con- 
Terence, in verse. I hatj by this time mastered, in - '- "' '' ""■^ ■*'" " -"^"'"''^ ""'' ^^*'"' """"" -'"r«»- 



, _ ^ jadby ^ , __ 

some degree, the difficulties of the language, and 
began to be sensible of its beauties. This was real- 
ly gathering grapes from thistles; nor shall I ! soon 
forget the swelnng of my little pnde when the Roc- 
tor pronounced, that though many of my school- 
fellows understood the Latm better, ChmUfrua 
Scott was behind few in following and enjoying the 

Sthor's meaning. Thus encouraged, I distinguish- 
myself by some attempts at poetical versieps 
from Horace and Virgil. Dr. Adam used to invite 
his scholars to such essays, but never made them 
tasks. I gained some distmction upon these occa- 
sions, and the Rector in future took much notice 
of me, and his judicious mixture of censure and 

{»raise went far to counterbalance my habits of indo- 
ence and inattention. I saw I was expected to do 
well, and I was piqued in honour to vindicate my 
master's favourable opinion. I climbed, therefore, 
to the first form ; ana though I never m^de a first- 
rate Latinist, my schoolfellows,. and what was of 
more QpnsiMuenee, I myself, considered that I had a 
character for learning to maintain. Dr. Adam, to 
whom I owed^ so much, never failed to remind me 
pf my obligations when 1 had made some fig;ure 
in the Uterary worid. He was, indeed, deeply im- 
bued with that fortunate vanity which alone could 
induce a man, who has arms to pare and bum a 
muir, to submit to the yet more toilsome task of 
cultivating youth. As Uatholics confide in the im- 
puted righteousness of their saints, so did the goond 
old doctor plume himself upon the success of his 
scholars in life, all of which he never failed (and 
often justly) to claim as the creation, or at least 
the fruits, of his early instructions. He remember- 
ed the fate of every boy at his school during the 
fiftv Years he had superintended it, and always tra- 
ced their success or misfortunes entirely to their at- 
tention or negligence when under his care. His 
" noisy mansion,^^ which to others would have been 
a mefancholy bedlam, was the pride of his heari ; 
and the only fatigues he felt, amidst din and tumult, 
and the necessity of reading themes, hearing les- 
sons, and maintaining some degree of order at the 
same timft were relieved by comparing himself to 
Caesar, who could dictate to three secretaries at 
once J— so ready is vanity to lighten the labours of 
duty. 

It is a pity that a roan so learned, so admirably 
adapted ibr his station, so useful, so simple, so easi- 
ly contented, should have had other subjects of 
mortification. But the magistrates Qf Edlnbunb, 
not knowhig the treasure they podi^^ssed in Dr. 



ceived he was stid m school, and after forae eiprea- 
8ions of applause or censure, he iaid^ ", Bui it i?rowa 
dark— ihe boy« may dtBtiiiiis"— and m&tantly e*- 

From Dr. Adiim'» class I should, aocordinfitfjtba 
usiial roittinej have T?roceeded imtiioditttdy to col- 
lege. But. fortunately. 1 was not yet to lomf, by a 
to La I disrjnsaion from cotii*traiiit, me aCTQuauitaiice 
with the Latin which I had BL'quir^^d. My heahk 
had bt^ome rather dtllcate from r Jtpvd ^towih, afjd 
tny father was ea^dy persuaded lo -illow metii sptind 
half a year nt Kelso with my kind aunt. Miss J**"^^ 
Scott, wbo^ inmaU] 1 a^sm beciitne. It was hard* 
ly worth mLniionini? ihut I had frequently visited 
her du rill*! our short vatta lion 9- . _, 

At ihiy* time i*he resided in a small bouse, situated 
very ph'ftftJintlv iti a lar^e garden, to the eastward 
Lif xhe chnrchvard of Kdeo, which extended down lo 
ill c Tweed . 1 1 w as then m y fa th e r* ■ property, fro tn 
whom it WHS afterwards piirchojae^ by niy nncic* 
My p'indmother waa now dead* nud my aunt s only 
com|jatiioii, besides an oldi itiaid-Ber^'anti waa.jisy 
conavn, Mje^ Barbara Scalt, now 5ff"^ Meil^^ My 
lijvie was here Ipfl entirely to mv own disDoaol, eJt- 
ceptm{^ for about four hours in the da?, when 1 was 
f ipected to attend tb« grajnuiar-Echool of the ul- 
lage. The luaeher ut that imw was Mr Lonttlot 
\N^ilftv nn excellent ciaBeicnl scholar, a humouriat, 
nod a worthy man. Ho had u snprtmy aiiiipaihy 
to tlie piuie which his very unconimitn namti iVe- 
queritly save risQ lo ; ineonmch, thai he roade his 
flon spell I he word WWe, whieh only f>ccosioneri tho 
voung man beiuH mckustncd tht; Ptinrt ttf JVijJen 
by (lie military mess to which he bt longed. As for 
Whale, ajnior, the kaflt allusion Jlo Jonah, ot ijia 
lerndnR him on odd fish* or any Hiiiiiar quibbitj 
WEii? sure 1 put hini bfeidt;* him^^i'lf* In poitii: oi 
knowlcilyc and la^te, he was far ^wi^uod mrtlu^ si- 
tn^iiion he hehii. which on\y required that he should 
^ive his scholars a rou^h foimdation in the Laiin 
lantjungp. My lime wiili hirn^ Iheugb flhorl, was 
spent Krt^ntly to my advantage and his gratification. 
He was 4^1 ad toeacape to Pcrsius and TQcitus frorn 
the eternal Rudiments and CorndiuB Ncpos ^ and 
na pcirusmg these authorj>) wjih one who began to 
imdcr^land them was lohirn a labour of love> Im^do 
coiisidLTfthiL' pr ogre we under iiia inBiructi&na. I 
^ti^pectf indeed, that eome of the time dedicated lo 
me wa>« withdrawn from the lutttruction of bis more 
rcjfular *t( hokr^ : bul 1 was os^^ateful a a I could* 
I Rctfid ai^ utfther, and heard Urn in^cnor cbiisf ft, and 
I spontttl the speech of Gali^tricu^i nt lUn jiuMje irx- 
aminaiJon, which did no I make tlic less iniprussioa 



IS 

01) the audience, llidt f^w of them prabubly undtr- 
vtood one woTiJ of iL 

In ibe mean wbiU dit actjaaliitance witb Engiliah 
titeratLi/« was Rradui»l1y «xt<?Tidinf; if self. In (h4 
iniervaJs <)f my school howra I had alway* r«ruw?ti 
KFJth avidity suph books of history or poetry, or 
voya^t* and travcK as chance pre*? o tea to mc— 
not fofgettmif ih^ vimaL or r^Jhor ren tiiri^^ tbe 
uauaJn qaantiiyof fjiiry laks, easternstorieri, roin :i ri- 
ce r. ^v. Tbei»L* aluiiioB were totaJEy unregiilaud 
and nn directed* My tutor thonf,'hi ir almoin a sin 
loopooa profftjiftphry or poem; nnd my moibtT, 
btisidea thai she nn^ht be in eom^ df^rt^ irammel- 
led by the reltmous ^cttipiys whic?4i he flug^e^toti, 
hinJ no longer flit' onponuniiy to hfjjir mi- tt^d pof^t- 
ry as forijitrlv. 1 foandi howcTer, in h*^r dressing?- 
rmmi (wbcT* I slept a I one timi') some odd vohmicj 
of Shftk^eorc, nor cun I easdy forget the rap? tire 
wiib which I sate np in itiy ahirt reaudinfi ibem Uf 
thebght of a fij-e in her opni-lm^'nt, unid the hu?^tle 
of the fstitily risiiiis from Buimcr wflnn?d nj€ it wyj 
Urii** to crnacp back lo iiiy hi^^, ubere I was suppos- 
ed to have been safely depopiiL'd pince nine o'cloijk. 
Chance, however, threw m my way a rM>crical pttt- 
<;eptor. This was no otlier than the eJtccHent aod 
benevolent Dr. Blackloek, wcU-knowti ttt tbnt 
time as a Uierary chttra**tef* I know not how I 
attracted h\s attention, and that of aonte of the 
^ouol; men who boarded in hia family \ but »o it 
wan, that I hecamo » frequent and favoured (niesi. 
The kind old raan opi^ned to me the Riores of his 
librliry, and throHsih his recommendaiii'jn I berntne 
in lim a(c with Opsian and Spenser, I wri? deliRht'. d 
with botb» yet I think chiefly with the latter pf < t. 
Tlie tawdry repetition a of the Oseianic pbras^otn-y 
dt»^9ted me ralher sooner ih^n miijhl have ht-^-n 
eatpccted from my »rc. But Spenser I could h,'iv6 
read forever. Too young to troubto myself ab'^it 
the allegory, 1 ooneider«rfJ all the knight*? Mnd lodiee^ 
and draRo^H and jmanis^ in their outward end tx- 
oterHe sen^o, and &od only knows how dfhehied I 
was to fifid myself in anen socitty. Aa I had aJ- 
wayn a wonderful facility in retaining in my memory 
wbJit<f;ver vera«5 pltjasefl rne, the quantity of Spcn- 
mif'b stanzas which I rotdd repeat was really mar- 
velloua. Bui, this memory of mine was a very 
fickle nOvt and has through my whole Ufe acit'ii 
merely upon ita own capridovis moiitiDt and mijrbt 
have enabled me to adopt old Beat tie of M^.ikle- 
daJe'sBHiSWer, when eomplimf>nted by a certain tf\f^ 
rend diviue o(i th« atreneth of ibe enuit^ furuky :— 
*'Noi air," anawered the otd Borderer, " I have no 
command of my memorjf* It only retains what 
hitB my fancy, and probably, eir, if you were to 
preach to me for two hours, I would nol be ahtij 
witon yon finit<hf^d tn remember a word yoti had 
be<!n saying. '^ My memory waa prtjdsely of the 
Biimtfkind ; it seldom failed^ to preBerve most tena- 
ciously a fa vol] lite paa^iaii^ of poetry, a niayhoupe 
duly, or, above all, a Border- raid ballnd ; but 
names, dales, and the other teehnicalJtiea of hisufr\', 
escaped me in a moat melancholy de|i,T^i\ Tiie 
phdoaophy of bi*lory, m rnni^h more iinpnrtani ^uh- 
}pct, wi^ also a seaTed hunk 84 this period of njy 
life i but 1 gradually a? ambled mtich of what was 
8(hkin^ and pictufeaqiu in hiaturical narrative; and 
when in rtrjer yvar?, 1 attended more Eo the dcdnc- 
tion of pncral principles', I was fumi*hi'd with a 

fownrfwl host of e:snmple? in illtt^tratlon of ibem. 
ft'aa, in short. like nn igiLorant pamtfiter, who 
kept up a Rood hand unitf he knew how to play tt. 
I left the Hi^h School, ther'^ore, with a urtut 
qaantitv of ^reneralinformaiion, ill arrafri^edT ir^'^ 



UFE OF SIR WALTER ^COTT. 



ing my way, unleM by groping for it. My appetivi * 
for books wta as ample and m<tiflcrimmatnig as tt 
was indefatigable, and I since have had too fine- 
quently reason to repen\Uiat few ever read so much, 
and to so little purpose. 

Among the Taluable aeeinisitions 1 made about 
this time, was an acquaintance with Tasso's Jem- 
saiem Delivered^ through the flat medhmi of Mr. 
Boole's translation. But abovtf all, I then first 
became acquainted with Bishop Perqrs Reliques of 
Ancient Poetry. As I had been from mfancy devot- 
ed to legendary lore of this nature, and only reluct- 
antly withdrew my attention, from the scarcity 
of materials and the rudeness of those which I 
pos se ss e d, it may be. imagined, but cannot be des- 
cribed, with what delight 1 saw pieces of the same 
kind which had amused my childhood, and still 
continued in secret the Delilahs of my imasinatiofi, 
considered as the subject of sober research, grave 
commentary, and apt illustration, by an editor who 
showed bis poetical genius was capable of emulat- 
ing the best qnaUties of what hii pious labour pre- 
served. 1 remember well the spot where I read 
these volumes for the first time. It was beneath a 
huge platanns-tree, in the ruins of what had been 
intended for an old-fashioned arbour in the gardUn I 
have mentioned. The siunmer dav sped onward so 
fast, that notwithstanding the snarp appetite of 
thirteen, I forgot the hour of dinnen was sought 
for with aniiety, and vras still foundf entranced in 
my mtdlectual banquet To read and to remember 
was in this instance theliame thing, and hence- 
forth I overwhelmed my schoolfellows, aind all who 
would hearken to me. with tragical recitations 
firom the ballads of Bishop Percy. The first thne, 
too^ I could scrape a few shillings together, which 
were not common occurrences with m& I bought 
unto myself a copy of these beloved volumes, nor 
do I believe J ever read a book half so fVequently, 
or with half the enthusiasm. About this period 
also, I became acquainted with the works of Ri- 
chardson, and those of Mackenzie— (whom in 
later years I became entitled to call my ftiend) — 
with Fielding, Smollet, and some others of our best 
novelists. 

To this period also I can trace distinctly ^e 
awaking of that deliehtfiil feehng for the beauties 
of natural objects which has never since deserted 
me. The neighbourhood of Kelso, the most beau- 
tiful, if not the most romantic village in Scotland, 
is eminently calculated to awaken these ideas. It 
presents omects not only grand in themselves, but 
venerable from their association. The meeting of 
two superb rivers, the Twe«l and the Teviot. both 
renowned in song— the ruins of an ancient Abbey 
—the more distant veatiges of Roxburgh Castle — 
the modem mansion of Fleurs, which is so situat- 
ed as to combine the ideas of ancient baronial 
grandeur with those of modem taste— are in them- 
selves objects of the first class ; yet are so mixed, 
united, and melted among a thousand other beau- 
ties ot a less prominent description, that they har- 
monize into one general picture, and please rather 
by unison than by concord. I believe I have writ- 
ten unintelligibly upon this subject, but it is fitter 
for the pencifthan the pf n. The romantic feelings 
which I have describea as predominating in my 
mind, naturally rested upon and associated them- 
selves nnth these grand features of the landscape 
around me ; and fhe historical incidents, or traai- 
tional legends, connected with many of tnem, gave 
to my admiration a sort of intense impression of 
ijuiiiiL«i.v «j iK,i94Jcrai iiiiiririiaiinip, iii urr^ifi^^i^^ anri. -i. rcvercncc, which Bt tinics made my heart feel too 
and eoflected without svateni, yrt deeply imrTre='^i d ' big for its bosom. From this time the love of nn- 
Bpon my mind^ readily assorted by my p^jwcr of i tural beauty, more especially when combined with 
eoiincxion and memoVyt and plded, if J may be,' ancient rums, or remains of our fathers' piety or 
P*;rmitted to say so^ by a vivid and active imnirinn- • splendour, became with me an insatiable passion, 
lion. If my Biuditii w*ere not under onV dint' fi..iM which, if circumstances had permitted, I would 
ai Edinbuffib,m the country, ii may be will IniH^rir^- willinply have gratified by traveUing over half the 
ed, rhey were le^K BO. A respectable liuhs^i'rriritMi I globe, 



hbrary, a eirculathift libmry of aneii^ni piandj . 
and some rrivftTf book- shelves, were open to u\i 
ramtom perusal, and I wttd<sj into the at ream like a 
blind man into a &td, withotit the power of B«arch- 



I was recalled to Edinburgh about the time when 
the College meets, and put at once to the Huma- 
nity class, under Mr. Hill, and the first Greek class, 
taught by Mr. Dalzell. The former held the reina 



LIFE oV SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



I 



of diadplin^ wry looael/t and though beloved by 
his studenta, lor he was a sood-natured mao as 
well us a good scholar, he had not the art of azcil- 
ing our attenlioaas well as Ukiug. ThU wa^ ki dan- 
gerous character with whom to iniit oiii; wh(> ri..Utili> 
ed labour as little as I did. aud apiu'l tlw^ nut o( bjs 
class, I speedily lost much of wikii I had Iturnt d 
under Aoam and Whale. At tiie Circt4 uUk3. I 
might have made a better li«ur^ ii>r Profesaor 
Dalzell maintained a sreat di^A of adtbMriiy, aud 
was not only bimwlf o^ afltnirubic scholar, 
but was always deeply intc r^ :^t(.'d in ibe pro- 
gress of his students. But litre hy the vil^ 

lany. Almost all my corapa' - v^;- ' -^ " h 

the High School at the sanie uuic wuu luyovii, 
had acquired a smattering of Greek tbeibre they 
came to College. I, alasT had none; and findins 
myself far inferior to a|l my fellow- students, I 
oonld hit upon no better mode of vindicating my 
equality, than by proleasin^ my contempt for the 
language, and my resolution not to learn it. A 
youth who died early, himself an excellent Greek 
scholar, saw my negligence and folly with pain, 
mstead of contempt. He came to call on me in 
.George's Square, and pointed out in the strongest 
terms the silliness of the conduct I had adopted, 
told me I was distinguished bv the name of the 
Greek Blockhead^ and exhorted me to redeem my 
reputation while it was called to-day. M^r stub- 
born pride received this advice with sulky civihty ; 
the birth of my Mentor (whose name was Archi- 
bald, the son of an inn-keeper) did not, as 1 thought 
in my folly, authorize him to intrude upon me nis 
advice. The other was not sharp-sightod, or his 
consciousness of a generous intention overcame 
his re^ntraent. He onered me his daily and night- 
ly assistance, and pledged himself to brins me for- 
ward with the foremost of mv class. I felt some 
twing^es of conscience, but tney were unable to 
prevaiL over my pride and self-conceiu The poor 
lad left me more m sorrow than in anger, nor did 
we ever meet again. All hopes of my progress in 
the Greek w«re now over; insomuch that when 
we were reauired to write essays on the authors we 
had studieci, I had the audacity to produce a com- 
position, in which I weighexi Homer against Arios- 
to, and pronounced him wanting in the balance. 
I supported tnis heresy by a profusion of bad read- 
ing and flimsy argument. The wrath of the Pro- 
fessor was extremes while at the same time he 
could not suppress his surprise at the quantity of 
ou^-of-the-way knowledge which I displayed. He 

Sronounced upon me the severe sentence — that 
unce I was, and dunce was to remain— which, 
however, my excellent and learned friend lived to 
revoke over a bottle of Burgundy, at our literary 
club at Fortune's, of which he was a dislingiushed 
member. 

Meanwhile, as if to erac^cate my sljghtest tinc- 
ture of Greek, I fell ill during the middle of Mr. 
Dalzell's second class, and migrated a second time 
to Kelso— where I again continued a long time, read- 
ing what and how rpleased, and of course reading 
nothing but what afiorded me immediate entertain* 
ment. The only thing which saved my mind from 
utter dissipation, was that turn for historical pursuit, 
which never abandoned me even at the idlest pe- 
riod. I had forsworn the Latin classics for no 
reason I know of, unless because they were akin to 
the Greek, but the occasional perusal of Bucha- 
nan's hit^tory, that of Mathew Paris, and other 
monkish chronicles, kept up a kind of familiarity 
with the language even in its rudest state. But I 
forgot the very letters of the Greek alphabet ; a 
lo0s never to be repaired, considering what that lan- 
guage is, and who they were who employed it in 
their compositions. 

About this period— or soon afterwards— my father 
judged it proper 1 should study mathematics, a 
study upon which I entered with all the ardour of 
novelty. My tutor was an aged person. Dr. Mac- 
Fair, who had in his time been distinguished as a 
teacher of this science^ Age, however, and some 
domestic inconvenienoes, had diminished his pupils^ 
B 



18^ 

audi lessened his authority amongst the few wfa» 
remained. I think that had 1 been more fortanai^* 
ly idaced for instruction, or had I had the spur of 
emulation, I might have made some progress in 
this science! of which under the oircumtftancea I 
have mentioned I only acquired a very' superficial 
■smattering. ' 

In other studies I was rather more fortunate ; I ' 
made some progreee in Ethic^ under Professor 
John Bruce, and was selected aaone of his students 
whose progress he approved, to read an essajr be- 
fore PrindMil Rpbertson. I was farther instructed 
in Moral Philosophy at the class of Mr. Dugald 
Stewart, whose striking and impressive eloquence 
riveted the attentbn even of the most volatile stu- 
dent. To sum up my academical studies, I attend- 
ed the cUias of History, then taught by the present 
Iiord Woodhouselee, and, as far as I remember, no 
others, excepting those of the civil and municipal ' 
law. So that if my learning be flimsy and inaccu- 
rate, the reader mu% have some compassion even 
for an idle workman, who had so narrow a foun- 
dation, to build upon. If, however, it should ever 
fall to the lot of youth to peruse these pages— let 
such a reader remember, that it is with the deepest 
regret that 1 recollect in my manhood the opportu- 
nities of learning which I neglected in n|y youth; 
that through every part of my literary career! have 
felt pinched and hami>ered bf my own ignorance i 
and that I wotUd at this moment give nsHf the repu- 
tation 1 have had the good fortune to acquire, if by 
doing so 1 could rest the remaining part upon « 
sound foundation of learmng and science. 

I imagine my father's season for sending me to so 
few classes in the College, was a desire that I 
should apply myself ^arti(rUarly to my legal studies. 
He had not detemunAi whether 1 shoiud fill the 
situation of an Advocate or a Writer t but judicious- 
ly considering the technical knowledge of the latter 
to be useful at least, if not essential, to a barrister, 
he resolved I should serve the ordinary apprentice- 
shin of five years to his (vwn profession. I accord- 
ingly entered into indentures with myiather aboiit 
178&-6, and entered upon the dry and barren wil- 
derness of forms ah4 conteyances. 

I cannot reproach myself with being endrely an 
idle apprentice— far less, as the reader might rea- 
sonably have expected, 

" A clerk foredoom'd iny fathcr^s toul to cross." 

The drudgery, indeed, of the office I disliked, and 
the confinement I altogethef detested} but I loved 
my fatherji and I felt the rational pride and pleasure 
of rendenng myself useful to him. 1 was ambi- 
tious also ; and among my companions in labouri 
the only way to gratify ambition was to labour 
hard and well. Other circumstances reconciled 
me in some measure to the confinement The al* 
lowance for copy-money furnished a little fund for 
the menus plaisirs of the circulating library and- 
the Theatre ; and this was no trifling incentive to 
labour. When actually at the oar, no man could 
pull it harder than 1, and I reiuMnber writing up- 
wards of 120 folio pages jvith nMiterval either fqr 
food or rest. Again, th7 hours of attendance on 
the office were lightened by the power of choosing 
my own books, and reading them in my own wav, 
which often consisted in beginning at the middle 
or the end of a volume. , A deceased friend, who 
was a fellow apprentice with me, used often to ez- 

C Dress his surpnse that, after sucWe hop-step-and- 
imp perusal, I knew as much or the book as he 
ad been able to acquire from reading it in the usual 
manner.^ My desk usually contained a store of * 
most miscellaneous volumes, especially works of 
fiction of every kind, which were my supreme der 
light. I might except novels, unless those of the 
better and higher class, for though 1 read many of 
them, yet it was with more selection than might t 
have been expected. The whole Jemmy and Jennv 
Jessamy tribe I abhofred, and it reciuired the art ot 
Bumey, or the reeling of Mackenzie, to fix my at- 
tention upon a domestic tale. But all that was ad- , 
venturous and romantic I devoured without uiucSk 



H 



LIFE OP SIE WALTER fllCOTT. 



^iecfiTTiiiiatioTi, and I really believe I ho?e Tend ns 
niMnh noH3«iiae of ifaiA dfisa aa niiy man now liv- 
ifig, Kvery tiling which touched on knight-errant- 
ry wan particularly accent ablt^ to tne^ and I «ocin 
aitcmpted m imitate what I m gneaily udmired. 
My eUbriB, howtiv^ri wer*^ m tbe mannor of ih« 
tafe-teJkr, not of the bard. 

My greatest inEiiiiaie^ from the days of myftchooU 
tid^, wtiH Mr. John Irvmg^ now a Writer lo the Sip- 
nut* We lived nenr each othcrf and by joint ^ree- 
ment w^tare wont, each of us, to compose a romance 
for tho other'* amu&emen:. These legends, m 
which the martial and the iniraculou]? alwaifa pre- 
dorninatfld, we rehearsed tu eAcJi other dunng our 
walks, which were usually directed to the most 
eoliiary npota abont Arthurs Seat and i^aliabury 
Crags, Wc naturally sought sodu^iotK for w© 
were con»cioua no ^riiall degree of ridicule would 
hav*r attended our amusomcnt, if the nature of it 
had twcomo known. Whofc holidnye were ^eut 
m tfii« ■ingulflr paftiime, which cimtmued for two 
or three years* and had, 1 b<]|ief^n rio small etfwt in 
dinietinff the turn of my imagmation to the chivol* 
ro«s and romantie in poetry and proa& 

Mean whilei the trsinBlaiions of Mr. Hook hav- 
ini^ made me acquainted with Tnsso nnd Aho^to, 
Ilearnttt from hi* notee on the loiter* that the Ita- 
lian lan^itaKe coniamcd a fund of romantic lore. 
A part of my earnings waa dedicated to an Iialjati 
claps which 1 attended twice a- week, and rapidly 
acquired some proficiency. I had previou&ly renew- 
ed tind eitendod my knowledge of tho French lan- 
Ruaga, from the aame principle of romantic re- 
sea rch. TVes?a!]'ft romaticcB, the Biblioth^ue 
Bleue, and Bibhoth^quo de Rom ana, were alrtatly 
' fapuliaf to m^ and I now acquired eiiriilar iniimac y 
with the worka of Dante, boiardo, Pnlci, and other 
inaiDaai inlian ayihprs, I f)i«ti^ned alflo, like a 
ligert tipOEi evory eollection of old §on;^ or roman- 
ces which chance threw in my way, or which my 
fecruriuy wna able to discover oti the dusty i^helvF's 
of John Sibbald^a ciTcolating library m tho Par- 
liament Squiire. This eoHectaon, now dismsntkd 
nnd dtsjiiertedT contajoed ut that time many rare 
and cunouB worka, Foldgm found in such a coUec- 
^ tion» Mr. Sjbbald himaelfl a man of roup^li n*8n- 
Jiera, but of aome tasip and judgment cultivatid 
XnUBic and puelrvt and m hie shop 1 had a distant 
^iew of some litefary characlers» beaitlt's the privi- 
le-Re of ran a ao king the ii tores of old French and 
Itahaiv books, which were in Tittle demand imiong 
the bulk of ht I? ^FuhKetibers. Here 1 paw the untbr- 
tuJaaie Andrew Macdonaldi atJthor of Virnondji : 
and iief«, too, I ^aw at a distanea the honst of 
Scotland, Rnbert Hurnfl, Of the Utter I ^baLl 
I>roaeitjt]y have occasion to speak more fulij. 

1 »tn inadvertently led' to confottnd datcfl whtk I 
taJk of this r^motiH period, for, as 1 havt? no notes, 
it ia impossible for me to remember ^\ith ncniracy 
th» pfogrrsftof sTudies, if they deserve the ri^uic^ so 
irfa^tiUr and mi^tellHueoHn, But about the ^ccond 
year of my apf^reritiecEhipT niy health, which, from 
rftfid growth and other eatipe^, had (tefln liitKcrto 
xather uncertsm oM dell eatt was aflcctf-d by the 
hr»akin{f of a blo4^j^i(i>es3e|^ The resfiTiien I had to 
nnderjfo on thin oceaaion was far from a^^rteabk'. 
It wtj» Sprini?, and the ivt^athier raw und cold, yet 
I wjia confined to bed with a ain^h'' blanket, and 
hl«i andibhslerod till I scarcely had a nulso left, 1 
had all the qippetit^or a Krowin« hoy, but s^n^ rm- 
lubited any sudtenpLnce beyond what waa absoluJf- 
".' ly neccftsary for^ stippori of HHiiire-i und that in 
vceetfiblis alone. Above all, with n eon side rabte 
fli^jjo^iTiiiu to talk, J waa not ivermitted to oj^n my 
Ilii.S witbotjt one nr two old laditft who waicht*d 
iriy couch being ready at once to aousf! upon tne, 
"irripoain^ silence witn a stUly aonnd*" My only 
n fij^e was reading? nnd play me at t^h^m. To the 
romanrtrs and poriry, which I ehietly dclishted in, 
I hud fitway* added the etudy of history, especially 
as conruNjii?d with militisry evunts. I was eacon- 
I ra^ed in thi» latter atudy by a tolerable acquaint 
ance with eeoBra!phy, and by the opiiort unities 1 
hnd enjoyed whil* wi'h Mr, Mae Fait to learn the 



meaning, of the mor^ ordinary temiB of fi>ctifte%; 
tioQ. While, therefore, I lay In tUpb dreary and 
silent solitude, I fell upon the resouroe of iUnstrat- 
\ng the battles I read of bv the childish expedient 
of^arranging shells, and seeds, and pebbles, so as to 
represent encountering armiea. Duninutive croda^ 
bows were contrived (o mimic artillery, and with 
the assistance of a friendly carpenter, I oontriyed 
to model a fortress, which, like that of Utacle Toby, 
represented whatever place happened to be upper- 
most in my imagination. I /ought my way tbii« 
through Vertot's Kniglss of Malta— a book which, 
as it hovered between history and romance, waa 
exceedingly dear to me; and Orme's interesting 
and beautmil Histo^ of Indostan, whose copious 
plans, aided by the clear and luminous explanations 
of the author, rendered my imitative amusement 
pecuharly easy. Other moments of these weary 
weeks were spent in looking at the Meadow Walks, 
by assistance of a combination of mirrors so ar- 
ranged that, while lying in bed, I could ^see the 
troops marcn out to exercise, or any other incident 
which occurred on that promenade. 

After one or two relapses, my constitution recover- 
ed the infury it had sustamed, thoiXgh for several 
months aifterwardsl was restricted to a severe ve- 

Setable diet. And 1 roust say, in passing, that 
[tough I gained health under this necessary restric- 
tion, yet it was far from being agreeable to me^ and 
1 was aflfected whilst under its influence, with a 
nervousness which I never fell before or since. A 
disposition to start upon slight alarms— a want 
of decision in feeling and acting, which has no\ 
usually been my failing— an acute sensibility to tri- 
fling inconveniences— and an unnecessary apprehen- 
sion of contingent misfortunes, rise to my memorv 
as connected with my vegetable diet, allhougn 
they may very possibly nave been entirely the reaiilc 
of the disorder and not of the cure. Be this aa it 
may, with this illness I bade farewell both to di^- 
ease and medicine, for since that time, till tha 
hour I am now writings I have enjoyed a state of 
the most robust health, having only had to com- 
plain of occasional headaches or stomachic afiec- 
tions, when I have been lonfi without taking exer- 
cise, or have lived too convivially— the latter hav- 
ing been occasionally, ihoiieh not habitually, the 
error of my youth, as the former has been of mjr 
advaQced lue. 

My frame gradually became hardened with my 
constitution, and being both tall and muscidarf 1 
was rather disfigured than disabled by my lameness. 
This personal disadvantage did not prevent me from 
takinjs much exercise on horseback, and making 
long journeys on foot, in the course oi which I often 
walked from twenty to thirty miles a-day. A dis- 
tinct instance occurs to me. I remember walking: 
with poor James Ramsay, my fellow apprentice, 
now no more, and two other fnends, to breakfast at 
Prestonpans. Wc spent the forenoon in visiting the 
ruins at Scton, and the field of battle at Preston — 
dined atPrestonoans on tiled haddocks^ very sump 
tuously— drank naif a botilc of port each, and re- 
turned in the evening. This could not be less than 
thirty miles, nor do I remember being at all fatigued 
upon the occasion. 

These excursions on foot or horseback, formed by 
far my most favourite amusement. I have all my 
life delighted in travelling, though I have never en* 
joyed that pleasiu'e upon a lar^e scale. It was a 
propensity which 1 sometimes indidged ao unduly, 
as to alarm and vex my parents. Wood, water, 
wilderness itself, had an inexpressible charm ibr me^ 
and I had a dreamy way of going much further than , 
I intended, so that unconsciously my return waa 
protracted, and my parents had sometimes serioua 
cause of uneasiness. For example, I once set put 
with Mr. George Abercromby,^ (the son of the im- 
mortal General,) Mr. William Clerk, and some 
others, to fish in the lake above Howpte, and the 
stream which descends from it into the Eek. Wa 
breakfasted at Howgate, and fished the whole day « 



* MowLofdAbarciomlqF.-Hl 



laa^le 



tA»)£op^ mi WAi-rtil' sdoW-. 



«M|wfiiT>? W6. wwrt ott <yw Pefurn neit mornmtL 1 
ymtiifiiy seduced by WHliam Ciprk, tht-Q a gfcat 
wamftitH ti> visit P^^nnytink Hoii&(\ the seat of his 
wMiIf. Here he and John Irvinjf, und 1 for thtir 
8^& wojfti over w hi till *i<i wirh kindnea* by the late 
» /*H-!? Y^'*"L?*^^ ^'* *'*^^>^ ^^« pr«ieiit Dowflijer 
i**dy tiefk. The pkflmire of lookiug at fine pir- 
torea ihe beaut j^ of Lbe plaeo, and the flat tering hoK- 
pitalitvof the owner?, dfowued all rccoljecuoti of 
Home tot A day or two. M»--afiwhiip our compan- 
wnB, who liad wfllkt>d on without ttcirjK aware of 
ourdjgrcjes.km, retgrued t<i Edinburgh without us, 
MideiaK-d no HmaJI alarm m my farher** bou9.> 
noKl. At kncih, however, ihey became accustomi^i 
to my tampaifes. My fn I her used to protest tome 
on Bucli occR«ipn9, that he thought I was? bom to be 
a etrollmg ptdlar, and though the prediction was 
mtetiHH to limtttiv nijrtJoneeK, I am nut sure that l 
altmctier dishltt^ii. J waff now familinr ^ith 
onat aptan*, and though t of An t oly c ua* a aonij— 

»* Jog oQ, j^ on, th«» foot.p4th way, . 

Aiw lafliTijf b£i]G the iMi:l«-)i : 
A iwerry h»r:g(»a «Il the day. 

loar Bad urchin a flUic-a." , 

My priiicq>«r obpjsct in these ejieuf«ions wfl# the 
pjAaButv ol setim;^ romantic aceijciy, or what afibrd- 
ed hjc at feiwt eijual pleast^r^ the places which bad 

fA®-^T^!?^ ^'^^^ .ivfueh I re^mied the former of 



Iw^rj- V i^ T'l* '^"""^T ine places wmcn nad 

i?.tj W^ ''''^' "fiieh I reffaniod the former of 
coiuw? hfid general opprobati6n, btit I often foimrt it 
$u ?Jr I '^ '"^^*^"'V*'"'P**^^ *i^ ^^ tntereai I 
5k i^^ij ^n '^^' X^^ ^*^ ^^ ^^« wandt^rinff over 
xae neld of Ban nock horn woa the ftotirce of more en- 
?21l5f*' ^''^^/^^*^ ^i^^"? ^a^ing upon liw. cdcbrat^d 
Undflcape from the battiftmenta of Stirling <ro«tIe 
J do not by awy means infer that 1 waa dead to the 
5S;3?***f^^'^^"''*'^"*'^^"^n'? ^" the contrary, few 

Sintl nthTI*;' '" ^^^P^hcnd how tha one bore 
yp#n thcH other, lo t^anmat^ the effect which irarjous 

Kjneral elToct. hav* never, mdo.5, been capiibl« 

^I'lf/^-'^^T.^'^'^'' '^ f'**' '° amend ana aYranse 
HJ SSS^""' ideas uDon the aubjeet. Even tlu^ hum^ 
«il#!^E*'''^T^i'*'^'^n ' ^'^^P cheriflhed, of m,ikin<r 
?f fit* f '^'''^^ P^^r** ^^'""^ tnteroaied me, from 
a defect of eye or of hand, waa fotatJy mu/TecmaL 
i^i1!;lu"'' f"^^^' and many .fTorta, I w-a« unableto 
apply IbejefementEi of pcrspp^jtive or of shade to the 
S08neM<>^^ me andwa« Dbh^od to fehnqniah in 
dejiair an art which I waa racjit anxiona to prac^ 
twe- Biit show im^ an old cnBtle err a field of b^ttk 

ffrli.T^^ ,f - ^''''*^ ^^ ""'^' ^'^ ^1 «'if»» ita com- 
«fi w 1^ proper costume, ami ov^-whrtlmed 

my heartra by %le enthnaiasm of my deaf ription 
In^CTosam^ Ma^u. Moor, near St iiidf^wr?he 

tu>n of th. Archbishop of St, Andrew., to »nme fel- 

i» Ji?'^' Pf^ t^tad mf narratjye had frmhtened 
djfl^nction between a senM of (he pi«fiij«Mue in 

t£^l7tii?/ rr "^"'^^ ''^^^""cceBathepnntipleaof 
i^il'.H l^frS^T^^f ^^ '"'^'? r^ferer.r^ to ita 
^ m-Jl«l f r "^ featnn^, or under aoine alliance 
wth moral f,M,Jjnc J «r>d ev»^n thia profifnenoy has 
coat me ^ludy, ivft:anwhr[e I tmdeavcitred tS maki 
?2Si^^/j" il'^^ i|?norancoof drawing, by adopting 

Dttekj and I intended to have a if.n of ehfw/men 
outjof them, each baying referenee to hTphc" 
gbere^t waaeut-aa the kmga fh>m pSlkinrnnd 

^atCKiofeatoDi ihe bishops froitt abbf JorLS- 
^I paJHcc^; the knrsbia from baronial resi/e^ 
c^tf the io<jk# 6^^ royal forti-aimw r tind ihepa wni^ 



If 

eenerally from placee worthy of hiatorical not*. But 
^hmwhnnsKal desifen I never carried mto eieciitioB 
y^ tth niusic it waa e^en worae than wilh pamuoff" 
My mother was aujtioufi we ahould nt leaat Isaro 
I'SBfmody ; but the mcurabJe defflcia of my voice 
jDd ear fioon drove, my teacher lo di^apan:,* It ia 
by lox\g practice that I have acquirod the p^jwer of 
stlocime or diaiin cubbing mdijdiea j and aJthou^ 
now few ihinga debght or afftjci me mort thnTa 
pimpbuune mam with feeling, yet I am sensible that 
'Ti* ^^^^^ of musical taste haaonly besn gaiii- 
f d by aueiUion and baMt^ and, aa \i were, by aw 
feeling of tho words being aejociaied with the umt. 
1 have, therefore, b*?en usually unsuccceediij in com- 
po^itjg woHa to a lune^ aJthtjugh my friend, Dr. 
Ularke. at^d other muitiL:nl compo&tr^ have Bom<j- 
tifnee been able lo make a happy union btitw«en 
In ej r mtme and mv poe try- 
In mhej pointa, howt:vHf, I b<^an to make aome 
amende for the :rregu[arity of my educatioti. It is 
wdl known that in Edinburgh one gr*at mux to 
etnulaijon among youthful sstcidcinis, ia in ih<j*^ bj»- 
aociutions trailed Hterar^ ^otve/tM, fortned not only 
gf ibc puriioae of di.bate, but of curnpofcirjon. 
These undoubtedly hnveaoniediaadvrmtagoftj wlieie 
a bold, pelylatit. and disputatious temper, bappeitl 
to be combi ncd wit h co n side ra bh^ infomia ti on and 
laleiit, StilL however, in ord* to such » paraon 
being jctimlly spoiled by hiji mixing in such da- 
L**^V^** takntfl muai be of a very rare natum or 
ftBcmnti^y must be proof to every Bpecie« of aa- 
^Bult I for there ja getierally, irt a wtl^aak^cted ao- 
cioty of ihia nature, talent auflkient to mtt>l th« 
forwarde.^t, and sutire enough to penetf ate the most 
"? ( k^f ' I am porticdarlv obliged lo tbiii sort 
of club for m trod ucmg me, a&oui my seventeenth 
f.*^^h ipto iJie society which at one tune I hadeti- 
tireiy dropped ? for, from the time of my iiln^ea at 
college, I had had little or no iottrcriurse with anjt 
of my cJasf-compaaianei, one or two only exctpieo; 
I\ow, \iowQver, about 1786, 1 began tofc* I and take 
my ground tn aociety, A ready wit, a good de*I of 
enibuaiaamT and a perception that 9000l riponad 
into tact and observation of character, renderod 
me nn acceptable companion to niany young men 
whose actjtJiBitiatia in philosophy and scienoe wefe 
infinitely superior to any thing I cduld botiist. 

Ill the business of thaae aoeieii©*— for 1 waa a 
member of niore thou one aBccej^siFely— J cannot 
Doanf of having tnade any Kreat figure* I iwvsr 
WBa a good PpeakerT unkas upon soma eabject which 
«frongly ammftted my feehuga; iind, ai I was foioi- 
Jy unaccnatomed to oompoaittoti, a* weU ea to the 
art of generahssmg wv ideaa upon any aribject. tn*. 
JtfOTar>' t&i>Qis were but very poor work. I nevfr 
tttr^opttd thtm unless when comjielled to do u» 
YZ *"? i;egulslion» of the aocieiy, and then I was 
bke the Uirdof CaatltJ Rackrcnt, who waa obbged 
to cut down a tree lo get a few faggots to boil tha 
kettle 1 for thf quantity of ponderona and miscella- 
neouaknowledgt, which I really poaaeaetd on ma- 
ny aubjecte^ waa not easily condenaed, <u brought 
to htarupcin the objetit I wislud periiculariyio be- 
rqme master at Yet there ocr^- ' 



^\ :. ";i?~ " ' J J "i ' ." " ""V' " ^^'OMtt d opport u nitieg 
when IbiB odd lumber ot^iy biB^ cFpeoailly thmt 
wnich was Lonnectwl with iht recondite parts of 
hisloTy, did mt, aa Hamlet says, "ycoman'a ser- 
vice My memory of events waa like otie of tha, 

^tt^^^ i^*^^ CftmitkH. fl wBjm h<?ort*ii msi,, »wi art 
SZStJ^^^^ ^'^. ini|.<«PtJ on hiB, Hi. ^t\* <i wan n/ 



lMw*?,^-«i alTsurin StuBtlmiiJ^ tt^ 

tianix*, wnUrJt I l»d tlm ptefltuio of ft !*ffV[|if . if 1 oiiirki not rt- 

I nf ■mtlltliln una vnn-it k ■»■-.« ^..^J _l ^J ii 



( ™* r«W iwYttrthPlfMis into rfiPlnwti^i cirnim' 



-dfodiJInnonc rcswcL Jit, ijomW nsvi^r ^Iln:* ti»i J hid a 



,,i " i" -'-^ .^-H^^,^, J If. fr^Ejpij THivn^r aiimv umi 



^ *V^^SSzL. "^ f**^ '^li^K.jti? TO T(-am it fiin when lie ftttwuM 
, tl» m GMm M ^^j«p miT n^nifbtwiir. 1 jidr Cummffif , i^at to 
»h* fKit he ntl Hoeti-d T»rvci»fly ftt itw! nji» hantt ' 

DJgitized by VjOOQIC 



l4Ffi OF' mS, IfUJnPE^ SOQfT. 



large, old-fashioned Btcoe-caQQOiM of the Turks— 
' imy dM6n\t to Uma well ana diicharge, but making | 
•t powerftil effect when bjr good chance any object 
dw come within range of its shot. Such fortunate | 
opportnnities of exploding with effect maintained > 
mj hterary character among my companions, with > 
whom I soon met with great mdulgence and re- . 

H. The persons with whom I chiefly lived at ] 
period of my youth, were William Clerk, alrea- 1 
lentioned ; James Edmonstqune, of Newton ; 
C^rge Abercromby ; Adam Ferguson, son of the 
oetebrated Professor Ferguson, and who combined . 
the lightest and most airy temper with the best and ' 
kindest disposition ; John Irvmg, already mention- i 
edi the Honourable Thomas Douglas, now Earl of 
Selkirk j David Boyle,*— and two or three others, I 
-who sometimes plunged deeply into politics an4 
metaphysics, and not unfrequentiy doffed the I 
world aside, and bid it pass." I 

Looking back on these times, I cannot applaud 
in all respects the way in which our davs were 
R)eni There was too much idleness, and some- 
fixam too much conviviality : but our hearts were 
Warm, our minds bonourahly bent on knowledge 
and literary dbiinction; and if I, certainly the 
iMtt informed of the party, may be permitted to 
lAMT witness, we were not without the fair and cre- 
ditable means of attaining the distinction to which 
we ^aspired. In this society I was naturally led to 
com»ct my former useless course of reading ; for— 
fisetifig myself greatly inferior to my companions 
in nietapfaysical philosophy, and other branches of 
r^SUlai* study— I laboured, not without some suc- 
aOis, to aoqmre at least such a portion of know- 
ledge as might enable me to mkintain my rank in 
eonversation. In this I succeeded pretty well ; but 
liniortunately then, as often since throiigh my life, 
I incnrred the deserved ridicule of my friends, from 
the" superficial nature of my acquisitions, which 
ieokgi m the mercantile phrase, got up for society, 
v«ry pften proved flimsy in the texture ; and thus 
tha gifts of an uncommonly retentive memory, and 
acute powers of perception, were sometimes detri- 
mental to their possessor, by encouraging him to a 
ardaamptuonsTeliance upon them. 

Amidst these studies, and in this society, the time 
of myapprenticeship elapsed; and in 1790, or there- 
abouts, it became necessary that I should serious- 
ly consider to which department of the law I was 
to attach nivself My father behaved with the 
most parental kindness. He offered, if I preferred 
his own profession, immediately to take me into 
partnership with him, which, though his business 
w«8 much diminished, still ajffbrdea me an imme- 
diate prospect of a handsome independence. But 
he did not disguise his wish that I should relinquish 
this situation to my younger brother, and embrace 
the more ambitious profession of tl^e bar. I had 
little hesitation in making my choice— for I was 
nflVor very fond or vu^nry ; nnd in no other par- 
tioubr do tile proiVsriiMri. n'limi of a tumpuriFon. 
Betidn, I kn^w ftiul kb ihe nironvenii^nccs aUoth- 
ed to that of a writer j and I thotishi (like a young 
man) Tainy of them were "' inRt-nio baud FJubeiirida 
meo. The nppuincu of pFfttonni dpi>enfjf?nce 
which ibet protcMsn rc^uuroa was disngri^eablt? lo 
mo J I he sort of r^onriexbn be! ween the eliciii nnd 
the att^jmey se*?rntN| to render the latfer more sub- 
servient than yrijfl quite s^i.'euble to my nature; 
and, bositle*^ i had se^^n nmny sad e;iample» wiiile 
overioakmg my faiher's bustnes** thai ih*^ utmost 
^jct^rtions, and the beat tni^fini B«TV)cvat du not !»e- 
curo iho man q$ husine^M^ uft hp ii tailed , from 
gieal Irts*^ and mo^i ongrBciouB treniroeyt cm the 
part of his <*mp[i»y^r#. The bur, thciugh I was 
cot^Bcioue of my doficienriea as n, public ^rpcEiker, 
WJistfte line of ambstioti snd liberty; it was ihat 
also for which most of mj^ con tempo rsiry friends 
wercdefllinedK, Ami liU)tl>% nkbuuKh J winAd wil- 
linpi>' have rLliavcd my ftitlwr oi ctio bhouTB of his 
busir^sis, yet I saw pJninly wo eoiilJ not have 
agft^ on eome partictilars, if wc Ltid aittmpted to 

•Now Laid Jutiee-Ckirk. [lU^.I 



.t^odttct ix tosethtfi and . that I sboiild ^ . 

his expectations if 1 ^ not uirn to the baf . 

that object my studies were directed with Kreaft 
acdoiu: and perseverance during the years 178S^ 1790^ 
1791, 1792. 

In the usual course of study, the Roman or civil 
law was the first object of my attention — the ao- 
cond, the Mimicipal Law of Scotland. In th« 
course of reading on both subjects, I had the ad- 
vantage of siudying in coi\junction with my friend 
WilUam Clerk, a man of the most' acute intellecu 
and powerful apprehension, and who, should he 
ever shake loose the fetters of indolence by which 
he has been hitherto trammelled, cannot fail to be 
distinguished in the highest degree. We attended 
the regular classes of both laws in the University 
of Edmbumh. The civil law chair, now worthilr 
filled by Mr. Alexander Irving, might at that tuna 
be considered as in abeyance^ since the persoA by 
whom it was occupied bad never been fit for tna 
situauon, and was then almost in a state of dotage. 
But the Scotch law lee lures were those of Mr. Da- 
vid Hume, who still continues to occepy that situa- 
tion with as much honour to himself as advantage 
to bis country. I copied over his lectures twice 
with my own hand, from notes taken in the daaa, 
and when I have had occasion to consult then), I 
can never sufficientlf admire the penetradon and 
clearness of concmtion which were necessary te 
the arrangement of the fabric of law, formed origi- 
nally under the strictest influence of feudal princi* 
pies, and innovated, altered, and broken in upon by 
the change of times, of habits, and of mannered 
until it resembles some ancient castle, partly entire, 
partly ruinous, partly dilapidated, patched and al- 
tered during the succession of a^s bv a thousand 
additions and combinations, yet still exhibiting, with 
the marks of its antiquity, symptoms of the skill 
and wisdom of its founders, and capable of being 
analysed and made ^e subject of a methodical plan, 
by an architect who can understand the varions 
styles of the different ages in which it was subiected 
to alteration. Such an architect has Mr. Hume 
been to the law of Scotland, iidther wandering' 
into fancifiil and abstruse disquisitions, which are 
the more proper subject of the antiquary, nor satis- 
fied with presenting to his pupils a dry and undi- 
gested detail of the laws in their present state, but 
combining the past state of our legal enactments 
with the present, and traomg clearly and mdicioua- 
ly the changes which took place, and the causes 
which led to them. 

Under these auspices, I commenced my , legal 
studies. A Uttle parloui^ was assigned me in my 
father's house, which was spacious and convenient, 
and I took the exclusive possession of my new 
realms with all the feelings x>f novelty and libertv. 
Let me do justice to the only years of my life in 
which I applied to learning with stern, steady, and 
undeviating industry. The rule of my friend Clerk 
and myseu wa& that we should mutually qualify 
ourselves for undergoing an examination upon cer- 
tain points of law every morning in the week, 
Sundays excepted. This was at first to have taken 
place alternately at each other's houses, but we 
soon discovered that my friend's resolution was 
inadequate to severing him from his couch at the 
early hour fixed for tms exercitation. Accordintrlv, 
I agreed lo go every morning to his honse, which, 
being at the extremity of Prince's Street, New 
Town* was a walk of two miles. With great punc- 
tuality, however, 1 beat him up to his task eviBry 
morning before seven o^clock, and in the course of 
two summers, we went, by wayof question and an- 
swer, through the whole of Heineccius's Analysis 
of the Institutes and Pandects, as wel^ hn through 
the smaller copy of Erskine's Institntesof the Law 
of Scotland. This course of study enibled us to 
pass with credit the usual trials, which, by the re- 
gulations of^'the Faculty of Advocates^ must be 
undergone by every candidate for admission into 
their bodv. My friend William Clerk and I passed 
these ordeals on the same days— namely, the civil 
law trial on the [30th Jtme^ 1791 Kand the Scots 
Digitized by VjOOQ l€ 



UPE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



IT 



Uw tnai on the l6ih July. 1792]. On the [lith 
Jofy, I7ft1, we bom •smuned the ffown, with all Ite 
dnties and honours. 

My prooreae m life during these two or three 
Tears had been gradually enlarging my acquaint- 
ance, and facilitating my entrance into good com- 
pany. My father and mother, abeady advanced in 
ii&, #aw little society at home, excepting th^t of 
near relations, or upon particular occasions^ so that 
I was left to form connexions in a great measure 
fiu- myselt It ia not difficult for a you th with a real 
atmre to please and be pleased, to make his way into 
gbod society in Edinburgh— or indeed any where— 
and my family connejdons, if ihey did not greatlv 
fiirtiier, had nothing to embarrass my progress. I 
waa a gentleman, and so welcome any where, if 
lo'be 1 could benave myself, as Tony Lumpkin 
WKfs, "in a dmcatenation accordingly." 
♦ « « ♦ t 



CHAPTER II. 

iLLsnmAnotn or tm AtrroaiOGaAPBicAL raAo 
MKn^iDmBuacH— 8ANp?-KN0WiB— Bath— pubs- 
TOWTAJfS— 1771-1778. 

Sia Waltbb Scott opens his J^rief account of 
\da ancestry with a plav^ allusion to a trait of 
national character, which has, time out of mind, fur- 
jamd merriinent to the neighbours of the Scotch : 
InC the zeal of pedigrise was deeply rooted in him- 
aei( and he would' have been the laat to treat k with 
aenous dispan^ement It has often been exhibit- 
ed under circumstancas sufficiently grotestnie ; but 
It has lentatrength^to maqy agooa impiusej^sUB- 
' idei 



J. hope and setf-Mspect under many adimcul- 

ty and distreaa. armed heart and nerve to many a 
^M and reaolute struggle for independence ; and 
jvoBipted aUo many a generous act of assistance, 
which under its influence alone could have been ac- 
cepted without anv feeling of def{radation. 

He 9eak8 modestly of his own descent : for, 
wlnie Bone of his predecessors had ever sunk below 
the Btuation and character o^ a gentleman, he had 
Mt to go three or four generanons back, ana thence, 
as Imr as they could be followed, either on the pater- 
nal or maternal side, they were to be found moving 
ta the highest ranks of ourbaropage. When he fitted 
up IB his later vears the beaunml ball of Abbotsfoir], 
be was careful to have the armorial bearings of his 
-fbreftthers blazoned in due order on the compart- 
ments of its roof : and there are few in Scotland, 
aader the titled nobility, who could trace their blood 
to so many stocks of historical distinction. 

lb the flCnstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and 
Notes to the Lay of the Last MinstreU the reader 
will find sundry notices of the *' Bauld Rutherfbrds 
that were ssie stout,'' and the Swintonsof Swinton 
in Berwickshire, the two nearest houses on the ma- 
ternal side. An illustrious old warrior of the latter 
IkmHy, Sir John Swinton, extolled by Proissart is 
the hero of the dramatic sketch, " Bfalidon Hill;*' 
and* it is not to be omitted, that. tnrough the Swin- 
tona Sir Walter Scott could trace himsclr to Wil- 
Ham Alexander, Earl of Stirling, the poet and dra- 
matist.* His respect for the worthy barons of 
Newmains and Dryburgh, of whom, in right of 
h» Cither's mother, he was the representative, 
and in whose venerable sepulchre his remains now 
rest, was testified by his Memorials of the Hali- 
bortons," a small volume printed (for private circu- 

• On flir Walter*! o0||)y of'* RecreatloQi with the Miom, by 
yrmmmJM of^tiHinr, MIT.** tbera to the fbUowinrMB. note : 
-^SirWiDiaai AlezaiMier, nztii Bnon vt MmUiB, aod iint 
KolofSUrtuMr, the fHend of Pnimmomi of H awthofodea and 
Bn Jooaon, dKd io ItM. Bb aldect ion, WIIttafD. Visoount Ca- 
■atla. dedb«9ire his Author. letTinc ono too aad three daachten 
wb wSk, La2hr MarssRt Douflai^ eldeat daShter of Wilbua. 
&a Maiw7fDqMlaj.^.Ma«a»8l. |ho ieeondV'tbeM daiiffb- 
In. mamed EUr Rooert Sindav of Lonffonnaeaa in the Mene. 
tevwafsbebMetwodaaichteio, Anoeaod Jean. Jean Sinclair, 
i«r daoghter, maivitd Sir Joha SwiBfoooTSwiotoaj 
iSwi^^her^M daaghter. wa« the paaAaathcr ef 



lation onlv) in the vear 1820. His own male ance»* 
tors of the fami)/ of Harden, whose nneage it 
traced bv Douglas in his Baronage of Scotland 
back to tne middle of the fourteenth century, when 
they branched off from the ^^at blood of Buo- 
cleuch, have been so largely celebrated in his va* 
nous writings, that 1 might perhaps content myself 
with a general reference to those pages, their oidy 
imperishable monument. The antiijue splendoilr 
of the ducal house itself has been dignified to all 
jEurope by the pen of its remote descendant: but 
u may be doubted whether his genius could nava 
been adequately developed, had he not attracted, a< 
an early and critical period, the kindly recognitioa 
aud support of the Buccleuchs. 

The race had been celebrated, however, long b^ 
fore his day, by a minstrel of its own mor did he 
conceal his belief that he owed much to the influ ' 
ence exerted over his juvenile mind by the rude but 
enthusiastic clan-poetry of old SaUhelU^ who dea- 
scribes himself o/i his titU-page as 

" Oapcain Walter Soot, m old Bouldier and ao Schoatr, 
And one that can write nana, ' 
But just the Letters of hia Name." 

Hia *' Tree History of several honourable FamilSet 
of the Right Honourable mme of Scot, in fb6 
Shkea of Roxburgh and Selkirk, and others adja* 
cent, gflihered out of Ancient ChronicW Histonea^ 
and Traditions of our Fatheva," includes, among 
other things, a string of oompUmentary rhrmea 
addresaed to the first Laird of Raeburn s and the 
copy which had belonged to that gentleman, was in 
aU fikehhood about the first book of veraea that fell 
into th^ poet's hand.* How cootinufilty its vriki 
and uncouth dog^rel was on his lips to his latest 



day, all hia fiimiliaiv can teatify | and the passagea 
which he quoted with the greatest zest, were thoaa 
commemoraijve of two ancient wortlidiBa; both ol 
wh^tn had to contend' against pfaysieal xnisforton^ 
similar to his own. Tha former of these, accord- 
ing to Satchella, was the immediate founder of ^a 
branch originaUy designed of Smton, afterward of 
Harden. 

*' It is four hundred winters past in order 

Sloce that Buccleachwas Warden in the Border; 

A «on he had at that same tide, 

Which was ao lame cotild neither ran aor irlde» 

John, thia hune soi^ if my author apeaks tgo». 

He sent him to St. Muago'a in Olasgut 

Where he remained a acholar'a tiroe^ 

Then married a wife according to his mind. . . . 

And betwixt them twa was procreat 

Headahaw, Askirk, Snrroii, and Olack." 

But if the scholarship of John the LamiUr ftir- 
nished his descendant wit^ many a minhfii] alld- 
sion, a far greater favounte was the memory of 
WlUiam the Boltfooty who followed him in the 
sixth generation. 

*" Rbr fkfiii\f mil remnfi^ the dalifhl whifii he oxinetH^ on 
pee'-i^ viMl. in lr»ia. a rorj ai thii fli«t Ntitt«in. a jtnall dark quar- 
to "r \ii^, U^m km IfieDd CoiMtabfo^ Ha ir«t bnafcfutJTif 
wi' II \ht* Hfuipnt woj^ (li'1rv«»t], fixni taii^i '^Ttiis ii IikUthI the 
Tei'jnf-^tliiii nfftii i-W iltr— I riIukI i>jp«(Nfv thc«e Jim*,'^ tta 
iMd ol-'ml ih" jiiHjflii"K eini*tkiB [tw owa a » *t aigat-pTan^JChUwit. 
wMrH. Jikc tJtL^ ii^i c^iicluda witli a uhoadlwtil tbar. «■ the 
an;ij4»r bad rrt^lnir Ijnd* uof Ooelufe-^' aocilila JeA fiuru^lu* 
ee)rii:n!itic»M"-9a' sndrc fDriupato kinftnan wIki emu, ' '" 

ingHM ntiAi\. n ffcfr ibare i\\'/{€tttM, mWiT m vnntelbii^ . 

OQ h^m AoiTH? H.^ Kjim Jjtuiiii'* hrv^pint^My On riijnf fvata 
tal I" Sir ^Vjtlitjr imnNtiAtL>lf wroreoi fullj/m oo Uie bJu^ leaf 
opi MHjt SfLtchcTlh honoit tilki-tnf (J— 

In Um (tjrle of ny oaiiMMke and kimaMin do fecrtVr dUMVtr. (ovtf x 
That I have writun tha ivaniy-foar Utien iwenty-foar milUon tlaiea 
And U cvcrjr trut-bern Bcolt I do vfih «■ tnanr go^laa pitoea. 
As CT«r were haira in Jaaon'a and Madaa'a f oldta fltaaca." 






Thofaritjrof theocigioal ediiMm of SateheHa bjoeh. dfttths 
copy now at Abbotitbrd waa the oohr one Mr. Comtable had 
ever leeiH-and no wonder, for the inthor'a awoy k in Ifoaa 
words :— 
•• Bacooa, mj book, atreleh forth thy viags and fly 
AonoDgBt the noble* a|id fentlllty ; 
Tboo'rt BOC to aall lo a e ^^o n gar a mmd dowaa, 
Bat given to varthr paraoaia of rcaevn. 
Tha onnbar'a few I've priaMd, injtfuiA 

My oharfeBh«vabce»fTnt,anailiwtrt«artf; 

I eatiaHl not ariat aaany alert tvatrtWro, ^^^ T 

Aad ifca prlaim an tagaffad that thay Aall priat aa 



18 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



" The Laird and Lady of Harden 

Betwixt then procreat waa a son 

CaUed William Boltfoot of Harden"— 
TbeemphaaiB with which this next Une was quot^ 
ed I can never forget— 

" He did turvive to be a man." 
He was, in fact, one of the "prowest knights" of 
the whble genealogy— a fearless horseman and ex- 
pert spearman, renowned and dreaded ; and I 
suppose I have heard Sir Walter repeat a dozen 
thnes, as he was dashing into the Tvveed or Et- 
trick, "rolling red from orae to brae," a stanza 
^from what he called an old ballad^ though it was 
most hkeiy one of his own early imitations. 
*'To tak the foord he aye was first, 

Unless the English loons were near; 
Plunffe vassal than, plunge horse and man, 

Auld Boltfoot rides into the rear." 

'*Ih^m childhood's eartiest hour," says the poet in 
one of hia last Joomals. ** I have rebelled against 
eoiCemal drcurostances." How largely the tradi- 
tional famousness of the stalwart Boltfoot may 
have helped to develops this element of hia charac- 
ter! I do npt pretend to say { but I canaot avoid 
X^gretting that Lord Byron bad not discovered such 
another " Deforn\ad Tranuorraed" among hie own 
chivahrons progenitors. ^ 

So long as Sir Walter retained his vigorous oamts, 
lie used to make an autumnal excursion, with what- 
ever mend happened to be his guest at the time, to 
the towe^ of Harden, the incwnahulu of his race. 
A more picturesque scene for the fiutness of a line- 
age of border maraudea could not, be conceived; 
imcL 00 much di4 he delif^ht in it, remote and ihm- 
—nble as its situation is. that^ in the earUer part 
jie life, lie had nearly availed himMlf of hia 
isman's permission to ni up the xulapidated ptd 
•IMS summer reeidenoe; Harden Athe ravine of 
res) is a deep, dark^ and narrow gles; along 
ich a .liul^ mountain brook flows to join the 
er Boftfawick, itself a tributary of the Teviot 
_ je castle is perched on the brink of the. precipi- 
tous bank( ana from the ruinous windows you look 
down into the crows' nests on the summits of the 
old mouldering elmsi that have their roots on the 
margin .pf the i^,^«am iar below,— 

"Where B6rtha hoarse, that loads theineada with sand. 

Rolls her red tide to Teviot's western strend. 

Throogh slaty hills, whose sides are shaded with thorn, 

Where sprlnM In scattered tufts the dark-green com, 

Towers wood-gin Harden far above the vale. 

And clouds of ravens o'er the turrets sail. 

iuhardjr race who «iever shrunk Hnoin war, 

T)ie Scott, to rival realms a mighty bar, 

Bere fixed his motuitaiii home ,— a wide domahi, 

And ricli the soil, had pufple hsath been grain ; 

But what the higgard ground of wealth denied, 

From fields more bless'd his fearless arm supplied.''* 

It was to this wild retreat that the Harden of the 
Lay of the Last Minstrel, the Auld Wat of a him- 
dred Border ditties, brought home, in 1567, his 
beautiful brido, Mary Scott, " the Flower of Yar- 
Mw," whose grraoe and gentleness have lived in 
•ong. along with the stern virtues of her lord. 
She is said to have chiefly owed hef celebrity to 
the gratitude of- an English captive, a beautifnl 
child^whom she rescued from the tender mercies 
of Wat's moss-troopers, on their return from a 
foray into Cumberland. The youth grew up under 
her protection, and is believed to have been the 
composer both ofthe words and the music of many 
of the best old songs of the Border. As Ley den 
says, 
**VR» are the strains whose wanderlog echoes thrtll 
The shepherd Uneerlns on the twilight hHI, 
When evening brings the merry fokllng hours. 
And sun^eved daisies close their ixfinkins flowers. 
He lived o^er Yarrow's Flower to 8be<]The tear, 
To strew the hoUy leaves o'er Harden's bier j 

the Lay of the Last] 
primithis sallies- 



% 



i sjitbac of these besotiflii Uses, bos bnrn>we4f as 
Last IliDstcel m. also, from one of SatcbtUs' 



* If hpaihrr-top* hkd bc«n corn of tb« bett, 
Hwa fiaccltofh mill k«d f«uca a aoMe grlit.'* 



But nene was frond above the niastreVa tombi 
Emblem of peace, to bid the daisy blooin. 
He, na,mele8sas the race fromwhi^h he sprung, 
fisved other names, and left his own unsung." 

We are told, that when the last bullock which 
Auld Wat had provided from the English pasiares 
was consumed, the Flower of Yarrow placed oh 
her table a dish containing a pair of clean sours; 
a hint to the companv that they must bestir tiiem- 
sdves for their hext dinner. Sir Waller adds, in 
a note to the Minstrelsy, *'Upon one occasion when 
the village herd was driving out the cattle to pas- 
tare, the old laird heard him call loudly to drive oi^t 
Harden's cow. *Harden's cowt echoed the ai- 
f^onied chief; 'Is it come to that pass 1 by my fiuth 
they shall soon say Harden's kyt (co^).* Accord* 
ingly, he sounded his ^ugle, set ou| with his firii- 
lowers, and next day returned with a bcw of kye^ 
and aoasatrCd (brindled) huU. On his return with 
this gallant prey, he passed a very large haystack. 
It occufred to the provident Uird that this would 
be extremely convenient to fodder his new stock of 
cattle ; but as no n^eans of traaaporting it wi^re 
obvious, he was mn to take leave of it with the 
apostrophe, now become proverbial, Bv my 9aul, 
had yc but four feei ye khould not stand lang there. 
In foprt, aa ^roisaart says of a similar cra98.^of 
feudal robbers, nothing came amiss to them that 
was not too heavy or too hoL^* 

Another striking chapter in the genealogical fai^ 



tory belongs to the marriage of Aiud Wat's son a|id 
heir, afierwarda Sir Wiluam Scott of Harden, dUi- 
tingujshed bV the early favour of James VL, and 
severely fined for his loyalty und^ the pauxpation 
of Cromwell. The period of this gentleman' » 
youth was a very wild one jn that dtstrict. The ^ 
Border clans stiH made war on. each other occa- 
sionally, much in ,the fashion of their foreEsthera ; 
and (be young and handsome heir of Hardeii|eii- 
gaging in a foray upon the t&nds of Sir Gideoi^ miiir* 
ray of Elihank, treasurer-depute of Sootlano, waa 
overpowered by that baron's retainers, and carried 
in shackles to ^his castle, now a heap of raina»aii 
the banks of the Tweed. Elibank's "dodratser' 
extended its broad arms clos^, to the gates of hia 
fortressi and the indignant laird was on the point 
of desinpg his prisoner to say a last prayef, when 
his more considerate dame interposed nulder ceun- 
s^ suggest^ that the culprit was born to a good 
estate, and that they had three unn\amed daiightera. 
Toung Harden, not, it ia said, without hemtation, 
agreed to save his life by uking the plainest of the 
three off their bands, and the contract of marriage, 
executed instantly on the parchment of a druniy 
is still in the charter-chest of his nobJe repreaea- 
tadve. ' 

Walter Soott, the third son of this couple, waa 
the, first Laird of Raebum, already alluded to aa 
one of fhe patrons of Satchells. He married Isa- 
bel Macdougal, daughter of Jttacdougal of Makers- 
toun— a family of great antiquity and distinction «. 
in B4Cixburgh8hire, 01 whose blood, through varipua 
alliances, the poet had a larse share in nis veins. ' 
Raeburn, though the son ana brother of two steady 
cavaliers, and married into a family of the same 
political oreed, became a Whig, and at last a Qua- 
ker: and the reader will find, in one of the notea 
to The Heart of Mid-Lothian, a siorailar account 
of tl^e persecution to which this backsliding expos- 
ed him at the hands of both his own and hia wife's 
relations. He was incarcerated (a. p. 1M5) first at 
Edinburph and then ni Jcdburi^, by order of the 
Privy Council— his children were forcibly ^aken 
froin iiiiHt Hiid a heavy earn wa^ levied on maestale^ 
yi'nrty, fnr ihfi purposes of their education beyond 
the reach M hii* pfriloue in flu '^3 ice. "It appears," 
ants £5 ir Walter, in a MS. Thnnorandum now be* 
ftire mc. ''ihitt the Lair^I of >1iiki!r8t0ttn, hisbro- 
thi^rHft-lRw, jomfd with Rflnburn'^ own elder brjK 
thtT, HuTtlcTit in rhiaairi^ljLrptT^ecution, asitvnll 
now ho ttrmtjd by ChneiLmna of all persuasions. 
It was obeservi^ by lhepef»pT«r thsi the male line of 
tilt' second Sir Williain of Ilsirdsn became extiittt 
in iliQt and ihat the reprc^Dtad^n of MakenWui 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



If 



ms n i^%Qiie^ ma[ when the wlft^ of ttadtkurii kiund 
iiera^f if deprived (*f her buflbaiiri^ ead rsAised per- 
fiiias34jn evtn lo &«« htr chikbt:'!], ihe tironoQiictcL a 
maltKlictJou on Ki^T busbiuid's brulhijr^ as wvll aa on 
htr own* and prayed tUflt 9. raak of Lheir ba<iy 

Tlw MS. aJdi*, '' of the tirst Rn^JiiroV iwo sons, 
itJB*y^>t^ ubsened, tkat thaiiks to liu disd^/Iiae xjf 
ikt Privy Council* ibty wlti* fa«th good «ebolar»." 
Of Ihost Bon*, VVftiler* ilie St^oinl, was the poet's 
lETcsat'jcraitdCifttheir, iho t^QtbusiasLic Jncubtte c^f tkf 
autobtographical fr4gmepii--^ba t^ mir<Hlu{:^ 
" With ftri>bt;r befl^rd nod fl>^cii liAiTt 

ID theepi^tU* prefixed to tbe si*th ratito of Mar- 
mwn. A pood ptjrtrmii of Benrded Wat, pain fed 
ibr hia friend Pitcairn, ^m preitjoti?d by tW doc- 
tar"* Rr»»dfion. the BftJ-t of Kellie, to the ft (her of 
Si/ Walur It ia now ai AblioisfL:»rd ; and tbowt* 
Q ^ontidtmUe t-eeemblAiict to the pi^eu Some 
veraes nddfc«*d t«) the onKinal by Kj,e kinainad, 
iVailt*? Stsott of Harden, are giTi^ m ono of ibe 
nolts lo Moratioii, Tht* old geDiiymftA bamwlf is 
Boid to bflva wtittuo vvTvva occosiOR*Uy, both Bne- 
liah and Latin ; but I aevai liGurd motv thati th^ 
bufdon of a drinkiiiH-soiiji— 

Ikinec urduot njTirBaexL" 

Scan til 5^ as the worthy Jaeoblie aeoiiis to Mve 
jfcecn provided with this world*? goods, ht niarrie^i 
the dauRbtet of a ffetitkman of good eoTiditioti, 
'*' through wboin,'^ nays tbo MS. Memomfidum 
already quotpd, **hia ticficfndanta huve- iphentf^d a 
45ofinexiOD with iome bODournbk brrtHchcA of the 
SHoeh nan Diarmid, or Clan of Campbell. * To 
thia connexion Sif Walter owed, sa wc ahalr e*e 
hercftfier, many of those early opnprtiinitn?8 ibf 
Biutiyinfi tho manners of ibc HiKhltmiors, to which 
the world are irtdebtfti for Wa verify, Rob lUiy, and 
the Lfldy of the Lakp. 

Robert Scott J the aon of Brtittire* formed aiao an 
tionourablo alliance Hia father-in-law, Thomas 
'HaJihtirton,* the last bm one of \\w **Mood lairda 
ijf New lit am Rt" eoter«d h» marriage ta foilowM In 
the donir^riiC record, which Sir Walter' a piouc re«- 
pi^ct indiic^sl hi til to have printed tMtiff a century 
aflcrwnMlftj— *' My *eeond dftaffliw Barbara la 
marn.-I t.» R.-bert Seoit, aon toWaK«r SflOtt, oticle 
"to KrL'.iiurji. ii|K/n ihia »ixreen day of July, 1712&, at 
my tuaisf <»t l^ryburgh^by Mr. James Inries^ nnnis- 
S(jr of Mertiiun, their motberB beinj? fonsinga ; may 
the bJewtllil of the Lord rest ui>on them, and make 
ibein comfy rtifi 10 each otheir and to nil their reln- 
'tiOna ;" to which the editor of the MemoKnla adds 
thU^fiotet ^' May Ond erant that theprayr^rs of the 
eKi%l|ent perwna who navo iiaasod away mav avad 
il>t the benefit «f those who miceeed thoml—Aitboi^- 
/f/rtl,Nov, ie!i4." 

1 nfteii scarcflty remind the T«ftd?r of iht e^qw- 
bHc doseripttois of ;hc poet's i^ndffither, in tbeW 
irodurtioti III the third Canto of Mirmion-^ 

—^ tlielbttchtd maiwtlon'Jgraylwir'd ilre^ 

Wtae wliJmot learnlon, pTaln mkI «iod, 

And ifjrunji of 0eutUnij*s |entler bluod ^ 

WhoK' eye, in Rgeq'iklt, rJrar, aoiltrcD, 

fW^Bli that f ho ffilitHHtoni of N«wiiihldii w«p drwSfmJiyl rm»i 

I ha tighiwnth Miitiir^ . Tb».* iimt df thia litter r*oi» jr |»i«n iwd 
I th-i (ffaiW aiKl barurt^ fn Metiinin Ijf t cTwuttT (frai;ii«^l m An^tii- 
tmklr EittflCftouflw iftd Tjjnlof tjuSdwar. (Viftcnf Ctiti#p1ri.iiiw*- 
«jaw* So^ii wIhh ci»nHi<(^tJ euuntfirimDi^l tliii t^jitish rn>wnj ki 
< H«nfr tb HfcttUtftun, wt^isa bu 4iJ«icnAtai M hi* >u»,{ula.rL] be&r 
w, nfl nr'criuoi yf bu WTvico ^o thenHU* w Enfltod On tttw 

■ — '^ ^ - of Dwhftoe (il» 




» laf tha HKUbufion of I 



thawed what in realb lit |laiice bod betiu; 

In th<5 pr^^face to Guy Mannering, wehriTe an an^- 
dote of Robert Scott m his earber days: *'My 
erjjnd fill her, while ridina; over Cbarterhouie Moor, 
ibf^ a vtfryci tensive cijmmon, feU sutidenlj^ ainon^ 
a large band of fcipaiefl, who wvia oaTonajnjf in a 
h rtllo w mi rT< m nded b y buohea, Th ev itiat ani 1 y seii- 
ed on his Ijridle with shoiita of welcome, eic I aim- 
ing that they bad often dincid at hii exp^so, and 
he myftf now atny i*nJ share their ebeer. My an- 
wfltor was a little ahrmed, for be had more money 
about hiii p<'r9on t bat be certd to risk in aoch aooie- 
iv. Hf:rwt'ver, bciiiR niiturally a bold Uvt ly ^panted 
man, he tniert'4 into the humonr of the thine, and 
lat down to the ft nat* whitjh eon&i«ted of all the va- 
riptiea of f^anre, poultry, pigs, and ^o fortht that 
eould be eolleeied hv a wide oivd iiirt^scrimmate ays- 
tCKJ of plwfideT'. Tnti dirmer wae ■ vtry merry one, 
but my rdatiT** got a bmt from somt- of the older 
iiipaie*, jupt when * the mirth and fun en*w faat and 
ft! no us/ nnd f noun ting his horac acfordinwly. he 
took a Frnnch \eaw (^( bis entertPiin*irfi. Hia 
grandson might have rtviorted 11 in re than one ioene 
of the like sorun which he wa» bim*e.lf engaged, 
while huntmijr the iianio dimriet, not in guest of 
foxea or of caitle sale*, like the gpodman of Sandy- 
knowe, but of bnUada for the MiiHtwlw. Qipay 
atoriea, ia we anj told in (be aama promi^Te* were 
fineqnently in the mouth of the old mim when hi» 
face *' brightened ai the ffVetiiM ftre," n the day a of 
ihfi port's childhood. And he adds, that ai Or, 
Johnson had a ehadowv n collect ton of Qneen Anne 
aaaiiaiely lady in blacky adorned with diamoodat 
so hia own memofv was bnunted with '^ a aolemn 
remembrance of a woman of more then feme I a 
height, drcaacd in a long r«jd clonk, who once made 
her appearance beneath the thatched roof of Sandy- 
KnowCt commenced acquaintanCi^ by i?riTin|f Inm 
an apple, and whom be looked on. nevertbeh^aa, 
with aa much awe aa the fumre doctor^ Hifeh 
Churc}i and Tory aa he waa doomed to be, could 
lotfk iir'on the Q.uecn^' This waa Madge Gordon, 
granddfiwahter of Jean Gordon, the ptoioiypc of 
Mp<? Mcrnleca. 

Of Robert of Sandy-KnoMfP also there la av«ry 
tolerable portrait at AHKitaford, nivdibe hkeneai of 
the pott to liisgrandfaihtT niu^t have ^^rciblyitruek 
every on v who has seen i t. Ind <.*ed, bu t ior its want - 
ing soran mehoB in el**vtttion of furehoad, (a cotieid- 
erabl*^ wan I, it must be Ho wed,) th* picture niin^ht 
be m i ■ takan &r *DB of Sir Waher Seo tt. Tlie keen 
shrewd etptwUioti of the eye, and thtr remarilabU 
ienglh and compt^sston of the uji^r lip+ brwlg him 
ejiflctly hpftirH me aa he appeared when eoU'rlng 
with all the z-al of a profrn^ionaj ftjtru'uUunBt into 
the mem 9 of a pit of marlu discovered at Abbota- 
ford* Had tiie old man btien repre^icnted wmi hia 
cap on bi» htad, the rteemblance to one parucular 
phnpii»of the most changeful of coontenaacea would 
have been perfect. , 

Kobert Scott had a numerous progeny, and bir 
Wftlter baa mtimalfd his inteiuion of re<ordiUjtt sev- 
eral of ihiitn *' with s aincere tnbtji*- of gratilude 
in the contemplated ptofitcutjon of bis autobiogra' 
phy. Two of the y<3ungcr urns w^e bred to the 
naval aervicf of the Eaai India Company ( one of 
wh<tm died early and umnatried ? the other wft» the 
cKirelknt Captain Roliert Scot I, of whoae kmdnesa 
to his nr^jhew some pnrtii-ulars are gjven in the 
Asliesuel Fragment, and more will occur hereafter. 
Another aon. Tbornaa, followed the profoBSitm of hii 
father with abihty, and redred in old age imon a 
handaojiic indetwndefice, acquired by hia mduatrt- 
ous eiertions. He waa tvi*ice mamedj firiJt lo lua 
near Tela hon. a dauKhler of Raebum ; and asecondljTj 



bol t^ WM» mil fcf*J iwworfW tmi nuw ilinL*^ near Tela hon. a (lauKnier 01 tifleourn ; nuu e^vuijttijn 
fMUQ^ru, Of. oa & titinl iLf ufr. rhn* iiio.*rk< «f j ta jrti*B Rutherford Of Know-South^ the ^ tat© of 



la He «M#ri of M*hisia nnd DrFlKirfti, ■■ wM n^ un 

n ftt tir^wih, wtik-b wm ftuilt m ism"— Jf.V, Wmw- 

(WO. fi4T W«|t*f wu PEfT^if hnr Ut tti«« Mahbar 

*Mm Kkin «fl«^ttiQ lint? of tfaii HeiAoranaom, ma thwift^sMih 

Jaaaii<y. 



which rejtrjcc table family is now poaaessed by, hia 
60 n, Chnrle-i Soott^ an ammbk and htub-apinted 
genilcmftii, who waft alwaya a special Jfavounto with 
his em mem kmflman. The death of Thomaa bcotl 
is ibua recorded in one ^^the MS^ nam mm n*- 
phew^B own copy of the Hahourtoti MeoapiaSJi*-- 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



" The said Thomaa Scott died at Monklaw, near 
Jledburgh. at two of the clock,' 27th January, 1823, 
in the 90tn year of hie life, and fullv possessed of all 
his facalties. He read till nearly the year before bis 
death { and being a great musician on the Scotch 
pipes, hadL when on his deathbed, a favourite 
tune played over to him by his son James,, that he 
might be sure he left him in full possession of it. 
After hearing it, he hummed it over himself and 
corrected it m several of the notes. The air was 
that called Sour Plumbs in GalaakieU. When 
barks and other tonics were given him during his 
last illness, he privately soat them into his band- 
kerchief) saying, as he had lived all his life without 
taking doctor's drugs, he wished to die without do- 
ins so." 

1 visited this old man two years before hit death, 
in company with Sir Walter, and thought him about 
. the moat venerable figure I had ever set luy eyes on 
•— taU and erect, witn long flowing tresses of the 
most silvery whiteness, and stockings rolled up 
-.over his knees, after the mshion oPthfse genera tioBS 
back. He sat reading his Bible without specuclss, 
«nd did not, for a roonient, perceive that any one 
' bad entered his room, but on recognising his ne- 
phew he rose^ with cordial alacrity. Kissing him on 
both cheeks, and exclaiming, " God bless thee, Wal- 
ter, my man, thou hast risen to be great, but thou 
wast always good*'.' His rjimnrkg wrw livply and 
'^ag&cious, and deliver! li with a touch of ihni iur 
-manz which seems tu Liavt been shared by moat of 
the family. He had tho mt nnd matinpr of^ aii aa- 
dent gentleman, imU mum in hi» dny have [mm crrii- 
.nent^ haadeoine. ] s^iw more than onc^ about cbe 
same period, this reeipcctabifl man^a amcr^ who hid 
nuurried her couaia Walter Laxtd of Ra<?burn— tlius 
iBdding a new link, lo the clost^iK^aa uf tho f&niily 
tonnexioni She also must havL^ boeit, m her yuv-m, 
femarkablefbr psrsi^nai attmcttone ; ftfl it was, she 
4weUs on mytnemory asUic perfect piatiire of an 
old Seotch Isidy, wiih a ainm di?n\ oi^imvhy rJTSjnity 
.in bar bearing, but wi.ih tli^' arjfir:^.t cyis nh.' 'be 
sweetest voice, and a charm oi meekftesa sjid Mto- 
Ittsfiess about svery look and e ip yes ii on ; all which 
oontrasted strikingly enough with. the stem dry as- 
pect and OMinners of her husband, a tiii^t descend- 
ant of the moss-troopers of Harden, who neiver 
•semed iat his ease but on horseback, and oonimned 
40 te the boldest Mfoz^huiiter of the district, even to 
tlM verge of eighty. The poet^s aunt spoke her na- 
tivs language pure and undiluted, but without the 
sUgbtest tinetore of that vulgarity which nowtseems 
almost unavoidable in the oral use of a dialect ao 
kmi^ banished fh>m courts, and which has not been 
^ikvtided by any modem writer who has ventnred to 
introihios it, with the exception of Scott, and I may 
add, speaking genorallv, oNf Burns. Lady Raeburo, 
as she was nniversaUy styled, may be numbered 
-with those friends of earbr days whom her nephew 
Ims alluded to in one of his prefaoea, as preserving 
what we may fancy to have boen the oM Scotch of 
^Holyrood. 

The particulars which I have been setting down, 
may help English readers to ibmli some notk)n or 
.the structure of society in those soathem districts 
of Scotland. Whon Satchells wrote, he boasted 
that Bucoleuch could summon to his banner one 
hundred lairds, ail of his own name, with ten thou- 
band mor^-landless men, but still of the same 
Mood. The vounger sons of these various lairds 
' were, through many successive ftenorations, poiv 
tioned Off with fragments of the mheritance, until 
such subdivision could be carried no farther, and 
then the cadet, of necessity, either adopted the pro- 
fession of arms, in some foreign service very fre- 
^ently, or became a cultivator on the esute of his 
own elaet brother, of the chieftain of his branch, or 
of the great chief and patriarchal protector of the 
whole clan. Until the commerce of Bnglaiid, and 
above all, the military and civil services of the Eng- 
Kah colonies were thrown open to the enterprise of 
the Scotch, fhis system of things oontioned entire. 
It still remained in force to a oonsklerabie extent at 
the time when the Goodmtn of Sandy-Koowe was 



establishing his childrin in the worid-and | am hap* 
py to say, that it is far from being abolished even -ml 
the present day. It was a system which bound to- 
gether the vanous classes or the rural population in , 
bonds of mutual love and confidence ; the original 
community of lineage was equally remembered on 
all sides } the landlord could count for more thsA 
his rent on the tenant, who Vegarded him rather as a 
father, or an elder brother, than as one who owed his 
superiority to mere wealth ; and the farmer who,^n 
fit occasions, partook on equal terms of the chaae 
and the hospitality of his landlord, went back with 
content and satisfaction to the dftily labours of a 
vocation which he found no one disposed to con- 
sider as derogating ft-om his gentle blood. Such 
delusions, if delusions they were, hAd the natural 
anoganoe of riches in check, taught the poor man 
to believe that in virtuous poverty he had nolhins 
to blu^h for, aad spread aver the whole being of the 
community the gracioits spirit of a priiaitave ho- 
mani^. 

Walter Soott, the eldest son of Robert of Sandy- 
Knowe, appears to have been the first of the iiuniiy 
that ever adopted a town lifo^ of any thin^ clamwng 
to be classed among the learned profossioBs. Hia 
braaofaof the law, however, ooold not in tkoesdaya 
beadvaatageousiyprosecvtedwithouteatteneive eon- 
nexions in the country } his own were too respeatnr 
ble not to be of much service to him in hiacallinft 
and they were cultivated aeeordiagly. His profes- 
sional viaits to Bozburghshire and Ettrick f*ofest 



were, in his vigorous li^ very fr^uent ; and thoug^ 
he was never supposed to have any tincturo either 
of romance nr nootr^m ^i==^ mmTmeition, he retained 
to Ehc^ lu.4i i-i wiLi f -.'^ ' '. 'II Ufi ]w^ native district, 
wirh a certain n iLtt^taiLL llavrjur uj che o]d feelinffS ' 
arni prfljudu^es of ili i^ Bordi rer. I haw little to aqd 
to Sir Walter* a !^hor( and rc^tjcifut notice of hia 
^(Ker, (?Jtc«pt that 1 h&v£i hoard it cotifirmed by the 
te^ [ i II ] on y u r mail y I ess parti jii ob HO rt»ers. Accord- 
lE ■ Ui evcsry arciiuni, he waa a roo^t just, honoura- 
1)1 li ri[] conceit n liouB man \ otily too high of spirit 
fc -ome parts uf Ijia buBii>t-«». " Fte j^assed from 
ih (■ cindh w the grave,'* m '■ ' iviM reUtioii, 

" wiiliom making nn cneni ^Jimend. He 

was a mo^t affectionate f i' * if he discour- 

aged, raihc^r than titht-rwiiie. hia ^.an^a early devo- 
tion tij ^hu pifrsiuits which kd him to the hdght of 
lilcr»ry en unlace, it was only LjH$cnrtise he did not 
uiid^rtpiand what such ibmf|s meant, and consider- 
ed it hia duty u* kee[> hia young man to that path in 
which gooti 9«nft> and indmiry might, humanly 
ilpeAkins^t bu tb ought sure of sitccess. " 

Sir Walt ^f» moihef was fih'yrt ofRtature, and hy 
n I .■ i.^' ■ '■>i ''■■. -K I ■■• ■■•fh-T t lie days of her 
etiiiy i-j^... --jc ;iau i-.i- .-fti, as became the 
daughter of an eminently learned physician, the 
bee| sort of education then bestowed on young gea- 
tbwomen in .ScotlandL The poet, spedung of Rra. 
Euphemia Sinclau', the mistress of the school a t 
which h^ mother wasDeoced. to the ingenious local 
aatiqpaary, Mr. Robert Chambers, said, that " she 
must have been possessed of tmcommon talents for 
education, aa all her young ladies were, in after lifo, 
fond of reading, wrote and spoiled admirablv, were 
well acquainted with history and the belles lettree, 
without neglecting the more homely duties of the 
needle and Mcompt book; and, perfectly well-bred 
in society.'^ Mr. Chambers adds, " Sir W. further 
communicated that his mother, and many others of 
Mrs. Sinclair's pupils, were sent afterwards to 1% 
Jinished qfby the Honourable Mrs. Ogilvie, a lady | 
who trained bier young friends to a ftyleof mtnne^ 
which would now be considered mtolerably sfiti. 
Such was the cflcct of this eariy training upon the 
mind of Mrs. Scott, that even when she approach- 
ed her eightieth year, she took as much care to 
avoid touching her chahr with her back, as if she 
had still been under the stem eye of Mrs. Ogilvjie."^ 

* See CJuunbea*f 'fnidiUont oC BiUnbinth. v»L il pp. \Sh-m. 

a. -At 1 - - ., ^iinil tri TIffiM /)«il«Li mavBAnMirtAitwwbMd 



'^^srSasWiS?^]^^ 



w«re not ttAfiomeign in thoM 4ayi i 
wiUi whom iHie eoavaned is m; 



Digitized by V^OOQlC 



UPE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



21 



tliaphyaiogiioBiy of the poet borai if iheir poi-Lmlta 
may 06 trostod, no rsaemblin^ 



Tents. 



A^ncii ui cLthei oi his ps- 

^ . Mr. Scott was nearlv thirty year^ of age when 
A8 manied, and six child rc^. Born to hi en between 

i759 and 176d, all perishi^i m infancy.* A nugpicion 
bat the close situation uf llie CoUet^e Wyiid had 
been unfavourable to th^ heahh of hi^ family, was 
themotive that induced him to remove? tu the house 
* which be ever afterwanJs oocupifxl in George's 
Square. This removal took place shorilv after the 
poet's birth; and the child rtrn barn tuop^queiitly 
were, in general^ healthy^ Of a tumUy of twelve^ 
of whom six hvdd to maturity, tiot one now sut^ 
vives: nor have any of thtim kit dostendants, <ti- 
eept Sir Walter himself; and hm next and dtiEiieai 
brother, Thomas Scott. 

fie says that his coasciousoj^sa of oxiatenca dated 
from Sandy-Knowe : and how deep and mdelible 
was the impression wnich iu romanuc localities had 
left on his imagination, I need not remind the read- 
\ers of Marmion and the Eve of St. John. On the 
Mmimjt of the Cra^ which ov^rhaD;^; the farm- 
house, stands the nuned tower of Smntlholmet the 
scene of that fine ballad ; and the view from chance 
takes in a wide expanse i>f the dii^trLct in which, as 
hits been truly said, every field has its battle, and 
every rivulet its song ;— 

"The lady kioked in mournful owtd, 

Looked over hill and njiim. 
O'er Mertoon'f wood, and Tweed's Mr flood, 

And all down TeviotdaEc. ' ' 

Mertoun, the prmcipal seat of the Harden family, 
wh its noble groves; nearly in frortt of it, acroaa 
tiM9 Tweed, Lessudden, tha comparntiv^Jy smalt but 
gill venerable and stately abode of the Lairds of 
Rael^rn; and the hoary Ali bey of Dry burgh, aur- 
roimded with yew-trees as aneieni us itself, Mfjem to 
he almost below the feet of th e ep e ct at or. pp posi te 
.ftim nses the purplepeaks of Eitdon, the traditional 

Seoene of Thomas the Rynver'a interview with the 
neen of Faene : behind are tlie blasted puel whieh 
e seer of Eroeldoun himself inhnbiied, ** the Broom i 
of the Co wdenknowes," tJid pnaioral valley cif the 
Leader,- and the bleak wilder ofait of Larnmer-i 
moor. To the evtward^ the desolate g^anri^ ur of 
Hume Castle breaks the horizon, as the ey« Ernv^lt ' 
towards the range of the Cheviot. A few mdea 
westward, Meiroae, 'Mik* ^jome mil rock with li- 
chens gray," appears cli i ^j . i -d a mida i ih*^ wind mga 
of th* Tweed; and the iij.^iaMoe prceoiriiji diti ^r~ I 
rated moun tarns of the Clala, t\m Kttfick, and ih^ 
Yarrow, all famous in syng. Such wur^ the ob- 
jects that had paint€!d tliP: ttarh^^t imagLa on the 
C3Fe of the last and great si of the BtmW Minstrels. 
As his memory reach i I io an earlier feriod of 
childhood than that of eirsKjat any other person, ao • 
assuredly no poet has -ivru to thii i^orld a pic^' 
ture of the dawninglfeelinf^^ of Ida nnd gtinioa, at ! 
once so simple, so beau tiAiL and so complete, as 
that of his epistle to WilUarn Erekine, the chief lite- 
rary confidant and counaellorof hi^ prime of man- ! 
hood. 

"Whether, an impulse J hut hu birth 

Soon as the infant wakes on earth, 

One with our feelings and our powers, 

And rather part of ua than ours ; 

Or whether fitlier termM the sway 

Of habit, formed in early day, 

Howe'cr derived, its force eonfest. 

Bales with despotic sway the breast, 

And drsfs us on by viewless chain, 

While taste and reasoo plead in vain. . . . 

BanfuraVe Mtt. MaUUmd, who praetisei the obstetric art in 
theCow^te. 

♦ In 9ir Walter Scott '« desk, after his death, there was fUind 
a little pockot oontaiwnK nix loelcs of hair, with this inMriptioo, 
in the baadwntiog of hu inothor .— 

•• I. Anne 8c«»tt. bom March 10, 175S. 

I, Robert Scott, bom Au«i»t 82, I7«a 

3. John Scott, bora November 38. 1761. 

i. R^Vbert Scott, bora June T, 1768. 

6. leap Soott, iiorD March ST, IT65. 
.„ , «• Waiter Scott, bom Aifnut 80, 1766. 

An these are dead, aad none of my pieient fiuiilf was bon till 
sone tune sAerwanlt." 



Thu«, yfhile T >pe tiic measure wild 

Of [Wqa ihat tliarin'd ma yst achild, 

Rude th^ogli they tje, arill with the chime 

H'?t«ri3 ihc thonithi- i>f aarly time. 

And fec-lin]{d rDu«\l in tile's first cuiy, 

Ijluw In fh«? flT>i«'Ariii1 prmnpt the lay. 

Tlirn rifir- ihuii^ rrw+, t^iai mountain tower, 

^^IljlJi elLitrtu*f]i my lory's wakeAiof hour. 

11 was a barren acea*i and wild 

Wli'?re Kiaked ctiA mtfK rudely piled; < 

Hut over BiidsnQn between 

I'ty velvet tuilt* oT IdtpI Lest green ; 

Atvi w* ]l tXic Itmaly inlBatknew 

E^cL-!iii':a. wiier*^ tht: i^atl flower crew. 

Anil hfjatiy-nKtrkie loxtA to crawl 

IJ]? ifiiN low cnf Hiid ruWd wall. 

1 ik':f m'd ^uch n«oks fhe sweetest shade 

The Kiju in nt] itr* refund surveyed; 

And fiUll 1 thoLtf j^iT Wiai splattered tower 

Thf. itiU>tiiQ0i work of haman power, 

And fji^rv^eUcJ, aa Lite Hiced bind, • 

Willi *t»n(? ffiDintf^ fJiic tlewitch'd my mind} 

Of frjjriLjr 4ar« wE>o. vsttU lieadloBf f^rce, 

l>(iwft frniii ihai <jtri^nEtii had spnrr'd thetr horse, , ' 

The ir »niTti]erri, ranine xo renew, 

Fat m the i^fTftiiJii Chi*vi4its Olue, 

Anrl liajmr^ rtlurninpf filled the nail 

t\ jth Ttwl WMi^i r&ni, snd brswL 

Mf'thrju^t thu «tiU DrtLh trump and elanf ' 

Thtr piieway'a broken arches rang ; .y 

MeUKKi^iu rrini feat u rex, seam'd with scars, 

Olartid ill f o' tbt; wjniJLrws' rusty bars. 

An j t:vcr, by \he winter hearth, 

Qiii taJeii I lieird af wn of mUth, 

Of kii^nirR' aliglsm, of Ikijies' charms, 

Or irJtf*t>F.^ei* Kpeltx, oT warriors' arms— "- 

Q{ mtrkn intni^n vftm vf old 

By VValFace Wtftht and Itmce the Bdld~ 

or liiEer fivkU uf feud and ^^t, ^ 

Whfn, pHJLirInf from tbtk Highland helfb^ 

The ^cDttttitj cltna, in IiHScJUong sway, 

Had swppL the: seafle t ranks away. 

WhUe itretthed fti Itnifh upon the floor, 

A^ I1 1 n I Toof ht f ^c h c^j m bat o'er, 

Pt'libles anrl 8hell«, in order laid, 

The mind t; rinks of war displayed, ' 

Ani:tnitujd.rd siiHific Scr^itiah Lion Dore, 

A lid feLii: iho »r£iiered iteuthron fled before." ^ 

There aft? BtilllmnR in that neighbourhood two 
old iflronien, who were in the domestic service of 
Sandy-Knuwci wJn tv tlie lame child was brought* 
1 hither in the third y ear of his age. Oneof thenii 
Tibbv lluiittri renit)nil>t*t^* his coming well ; ana ' 
that ' \w waj & ewet^t-trmpered bairn, a darling 
with all ohciut the house.'' The yoimg ewemilkera 
deEifllited, she ^ays^ to carry hira abput on theur 
hacks afi]L>ng (he crags; and be was '* very gleg 
(qujck) at the? uptake, aod aoon kenned every sheep - 
(lud I an I h by hendniark aa well as any of them.'' 
iri» pent pfeaaur^^ however, was in the society of 
the ' agtid limd '' retordtd in the epistle to Erakine. 
'Auld ^aridy Ormistoun,'* called, from the moat 
dkuifit!iJt'Eirt of 111 B runciioB, "the Cow-bailie," had 
thti t:UiuJ^uptjriiiti:ndrnr« uf the flocks that browsed 
upon " the veLvtit tufta ot loveliest greeiL" If the 
child mw him m thE> iijurning, he could not be aa- 
tJ^Sed unifies tlit^ idd man would act him astride on 
his nhuuldier, ttnd takti him to keep liiro company as 
he lay watching; his ch^rige. 



'* Here was poetic impnlse given 

By the green hiU and cleat; blue heaven." 

The Cow-bailie blew a parUcular note on his whistle^ ^ 
.which signified to the maid-servants in the house 
below when the little hoy wished to be carried home 
again. He told his friend, Mr. Skene of Rubislaw, 
when spendmg a munmer day in hia old age among 
these well-retnembercd cra^s, that he ddighted to 
roll about on the grass all day long in the midat of 
the flock, and that " the sort of fellowshi;) he thus 
formed with the sheep and lambs, had impressed 
his mind with a degree of aflectionate feeling to- j 
wards them which had lasted throughout life." 
There is a storv of his having been forgotten one. 
day among the knolls when a thunder-storm came 
on; and his aiini, suddenly recollecting hie situa- 
Uon, and running out to bring him home, is said 
to have found him lying on his back, clappihg his ' 



LIFE OP SIR WALTEE SCOTT. 



bfndB at the Sghtning, and crying out, " Bonny, 
bonny r at erenr flam. 
^ I find the following marginal note on' his cop/ of 

Allan RamsaVs Tea-Table Miscellany (edition 
1724 ;) "This hook beloMed to my grandfather, 
Robert ScotL and out of it Iwas toughtilardiknute 
by heart hwae I could read the baiJad myself. It 
was the first poem I ever learnt— the last I shall 
ever forget,'* Accordiiw to Tibby Hnnter, he was 
not particularly fond of his book/ embracing every 
pretext for joinmg his friend the Cow-bailie oat of 
doors ; but " Miss Jenny was a grand hand at keep^ 
ing him to the bit, and by degrees he came to read 
brawly."* An early acquaintance of a higher class, 
Mrs. Duncan, the wile of the present excellent 
minister of Mortoun. informs me, that though she 
was younger than sir Walter, she has a dim re- 
memSrance of the interior of Sandy-Knowe :— 
**01d Mrs. Scott sitting, with her spinning-wheel, 
at one side of the fire, in a dean clean parlour ; 
th6,grandfiither, a good deal failed, in his elbow- 
ehair opposite ; and the little boy lying on a carpet, 
at the^old man's iaet. listening to the Bible, or 
whatever good book Miss Jenny was reading to 
them." 

^bert Scott died before his grandson was four 
years of age^ and I beard him mention when he 
was an oldman. that he distinotly remembered the 
writing and sealmg of the funeral letters, and all 
the ceremonial of the melancholy procession as it 
'left Sandy-Knowe. I shall conclude my notices of 
the residence at Sandy-Knowe '^ith observing, that 
in Sir Walter's account of the fnendly clergvraan 
who so often sat at his grandfather's fireside, we 
cannot foil to trace many features of the secluded 
divine in the novel of Saint Ronan's Well. 

I have nothing to add to what he has told us of 
that excursion to England, which interrupted his 
residence at Sandy-ltnowe for about a twelve- 
month, except that I had often been astonished, 
long before I read his autobiographic fragment, with 
the minute recollection he seemed to possess of all 
the strikuig fiMtures oi the city of Bath, which he 
bad never seen again since he Quitted it before he 
was six years of age. He has himself alluded, in 
his Memoir, to the lively recollection he retained 
c^his first visit to the theatre, to which his uncle 
Robert carried him to witness a representation of 
As Yon Like 'It In his Reviewai of the Life of 
John Kemble, written in 1826, he has recorded that 
impression morafiilly, and in terms so striking, that, 
I must copy them in this place :— 

*^ There are few things which those gifted with 
any degree of imagination recollect with a sense of 
more anxious and niysterious delight, than the first 
dramatic representation which they have witnessed. 
The tmusual form of the house, filled with such 
groups of crowded spectators, themselves forming 
an extraordinary spectacle to the eye which has 
n^ver witnessed it before ; yet all intent upon that 
wide and mystic curtain, whose dusky undulations 
pennit us now and then to discern the momentary 
glitter of some gaudy form, or the spaneles of some 
sandaled foot, which trips lightly within: Then 
the littht, brilliant as that of day ; then the music, 
which, in itself a treat sufficient in every other 
situation, our inexperience mistakes for the very 
play we came to witness ; then the slow rise of the 
shadowy curtain, dfsclosing, as if by actual magic, 
a new land, with woods, and mountains, and lakes, 
lighted, it seems to us, by another sun, and inha- 
bited by a race of beings different from ourselves, 
whose language is poetry,— whose dress, demean- 
our, and sentiments, seem something supernatural, 
— and whose whole actions and discourse are 
calculate not for the ordinary tone of every-day 
life, but to excite the stronger and more powerful 
ftculties— to melt with sorrow, overpower wth 
terror, astonish with the marvellous, or convulse 

t TWi oU womra ttin powen *' the Aones" (biinei)— that fa to 

■ar. tbe bowd»-t>f a Ptataa-baok. which Matter Walter ga^ her 

at aaody-knowe- ** He choae itt" »he Myt, " ofa verr iiiic print. 

# that I mifffat be able to read it when I was very auid— forty 

yeMrattUi hot the baim puQed the leavee out laogsroe." 



with 
stami 



h irresistible laoii^ter :^-aU these wontem 
np inddible hnpiwsMns on me memory. Those 
mixei feeliiigs also, which perplex ns between a 
seifse that the scene is but a plaything, and an in-> 
terest which ever and anon euipns^ us into outran* 
sient beUef that that which so strongly afTects um 
cannot be fictitious; those mixed and puxzlin^ 
fieeKnga, also, are exciting in the highest degree. 
Then there are the bursts of applause, like distant 
thunder, and the permiestoa aflorded to c3ap our 
Uttle hands, and add our own scream of delight to 
a sound so commandiiig. All this, and much, 
much more, is ft'esh in our memory, although, when 
we felt these sensations, we looked on the staice 
which Garrick had not yet left It is now a Ions 
whilemnce] yet we have not passed many hours 
of such unmixed delight, and we still remember 
the sinking lights, the dispersing crowd, with the 
vain Ipnginss which we felt that the mtisic would . 
again soiAid, the magic curtain once more arisen 
and the enchanting dream recommence ; and the 
astonishment with which we looked upon the apa-, 
thy of the elder part of our company, who, havuis 
the means, did not spend ^very evening in the 
theatre."* 

Probably it was this performance that first tenmt- 
ed him to open the pace of Shakspeare. Ben^ 
he retiimed to Sandy-Knowe, assuredly, notwith- 
standing the modest language of his autobiogra- 
phy, the progress which had been made in his intel- 
lectual education was extraordinary i and it is 
impossible to doubt that his hitherto almost sote 
tutoress. Miss Jenny Scott, must have been a wo- 
man of tastes and aoquirBments very far above whsc 
could have been often umnd among Scotch ladie% 
of any but the highest class at least, in that dajr. 
In the winter of 1777. she and, her cbarae 4>ent 
some few weeks— not happy week& the " lleoioir'* 
hints them to have been--in Qeorge's Square, £dui« 
burgh ; imd it so happened, that during tmis little 
interval, Mr. and Mrs. Scott received m their do- 
mestic circle a guest capable of appreciating, and, 
fortunately for us, of recording in a very atrikins 
manner, the remarkable' development of younn. 
Walter's fiaculties. Mrs. uockburo, mentioned by 
him in bis Memoir as the authoress of the modern^ 
" Flowery of the Forest," bom ^ Ruth^ford, of 
FaimaUe, in Selkirkshire, was distantly related to 
the poet's mother, with whom she had through lile 
been in habits of mtimate friendship. T)iis accom- 
plished woman was staying at Ravelstone, in tbe 
vicinity of Edinburfdi, a seat of the Keiths of Dun- 
notar, nearly related to Mrs. Scott, and to herself 
With some of that family she spent an evening in 
George's Square. • She chanced to be writing next 
day to Dr. Douglas, the well-known and much res* 
peoted minister of her native parish, Galashiels; 
and her letter, of which the doctor's son has kind- 
In given me a copy, contains the following pas- 
sage :— • 

*^Edinbarfh, Saturday night, 16th of the gkxmiy month 
when the people of Eoglaod hang and drown tbesa> 
selves. 

• * • * '' Hast night supped in Mr. Walter 
Scott's. He has the most extraordinary genhis of 
a boy I ever • saw. He was reading a poem to his 
mother when I went in. I made him read on; 
it was the description of a shipwreck. His passion 
rose with the storm. He lifted his eyes and hands. 
.'There's the mast gone.' says he; ^ crash it goes ! 
—they will all perish 1' After his agitation, he turns 
to me. ' That is too melancboly,^says hei ' I had 
better read, you something more amusing.' I pte- 
ferred a little chat, and asked his opinion of Milton 
and other books he was reading, which he gave me 
wonderfully. One of his observations wai^ *How 
strange it is that Adam, just new come mto the 
world, should know every thhig— that roust be the . 
poet's fancy,' says be. Bat when he was told he 
was created perfect by God, be instantly yielded. 
When taken to bed last night, he told his aunt he 
liked that lady. * What lady T says she. * Why' 

• IfifosDiBaottt Pnsa Waifca, voLxt. P.Ji|l^ 



Ura OF ^ WAI-XEB SCOTT. 



^ 



Mn. Cockburo ; for I think fihe is a Tirtuoao, like 
.«y«^.* • D«IW Wilter/ rtijrs lailnt Jenrijr, 'what 
it avtrjuoso?* *Don*l'ye knoi^rl Why, 11*8006 
iiho wishes and will know erer^ thing.' •—Now, 
air, you will think«thi8 a very ailly storY. Pray 
-what age do you suppose this boy to be 7 Wame it 
now, before I tell you. Why, twelte or fourteen, 
JSo such thing; he is not qufte tn years old.t Ha 
'has a lame leg, for which he was a year at Bath, 
and has acquired the perfect English accent, which 
he has not lost since he came, and he reads like 
a Garrick. Vou will allow this an uncommon 
exotic." 

Some particulars in Mrs. Cockbvm's account ap- 
pear considerably at variance, with what Sir Wal- 
ter has told us respecting his ovm boyish profi- 
ciency--especially in the article of pronunciation. 
On that last head, however, Mrs. Cockbum was 
not i>robably, a vary accurate jud^e : all that can 
be said is, that if at this earlv penod he had ac- 
quired any thing which could be justly described 
as an Enghsh acoent, he s^^nn 'o-t huA n ^^ ju 

Tecoverad^ what hehad tlnj!^ ^fiiL^: ;..M.. „, . nt 
vesideDce at Bath. In afl^ r Life hi» pronufnEi^Mon 
•ofwords, considered aeptraielv, was sekiom much 
dmarentfrom that of a WtiUoduciitad En^ltBhinan 
of hiatime; but he used muny vrord^ in a vtate 
which belonged to Scotlind not 10 En^jand, nod 
tke tone ana acttnt tern^incd broadly K^^ihCrh, 
thongn. unleaa in the^nrr. which no dtniln nsnhc)f 
«d of the country bordeiin^ on NurrhiimL*prUi[id4 
therowaa no protineial r^'C^uliiirity about httF ut* 
teraneeu He had atrong i^n ^v'ui s tjf mur 1 i rry —en uld 
talk with a peasant quite in hie own aiyle^ and fra- 
HiDently in general aooiety miroiiuoed rustic p^i^otr, 
IiorilMnii, aouthern, or n^dland* with K^eat tmth 
and eneot ; but these thini^m w^t^ inlDid drvniatiea^ 
ly, or planully, upon hia nnrrativ^!. Hm t:xqiimie 
taste in this matter wns Di>e tc?;^ rt^mnrkriblr- m Itis 
eonveraation than in the p: la. 

Another lady, nearly ooimuLivu t-.^ -^- ^ lie 

of Ravelalone, haa a lively recollection of young 
Walter, when paying a fiait much abont the same 
period to his kind ralation^t the miatreaa of that 
ptetureeqne old mansion, which furnished him in 
aiter daya with many or the featans of his Tully- 
Veolan, and whoso venerable gardens, with their 
maaaive hodgea of vew and hculy, he always oon^ 
aidered as the ideal of the art The lady, whoae 
*etter 1 have now before me» saya she distinctly 

C»member8 the sickly boy sitting at the gate of the 
ouae with hia attendant, when a poor mendkant 
«|7i>roached, old and wobegone, to claim the cha- 
nty which none asked for in vain at Ravelstone. 
When the man was retiring, the servant remarked 
to Walter that he ought to be thankful to Pr6vi- 
dence for having placed him above the want and 
miaery he'«had been contemplating. "The child 
looked up with a half wiatful, half incf ednloua ex- 
pression,"— and aaid, ffovmr wu a beggar! How 
do you know thati said the other— Why, don't you 
femember, anawered the little virtuoso,— that 
, "fleven Aoman cities strove for Homer <iea(^ 
Tbroufh which the Uvkis Homer begfed Us breed)" 
Tbe lady smiled at the **Roman cities,"— but already 
** Each blank ia faithless memory void. 
The poet's glowiog thought suppfied." 
. It was in this same year, 1777, that he spent some 
time at Preatonpana; ihade his first acquaintance 
with George Constable, the original of his Monk- 



ISB bf a dflMTiptim of the Aatborof Wavwkef :- 
**B» liMVite vttrkMu ai^dM of ••ettut tiag>, 
TMr iru ind fa>hioi» of ••eh vkrioai nht ; 
TMr wMKUut, f«»«nU«, puoUhotMiU orerinw : 
n|%dr«(nnca, tbtir Itaminf ek«, and rartUes. 
Of old habillmeiit, aaciSMrt and liza, 
M«l«, famrte, Mfh aad low, to bloi ««• kmnro ; . 
, KMb |ladl«tor'a draaa, and ataca^diwaiat, 

Witk Utf oad clerkly phnm km eonld ki«va abewB." 

♦Hewa atfa lk «<.roc yMn and thrae moatiN old baftre this 
■enwwaa wnttM. 



bams ; explored the field where Colonel Gardiner 
recdyed'^ma death^^oond.'nMfr the learned tanW- 
ance of I>algetty ; and marked the spot " whelto 
the graffs grew long and green, dlstingnishin^ it 
from the rest of the field,^* above the grave df po6r 
Balmawhapple. 

Hisnncie Thomas, whom I have described as I 
saw him in extreme old age at Monklaw, had tfato 
management of the farm afikirs at Sandy-Knowa, 
when Walter returned thither from Preatonpana t 
he waa a kindhearted man, and very fond of the 
child Appearing on his return somewhat strength- 
ened, his Ufde promoted him from the C^W* 
bailie's shoulder to a dwarf of the Shethind raoa, 
not BO large aa many a Newfoundland dog. Thb 
creature walked freeiy into the house, and Waa 
regularly red fipom the boy's hand. He ioon learn- 
ed to sit her well, and often alarmed aunt Jeniiy, 
by cantering over the rough places about tni 
tower. In the evening of his life, when he had n 
grandchild atfficted with an infirmity akin to hb 
own, he provided him with a Kttle mare of ths y 
aame breed, and -gave her the name of Maric% ift 
memory of this early favonriteii 



CHAPTER III. 

IU.17aTBATI0Na OF THX AXTTOBlOSRAFinr OO SAmUM^— 

HI0H SCHOOL OF BoiiiBiraoa~-anaiDBiGn at mmiMf 

--1778-I783. . ^ 

Thx report of Walter^s progreaa in horaemanahip 
probablv reminded his father that it was time M 
alionld be learning other things beyond the depart* 
mant either of aunt Jenny or uncle Thomas^ and 
titet a few raontha he waa recalled to Edinburgh 
But extraordinary as watf tha pro^p^eaa he had by 
tlna tmie made in that aelf-adncation, which alone 
18 of primary consequence to spirits of his order, he 
waa found too deficient in lesser matters tq be at 
once entered in the High School. Probably his hkh 
ther dreaded, and deferred aa long as she could, the 
day when he ahould be expoaed to the rude coK 
liaion of a crowd of boya. At all events, he wai 
placed firat in a liule private achool kept by one 
Leechman in Briato-port ; and then, that experi- 
ment not anawaring expectation, under the domes- 
tic tutorage of Mr. James French, afterwards minis- 
ter of Eaat Kilbride in Lanarkshire. This respect- 
able man grounded him in the Latin grammar, 
and conaidered him fit to join Luke Frasers second 
class in October, 1779. 

His own account of his progress at this excellent 
aeminvy is, on the whole, Wsry shnilar to what I 
hav% received from aome of his surviving achool- 
followa. His quick apprehension and powerfiil 
memory enabled him, at little coat of labour, to 
perform the uBual routine of taaks, in such a man- 
ner 4a tokeep him generally ''in a decent plactL** 
(bo he once expressed it to Mr. Skene,) "about the 
middle of the dass; with which," he continued, 
*'I waa the better contented, that it chanced to be 
near the flre."t Mr. Praserwas, I believe, more 
xeaiona in enforcing attention to the technicahtiee 
of grammar, than to excite eurioBity about histori'- 
cal facta, or imagination to strain af^er the fiighta < 
of a poet. There is no evidence that Scott, though 
he apeaka of himlia his *' kind maater," in remem- 
brance probably of sympathy for hia physical in'> 
fimiities, ever attracted his special notice with rc^ 
forence to acholansthip; but Adam, the rector, into 
whose dasa he paaaed in October, 1782, was, aa hia 
situation demanded, a teacher of a more liberal 
cast and though never, even under his guidance, 
did Walter fix and concentrate his ambition so aa 
to maintain an eminent place, still the vivacitvof hie' 
talents waa observed, and the readineas of nis me" 
mory in particular waa ao often displayed, that (aa 
Mr. irvmg, hia choeetf friend of that daj, infomm 

• Waveriar, vol. H. p. 1T5. 

'^ AeconHDc to Mr. Inrhiff's raeollce 

he mit winter, waa unuJIy between 

the Wp of Jbe rlsju. He apdst " Dr. Jamei Buchan waa alwa; 



the Wp or the rJaas. He adds. " Dr. Jamei Buchan waa i 
the dtjjr: David Doojilaa (Lord Reatoo) tecond; and theii 



Digitized by ' 



u 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTO. 



TIM,) thfi doctor " would corvetamly rtftr lo tiini Tnr 
4a tea, ihe parEicuiarj of bntdt-P, and oOnar retnnrk- 
fflble ovc'iit? alUidtd it* iti Horncfe c^r whatcvtrr 
auilior thfl bays were reading. &tid used to call 
Mm the fiisloriaii of the class. No onu who hus 
read, a* fewhav*? noi, Dr. AHani's JnlorcHtrng work' 
ca EoiTian Atitiqvutic^, will doubi th^ author's 
capndty for aumuluiing eudi a Tnmd as young 

Hci ^onks of himai'Lf aa occasionally *' glancing 
like a nietwr from the boilom to ihc lop of tJio 
form," Hifl B^hool-ftUow, Mr. Claud Ru sat 11, re- 
members that b(j nnce inatk' a Kreai leap in eonso- 
fiiienco of tha fitupidity of some lau^rflrd on what ia 
caUisd the tiiJ/*j (do 11*0) bEnch^ who b^ing afikod, 
on bo^sling atctijit, '' wbal piiFt of spc&ch is iritlt/" 
aaaworfHl, '^ a fuiwfidniiris," The rector, after a 
inainent'a pau^^ though i ii worth whlk lo a^k his 
duJ^—'^ U with ever a Bufeatamive T' but all wt^re 
iUenl until the query roachtd Soott, ihon neiir the 
boUpm of th© dasy, who iiiBiatiElv rtspondod by 
wuoUQM ■ verao of the book of Judgtt^ :— ^' And 
Sampson said imto Ddilah, If they hmd mo wiih 
seYtn green with* that were nevt^r tiriod, ihtn shall 
I be weak, and as nnotber mrin^''* Another up- 
wnrd tnovpmeni, accomph^hed in a Itss laudable 
mannt^r^ but huM one Brrikingly illustrntivu of his 
ingiBnioua nesonrcas;, I am enabled to pre&erve 
throuf^h I he kindnetsn of a brother poet und ce teem- 
ed fnt'nd^ to whom Sir Walter him*(flf cotnmubi- 
Saied it la tho mdanclioly twilight of hia brigbt 

MT. Rogara aaya™" Silting otiedrty alonfr with 
km m voyr house, in the Repent'^ Park -(it w^a 
tJwdRy oaf one before lin kft it to einbitrk nt Pons- 
mouth for MultaJ— 1 led hmu amoitg oiher thJiiufs 
^ (dU mc oncti again a atory of himsetf^ which he 
liid formerly told mo, and whjdi I hrid olttjn wiihtd 
Ui roco^ur. When I returned hoinu> 1 wrotf it 
down, ae aearly as 1 could, m his own words 5 and 
here they are- The atibjeci is an acbievomf-Tit 
worthy of Ulysiica hiraeelf, and such oa nianv of his 
•chciol-fellowa could, no doubt, have related of 
hiiri J but I fear I havo done tl no jus tie*, ihotidi 
the Blory la »o very diaracteri^lto that i( should not 
^ loat. *rhe inimitablo manner in whit'h ho told 
ll— the glance of ihn eypf thtJ turn of the bead, and 
the hfflii that filaytid Cjvtr hia faded ft^aturea aa, one 
by one, thw circnm*mnte9 cinm buck to lum, ac- 
companied by a Ihoueond boyish l^^hiags, that hud 
elept perhapB for ycare— tbtire ia no language, not 
«von hia own, eouid tjonvey \o you ; but yuu CJin 
BUpply them. Would thai othera coutd do no, who 
had oot the good fortune to krtow him I— The me- 
luorandum (Pridayj October lilj 1531) ts aa fol^ 
Jowa :— 

"There waa a hay m my clasa at uchool, who 
■tood always at tb« lop.t nor could I with all my 
efforts iwppUut him. Day came after dav, and 
Btdl lie kepi hie placu, do what I wonldj'lilJ at 
length I objifurved that when h (jtieE^tion waa askixj 
bim. ho dlway^ fu nib ted with his fm^trs ni d par- 
ticulaT button in th4t^ lower part of hiB waiatcoaL 
To rtjjnove it» therefore, beeame t?jtpedient in my 
^ eyes} and in an evil iwoment >t was removed with 
a knife. Great waa my anxieiy lo know ths sue- 
c*^ea of my njeasuFC j and it ^nfcet^ded too well. 
Whtm iho boy waa again Qkiesuoned, his iuiger« 
aousbt actaui for tho button, bul it wa^ not to be 
Ibundp In hia ihaireitJ? he k>oke#l down for it ; it 
-fpsa to h& liffien no m^ro thuu 10 he felt. He 
fUiCid coiifountiodj a nil 1 look poaaeaaion of hia 
place ; nor did ha ever recov^^r it. or trwr, I belieYc^ 
•U£p{?ct who wjifi thu author of im wron#f* Ofien 
m after- l;fu has Uio aigfit of him amoie mti un I 
traasyd by him ; ^nd ofien ha to 1 reaolvt d to make 
uiin flome reparation i tniL n ondtd in gotid reso- 
IuUon«. Though 1 tKrer rantfwed my ucotuuntani^ 



+Wf tn^riJ ifsc'iHEi to thiafc that ihii isiPidsfit 1 



: fcfl^ll 



«eFUrrpf3 fjfjHri.^ SratVt iiiin^iic.> otj Lutr F™«lt, not aiur l« 
lit tkip^ tipp Hut tot^D citfi. bQi of ieou'ft QwnJMKfatir illvi- 



clEtm ; tind 
noo af u% etur«. 



with him, I often saw liim, ^or hf ttled ' sonie infe- 
rior office io one of the courts oC law at Edinbuvs^ 
S'oor fellow 1 I believe he it dead ; he took early lo 
rinkinff.'* 

The autobiography tells us tnat bis transUtions in 
verse from Horace and Virgil were often approved 
by Dr. Adam. One of theae little pieces, written in 
a weak bovish scri^wl within penciUea marks atiil 
visible, had been carefully preserved by his mother ; 
it was found folded up in a cover inscribed by the 
old lady—" Jkfy WaUer^sJirat liru$, 1782." 
'* In awful ruins iEtna thunders nigh. 
And sends in |Ntchy whirlwimls to tno aky 
Black ck>udB of smoke, which, still as tb^y an>ire. 
Prom their dark aides there bursts the alowiog fire> 
At other times huge balls of fire ar^ tossMJ, 
That lick the stars, and in the smoke arc lost : 
Sometimes the mount, with vast convalsioDS torn, 
Emits huge rocln, which instantly ar^ borne 
With kNid explosions to the starry skies, 
The stones made liqaid as the huge mass ilea. 
Then back again with greater weight recoils, 
While JStitt thundering from the bottom boils." 
1 gather from Mr. Irving that theee lilies wem 
considered as the second TOst set of those produced 
on the ocoasien—CoKn Mackentie of PortRrore, 
throng hfe Scott's dear fHend, carrying olT the 
premium. 

In his introduction to the " Lay," he alludes to 
an original eflfbsion of these '^schoolboy daya^*' 
prompted by a thunder-storm, which, he says, ''was 
much approved of, until a malevolent critic «pn]nfc 
up in the shape of an apothecary's blue-boekined 
wifet who affirmed that my most sweet poetiy wsi 
copied from an old magazme. I never" <he «ont»- 
nnes) " foigave the impntatk>iv and even now I 
acknowledge some resentment against the poor 
woman's memory. She indeed accused me unjust- 
ly, when she said I had stolen my poem ready 
made; but as I had, Uke roost premature poets^ 
copied all the words and ideas of whidi my verses 
consisted, she was so far nghtw 1 made one or two 
faint attempts at verse afCer I had undefgone this 
sort of daw-plucking at the hands of the hpothe- 
cary's wife, but some fhend or other always advised 
me to put my verses into the fire ; and, like Doraz 
in the play, I submitted, though with a' swelling 
heart" These lines, ana another short piece "on 
the Setting Son," were lately found wrapped up in 
a cover, inscribed by Dr. Adam, " Walter S4>Dtt, 
July, 1783," and have been kindly transmitted to 
me by the gentleman who discovered them. 
*' Ona Thunderstorm. 
"Loud o'er my head thoush awful thunders rolj^ 
And Tlvld lightnings fiaph n'om pole to pole, 
Tet His thy voice, my God, that bids them fly, 
Thy arm directs those lightnings through the sky. 
Then let the good thy m^hty name reveie, 
And hardened sinners thy Just Tengeance fear.*' 

« On the Setting &un. 
"Those evening clouds, that setting ray. 
And beauteous tints, serve to display 
Their great Creator's praise ; , 

Then let the short*Uvcd chtng eaU'dnan, 
Whose life's comprised wUma a spsa, 
To Him his homage raise. 

" We often praise the evening ctouds, 

And tints so gat and bold, 
But seldom UiinK upon our God, 
Who tinged these clouds with gold !*** 
It must, I think, be allowed that these lines, 
though of the olass to which the poet himself mo- 
destly ascilbes them, and not to be compared with 
the enorts of Pope, still less of Cowley, at the sarae* 
period, show, nevertheless, praiseworthy dextenty 
for a boy of twelve. 
The fragment tells us, that, on the whole, he was 

* I am obliged for these little memorial* to the Rev- W. Steven 
of Rottordam. author 4>f' an inleree^Jnf book on the hiclory of the 
branch of the Seotcb Ckirrch lone eataliNsbed in Holland, ahd 
»UI1 floinwbiiw under the jMptvction of the enUfhtensd KoMm- 
ment of that eountir. Mr. Steven rmuid them jo tha oooise ^ '. 
his iDoent nM6«rch«s, twcleftsliea vnlh a view to 1 

aflho High School of T 

own early education. 



Digitized by 



tvilh a view.to aonentemc 



LIFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



26 



**iiiore diBtiagaisbed in tlu Yards (as the High 
School play-ground was called) than in the class ;^^ 
and this, notToBa than the intellectual advancement 
whichyears before had excited the admiration of 
Mrs. Cockbnm, was the natural reeult of his life- 
long 'I rebellion against external circumsianoes." 
He might now, with very slender exertion, have 
been the dux oi his form« but if there was more dif- 
ficulty, there was also more to whet his ambition^ 
in the attempt to overcome the disadvantages of his 
physical misfortune, and in spite of them assert 
equality with the best of his compeers on the ground, 
which they considered as the true arena of honour. 
He toki me, in walking through these same yards 
forty years aCterwarda^that he had scarcely made his 
fifcat appearance there,, before some dispute ariaing, 
hie opponent remark^, that ^' there waano use to 
huKle-bargle witha cnpple ;" upon which he replied, 
that if he might fight movnttd^ he would try his 
hand with- any on^ of his inches. " An elder ooy," 
(said be,) *' woo hsd perhape been chuckling over 
ow friend Roderick Random, when his mother sup- 
posed him to be in full ^ry after Pyrrhus. or Poms, 
suggested that the two little tinklers might be lash- 
ed Irani to front upon a deal board—andr-' O gran 
bootade' cavalier antichip-ihe proDosal being forth- 
with agreed to, I received my first bloody nose in an 
aitiiude whioh would hfive elktitled me, in the blessed 
days of personal cognizances, to assume that of a 
VMncd se^mU guUs, 'Hy pugihstic trophies herob" 
(ke contuiued,) ** were all the results of such siiUngs 
in bmneor Considering his utter ignorance of fear, 
' the strength of his chest and upper limbs, and that 
W scientific part of pugilism never flourished in 
. Scoiland, I dare say ciiese trophies were not few. 

The mettle of the High School boys^ however, 
waa principally displMred elsewhere than in their 
own yards; and Sir Walter has nimiahed us with 
ample indications of the delight with which he 
found hunaelf at length capable of rivalUng others 
in such achievements as required the exertion of ac- 
tive locomotive powers. Speaking of some scene 
of hit iofiuicy. m one of his latest tales, he says : 
" Every step of the way, after I have passed through 
the green already mentioned," (probably the Med- 
e daws behind Oeocge's Square,) '^ has for me some- 
thiniK of an early remembrtfnoe. JThere is the stile 
at which I can recollect a cipss ehild's-maid up- 
braiding me with my infirnmy, as she lifted me 
hoarsely and careiesaly over the flinty steps whioh 
my brothers traversed with shout and bound. I re- 
member the suppressed Utienuss of ihf r-;-rr.-^% 
and conscious of my own infirmity, iho envj wiih 
which I regarded the easy movemenc^ ami ola,*»iic 
steps of my more hsppily furmed bret li ren. Al ti s T' 
(headd&> "these goodly barks have all perished m 
life's wide ocean, and only that vrhieh Jn.(^m^iL ns 
the naval phrase goes, so little ae» -worthy, Ims 
reached the port when the toapeet i^ owt:^ How 
touching to compare with this passage, that in 
whieh he records his pride in being found, before he 
left the High School, ope of the boldest and nim- 
bbet climbers of " the kittle nine stanes," a passage 
of difficulty which might puzzle a chamois hunter 
of the Alps, Us steps "few and fer between," pro- 
jected high m aurfrom the precipitous black granite 
of tho Castle rock. But climbing and fighting 
coBld sometimes be combmed, and he has in aUnost 
the same pace dwelt upon, perhaps, the most fa- 
voonte of allthesejuvenile exploits—namely, "the 
nanning of the Cowgate Port,"— in the season 
when snowballs could be employed by the young 
seorners of discipline for the annoyance of the 
Town-guard. To understand fully the feelings of a 
/Higb* School boy of that day, with resard to those 
UKftfentwi^^landers, who then formed (be only po- 
lice of the city of Edinburgh, the reader mu«t consult 
the poetry of the scanegrace Ferguson. It was in 
dafiance of their Lochaber axes that the Cowgate 
Port was manned — and many were the occasions on 
tthieh its defence presented at least a foraydabLB 
immicry of warfare. "The gateway," Sir Walter 
adds, "is now demolished, and probably most ^iu 
garrison lie as low as the fortress ! To recollect diat 
4 9 



1 1, however naturally disqualified, was one of these 
juvenile dreadnoughts, is a aad refiectwn for one 
who cannot now step over a brook without assist- 
ance. 

1 am unwilling to swell this narrative by cxtrai>u 
from Scott's published works, but there is one ju- 
venile exploit told in the general preface to the Wa- 
verly Novels, which I must crave leave to introduce 
here in his own language^ because it is essentially 
necessary to complete our notion of his schoolboy 
life and cnaracter. " It is well known," (he saya,) 
" that there is little boxing at the Scottish schools. 
About forty or fifty years ago^ however, a far more 
dangerous mode of fighting, in oarties or fections, 
was permitted in the streeu ot Kdinblirgh, to the 
great disgrace of th&poUoe, and danger or the par-* 
ties concerned. These parties were generally form* 
ed from the quarters of the town in whioh the corfi' 
batantsjesidedf those of a particular square or die* 
triot fighting ^gainst those of an adjoining ona 
Hence it happened, that the children of the nigher- 
claases were often pitted against those of the lowen 
each taking their sidoi according to the residence of 
their friends. So fer as I recollect, however, it wae 
unmingled either with feehngs of democracy or aris» 
tocracy, or, indeedi with malice or ill-will of any 
kind towards the opposite party. In fact, it was . 
only a rough mode of play. Such contests were, 
however, maintained with great vigour with stones,, 
and stickflk and fiaticuffe, when one party dared to 
charge and the other stood their ground. Of course* 
mtschief sometimes happened ; boys are said to have 
been killed at these Bickers^ as they were called* 
and serious aceidents cerfeialy took place, as many 
contemporariea can bear witness. 

" The author's father jwaiding in George's Square, 
in the southern side of £dinbursi;hi the boys beleng* 
ing to that family, with others, m the square, were 
arranned into a sort of company, to which a lady 
of distmction presented a haiidaQme set of colours.^ 
Now, this company or regiment, as a matter of , 
course, was engaged in weekly warfare with the 
boys inhabiting the Croascauseway, Bristo- Street, 
the Potterrow,— in short, the neighbouring suburbs. 
These last were chiefly of the lower rank, out hardy 
loons, who threw stones to a hair's-breadthi and 
were very rugged antagonists at close quarters. 
Ther skirmish sometimes lasted for a whole even.- 
ing, until one party or the other was victorious, 
when^ if ours were successful, we drove the enemy 
to their quarters, and were jisually chased back by 
the re-enforesment of bigger lads, who came to 
their assistance. If, on the conirarv, we were pu> 
sued, as was often the case, into the prednets of 
our square, we were in our turn supported by our 
elder brothers, domestic servants, and similar aux- 
iliaries. It followed, from our frequent opposition 
to each other, that, though not knowing the namee. 
of our enemies, we were yet well acquainted with 
their appearance, and had nicknames for the most 
remarkable of them. One very active and spirited 
boy might be considered as the principal leader in 
the cohort of the suburbs. He was, I suppose, 
thirteen or fourteen years old. finely made, tall, 
Hue-eyed, with long fair hair, the very picture of a ^ 
yonthml Goth. This lad was alwaya first in the 
charge, and last in the retreat— the Achilles atonce 
and Aiax of the Croascauseway. He was too for- 
midable tb us not to have a cognomen, and, like 
that of a knight of old, it was taken from the most 
remarkable part of his dress, being a pair of old 
green livery breeches, which was the principal part 
of his clothing; for, like Pentapolin, according to 
Don Quixote's account, Green-breeks, as we called 
him, always entered the battle with hsire arms, legs, 
and feet. 

" It fell, that once upon a time, when the combat 
was at the thickest, this plebeian champion headed ^ 
a charge so rapid and furious, that all fled before' 
him. He was several paces before his comrades, 
and had actually laid his hands upon the patrician 
standard, when one of our party, whom some mia- 

• Tfate jtsmg patrowtt was tlM praient Coontast-Docfami of 
SntherUod. ^ 



LIFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



judmg fnend had intrusted with a couteau dt chane^ 
or hanger, inspired with a teal for the honour of the 
corps, worthy of Major Sturgeon himseU; struck 
poor Oreen-breeks over the head, with strength sitf- 

ficient to cut him down. When this wai if*n, the 
i!S![untly wad so iar Utiyond whnt hnd ef^r tnkrri 
T4ace befwe^ thai t*oih purtiL^i flc^ liitTerfliit ways 
leavinp poar Orven-hredts, wiih It is bright h.iir 
H^tiful% dabbled in btood, tg tht^ eare of ttie 
watchnian, wh<j ^h^npftt man^ took cnfp not to 
know who had done Tho jiiischjef. Tho blot>dy 
hanger was? thrown into omi of ihe Meadow duch;?*, 
and stiltmn st^T^^ was swof n iM! all hantj* ; hut 
thf! TeTnorp5i:< ^nd terror <t( the acioir wt^re bey 1.1 mi all 
bounds ajid hifi appro^en anions of the fnoit dmnclfiil 
characier. The wounded hero was for a few d-nys 
in rhc lufirniarjr, ihij caie lnjifwf only a mfltn^ om^. 
J]iit though intqairy was strt>nflrly pn^eised on him. no 
aiptjmc?nt eofutd make hiTn indicaic the pi^reon froia 
wKoin he bad neceived tht; wounds tliough he mui^ 
have hcen perfecily wpII known to hini. When he 
recovCTedi and was dii5tnTj<s*?di tb*.- author and hss 
hrol bera dponed aconnTumieatioTj wjch him, throuizh 
the nifdium of a popular (^inK^rhrend hftker, of 
whom both parM<'^ were cu stonier*, in ord^'T to tt^n- 
der a stibfiidy in tho name of afiiiLr(*Tiioney. The 
sum would excite ridicule wert^ I to natno it; hut 
Bure 1 am, that the potkefp of the noted QrccM- 
brei-kft never held ai much mioney of bis own. He 
declined the remittance, eaying ibrtt hf* woidd n')t 
Bell his blood ; but at the i^ame timt? reprobated the 
idi^a of being an informer, whf^b hv aaid WAti ftom^ 
I. e, boaeor mean. With iinirh urgency^ he ftr^^pt- 
ed a pound of (muff for the ^>f^ of Honri6 old wnmiti 
—aunt* ^rrandmotbtT, or the like — vnih whom lie 
livoil. We did noi become friends, for the birktrt 
were more af^reeable to hoth pDriii^ tl>an iny more 
pacific a muniment ; hut we conducted them t*vir 
aO»r^ under mutunl assurances tJf the highest con- 
«idcT*tion for each oiber/' Sir Walter adUa r— "'Of 
live brothtra. all healthy and promt^ng, in a de^rt-e 
far beyond ono whose infancy wa» visitKl by p+r- 
Bonal infiTmitVt and whose hmhh after tbirt period 
seemed long Yerytirs^carioii*, 1 am, n even be I est, the 
otdff flurviv{ir. The heat loved, and ih# bt«t Hr- 
serving to iie lovcd^ who bad d^eUncd this iticidpnt 
t6 be tne found ation of i^ litomry oompoii^itifir;. died 
* before bia day,' in a diacani and foffii^n land; 
and trifles ae^ine an impcf|-taii(ft* not (Heir own. 
when connected with those who have been loved 
and loBi.^' 

During acme part of bis attendance on the Htp;li 
S*;bool, young Wfiiter spent one hour daily at a 
small separate seminary of writtni; and itrithinctic, 
kept by one HoHon, wnerc^ fi^ wa** and I Himf^f^ne 
continues to beii tbecuMotni>rEdinbirreh, young mrls 
came fotinflrrttniion tts wc-M ti» bov* : ^nd futfl of Mr. 
Mbrfon'fl frmntr' ptipil* has hpt^n kind cnotmh to set 
dowti tomf" litrle reniiniat-^inces of J^^oft, who bap* 
pened to sit at the mim>y desk with bernelf. Tht^^ 
appear to me the more interesting, becauAe tbt? lod/ 
hm no aL^uointanee with Kim ii^ the course of hi* 
subsapiont life. Hcf nt'pbcWf Mr* James, (the at- 
compbibed nnthor of Ricbdicu,) to whose frienii- 
ship I owe hci corntnunit'ntion, a&^urew me, tou; 
thai be had constanily hrard her (fll the fforu'l 
things m the v*^ *onie wuy, os fsr buck an bia o^^ri 
memory reaches fimny years^ before he hud evpr 
seen ^ir Walter, or biu aunt could have dreamt nf 
ettrvivjnis to af^sist in the biography of hi^ earh; 
davfc 

" He nttrftcti]d/* Mrs. ChuroBide says, " the re- 
gard and fopdneasof all hie compamoni, for be woa 
Git&t rational, fanci&ii livt^ly^ and poaiieesed of that 
urhantfgcntieneBa of manner^ which makes its way 
to the heart. His imaf^ination was conHtandy nl 
work, and he often so t?ngTo^s?ed the flElcniion ot* 
those who learnt with bim, tl*st little ^-ould bcdcn^j 
—Mr. Mortot) liinv*iilf being forced to laogh as much 
aa the tittle gcholars nx Ihe odd funia and ^tvice^ he 
fall upijn J forbc did ntHbing in the ordioMry way, but, 
forexntnpk'p even when be wanted ink lo ht^pr.ri, 
would ge^ up flonit? ludicroiiR etorr about sending hiA 
doggif to tli£ mill agaiQ. He used also to intercut ui 



in a more serious wa^, by telling us his pUum»t as ha 
called them, which he had lying akrne on mfHon^ 
or sofa, when kept fVom going to chnreh on a Sunday^ 
by ill health. Child as I was, I oould not help beiuff 
htghly delighted with his description of the glories 
he had seen— bis misty and sublime sketches of tbs 
regions above, which he had visited in his iranoe. 
Recollecting theae descriptions, radiant, and not 
gloomy, as they were, I have often thouf^hc sinos, 
that there must have been a bias in bis mmd to so* 
peretition— the marvellous seemed to have such 
power over him, though the mere offspring of his 
own imagination, that the expression of his faosL 
habitually tliat of genuine benevolence, mingM 
"with a shrewd innocent humour^ changed grestly 
while he was speaking of these thmgs, and snowed 
a deeo intenseneas of feeling, asif ne vr^ aw<sd 
even oy his own recital. ... I may add, that m 
walking he used alwaya to kee|^ hie eyes turned 
downwards, as if thinking, but with a pleasing sz- 
preasion of countenance, aa if enjoying niaihoughtsv 
Having once known bin, it waa impossible ever 10 
forget him. In this manner, after all the ehangss 
of a k>ng life, he constantly appears as fresh as ys»- 
terday to my mind^a eye." 

This beautiful exnract needs no commentanr. I 
may as well, however, bear witness, that exactly ns. 
the achoolboy still walks before "her mind's eye,^' 
his image rises fimiliajrly to mine, who never saw 
him untd he was ^ast the middle 01 lilb : that I trace 
in every feature of her delineation, the sane gentle- 
ness 01 aspect and demean9ur which the presenee 
of the female sex. whether m sdk or in russet, ever 
c6mmanded in the man ; and that her desciiptk>n 
of the change on his countenance, when passing 
from the '* doggie of the mill," to the dream of Parn- • 
disc, is a perfect pwture of what no one that hen 
heard him recite a Iragment of high postnr, in the 
course of table-talk, can ever forget Strengeis 
may catch some notion of what fondly dweUn 
on the memory of every friend, by glancing firom 
the conversational bust of Chantrey, to the first 
portrait by Raebum, which repivsents the Last 
Mmstrel as musing in his prine within sight of Her- 
mitage.* 

I believe it was about tliis time- that, as he ex- 
presses it in one of hm latest work^ "the first • 
ima^aof hurror from (fir scenes of real life were 
stanipt^ upon hts mind,' by the tragical death of 
his gr*at-ouoi, Mr3. MArj.:r£ret Swinton. This old 
larty, whow* fJttfBOrdrnnry fierve of character he il- ' 
lu^irntci^ hir^lv in the in r reduction to the story of 
Aimr Mnrj^^nin's MiiTT>n was now living with one 
female ntteiidant, in a ,>^riMdl house, not far from 
Mr. Scott's r#:sulflncc ni ^3reorge's Square. The 
maid-.>u>rvani, in ft s^udden ..ccessof insanity, stmek 
her mMEre?«i to (iinth win a coal-axe, and thea 
rushed fuhot»fy inio tb« street with the bh>odr 
weapon in her hand, proclaiming aloud the horref 
she had perpetrated. I need not dwell on the efiects 
which must have been produced in a virtuona and 
af&cuonate circle by this shookinff incident. The 
old Utdy had been tenderly atuchea to her nephew. 
"She was" (he says) "our constant reiource m 
sickness, or when we tired of noisy play, tnd closed 
around her to listen to her talea.'* 

It was at this same period that Mr. and Mis. 
Scott received into their hbuse, as tutor for their 
children, Mr. James Mitchell, of whom the Ashes- 
tiel Memoir gives us a description, such as I ooidd 
not have presented had he been atill elite. Mr. 
Mitchell was still living, however, at thetimeof • 
his pupil's death, and I am now not only at liberty 
to present Scott's unmulilated account of their in- 
tercourse, but enabled to give also the most simple 
and xharaoteristic narrative of the other party. I '« 
am sure no one, however nearly related te Mr. 
Mitchell, will now complain of seeing his keen- 
sighted pupil's sketch placed by the aide, aa it wers^ 
of the fuller portraiture drawn by the unconscions 
hand of the amiable and worthy man himsell The 

* The Doke of Buecleuch, who now poMctiei thii admifable 
rait, hu kindly permRted it to be re-«ii|*ved Ibr the flliMlra- 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



UPE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



' fi>nowinK is an extract from Mr. Mitchell^B MS., 
MilitleB,^ MemorMlt oi the moflt nmarkaMe ocoai^ 
ttntoB and tnnaaetiona bf my life, drawn op in the 
bape that, when I ahali be no mot«, tbey niay be 
laad with iirulU and pleaanre by my children." The 
flood man waa ao kind as- to copy out pne (^apter 
B>r my use, as soon aa he heaxxi of Sir* Walter Scott'a 
death. He waa then, and had for many years been, 
minister of a Presbyterian chapel at Wooler; in 
NorUramberland, to which situation he bad retired 
on loainjK his benefice at Montroae, in conseqnence 
of the Sabbatarian scruples alluded to in Scott' a 
Antbbio^raphy. 

'^In 1782?' says Mr. Mitchell/* I became a tutor 
in Mr. Walter Scott*s family. He was a Writer to 
the Signet, in Oeorae*s Square, Edinburgh. Mr. 
Soott waa a fine looking man, then a little past the 
meridian of life, of digm^ed, yet agreeable manners. 
His business waa extensive. He waa a man of tried 
intearity, of strict morals, and had a respect for re- 
ligion an# its ordinances. The ehm'ch the fsmily 
attended was the Old Gray Friars, of which the 
oeleonited Dociora Robertson and Rrakine were the 
Boiniatera. Tluther went Mr. and Mrs. Scott eveiy 
Siibbath, when well and at home, attended by theur 
fine young (amily of children, and their domeedc 
■ervanta—a ai^t ao amiable and exemplary, aa often 
to excite in m/ breast a glow of heartfelt satisfkc- 
tbn. Aecorduig to an eatabliahed and laudable 
prhctice in the femily, the heada of it, the children, 
and aenranta, were aaaembled on Sondar ereninin 
in the drawing-room, and examined on the Churcn 
catechism and aermona they, had h^ard deliTcred 
during the courae of the day : on which occasions, 
I had to perform the part or chaplain, and conclude 
with prayer. From Bfn» Scott I learned that Mr. 
Scott was one that had not been aeduced from the 
patha of virtue ; but- had been enabled to venerate 
good morale from his youth. When he first came 
to Edinburgh to follow out his profession, some of 
Ina schooU^owi, who, like him, had come to reside 
in Edinburgh, attempted to tmhinge his principles, 
and corrupt his morals { bu^ when they round him 
nsokite^ and unahaken m his virtuoua dispositions, 
they gave up the attempt : but, instead of abandon- 
ing bun altogether, they thought the more of him, 
• ana honoured him with their confidence and patron- 
age ; which is certainly a great inducemeitt to young 
men in the outset of life to act' a dmilar part. 

** Alter having heard of hia inflexible adherence to 
the cause of virtue in his youth, and hia regular at- 
tendance on the ordinances of religion in after-life, 
we will not be surorised to be told that he bore a 
aacred regard for the Sabbath, nor at the foUoif- 
ing anecdtote illustrative of it. An opulent form- 
er of East Lothian had employed Mr. Scott as his 
f agent, in a cause depending before the Court of Ses- 
sion. Having a curiosity to see somethiog in the 
papers relative to the proceas, which were deposited 
m Mr. Scott's hands, this worldly roan came into 
Edinburgh on a ^adny to have an inspection of 
them. As there was no immediate necessity for this 
meaam-e, Mr. Scott aaked the farmer if an ordinary 
we^-day would not answer equally well. I^he 
farmer was not willing to take this advice^ but m- 
aiaied on the producuon of his papers. Mr. Scott 
t^n delivered, ihem up to him, sayinjs^ it was not 
his practice to engage in secular business on Sab- 
bath, and that he would have na difficulty in Edin- 
buigh to find some of hia profession wno would 
have none of his scruples. No wonder such a jnan 
was confided in, and greatly honoured in his pro- 
fessional line. All the poor services I did to his 
family were more than, reoaid by the comfort and 
honour I had by being in the family, the pecuniary 
' remunaranon 1 received, and partici^arly by his 
KconHftendation of me, some tunes afterwards, to 
the Magistrates and Town-Council of Montrose, 
, when there was a vacancy, and this brought me on 
the carpet, which, aa he aaidi was all he could do, 
as the settlement would ultimately hinge on a popu- 
lar election. 

" Mre. Scott was a wife in every respect worthy 
ofauch a husband. Like her partner, she was then 



a little past the meridian of life, of a nrepossessing 
appearance, amiable manners, of a cunwated under- . 
standing, afiectionate disposition, and fine taste. 
She was both able and disposed to soothe her hus- 
band's mind under the asperities of business, and to 
be a rich blessing to her numerous progeny. But 
what constituted her distinguishing ornament was, 
that she was sincerely rehgious. Some yeara pre- 
vious to my entrance into the family, I understood 
from one of the servanta she had been under deep 
rehgious concern about her soul's salvatiop, which 
had ultimately issued in a conviction of the 
truth of Christianity, and in the enjoyment of 
its divine consolations. She liked Dr. Erskine's 
sermons, but was not fond of the Principal's, how- 
ever rational, eloquent, and well composea, and ^ 
would, if other things had answered, nave gone, ^ 
when he preached, to have heard Dr. Davidson. 
Mra. Scott was a descendant of Dr. Daniel Ruther- 
ford, a professor in the Medical School of Edin- 
burgh, and one of those eminent men, who, by 
learning and professional skill, brought it to the 
high pitch of celebrity to which it has attained.. H6» 
was an excellent linguist, and, according to the cus- 
tom of the times, delivered his prelections to the. 
students in LatiiL Mrs. Scott told me, that, when 
preacribing to his patients, it .waa his custom to oner - 
ur nt tho «nme time a prayer for the Dccompanying 
bl<.^:^iLi)4 ^tf lat.svtiji; a \itin\s^U\r [^raciim^ in which, 
Ilerirt Kit hes j\oi ln^n (?ffierally imitintid by those 
of Ills profession* 

'" Mr. Scot t'lii Taindy ctm^i^u-d of sijt ch i Idren, all of 
which were nt liamc oxcf'pt (hfi! diJest, who was an 
officer in I ho aruiy ; ami iia (hpy w* re ul :i a age fit for 
iOs^E rue tiofi, till' y wirr^ oil eoDimitied U\ my superin-- 
teniknct\whteb, m depend atit:^ on Ckni. I exercised 
with stiR»meat and fauhful reRnrd lo liicir temporal 
and spiritual good. As ihfi ma«t of tltern were un- 
der piitilic tcfldierm, ihe duty aMipoed dk^ was main- 
ly no Q^mat ihem in thf prosecution of I iteir studies. 
In uH th*i eicelk'ijriej^, wtn ihcr fi?i u* tamper, con- 
diu'f, taJLrNB naiLiTiil ot cici^ijTri!i], wliieli anyof the ' 
cbilaron iiidivulualty pq^iBiv^^^iiJ, '<> !M.i--cer WalteTi 
ailing the cclpbrnkd &l]r Wall, r, n m i i lecided pre- 
fettncc be aficribiJcL ThuuKilv, lik' ifi' rest of the 
childf(.ii, pIecckI under my tuitiot], ib'; conducting " 
of Li]£ (.'ducrilian €i>mparsitvc>|y coat me but little 
trouble, beme, by ilit iiuickntiis of luS intellect, 
tensdiy of UK^nio-ry, and diliitfiLnt apj^li^ ilion to his 
studies, fsencTnity t^iual of hiiiim If io tU^. acquisition 
of iiiJL^i. iq^hs I or {'tImt'* pTf"'rri^'^<l !■► him. So 
th.^Jii^i^^ccW^ier might beitguidcd uui aomuchaa 
a pupil of mine, but as a friend and companion, and 
I may add. as an assistant also; for, by his exam- 
ple and admonitions, he greatly strengthened, my 
hands, and stiniulated my other pupils to industry 
and good behaviour^ I seldom had occasion all the 
time I was in the family to find feuU with him even 
for trifiesL and only once to threaten serious casti- | 

gation, oi which He was no sooner aware than he 
suddenly sprung up^ threw his arms about my neck, 
and kissed me. It is hardly needful 'to state, that 
now the intended castiga lion was no longer thought' 
of. By such generous and nob][e conduct my dis- 
pleasure was m a moment converted into esteem 
ar^ admiration; my soul melted into tenderness, 
and I was ready to mingle pny tears with his. Some 
incidents in reference to him in that early period, 
and some interesting and useful converaations I 
had with him, then*deeply impressed on my mind, 
and which the lapse of near half a century has not 
yet obliterated, anbrded no doubtful presage of his 
future greatness and celebrity. On my going into 
the family, as far as I can judge, he might be in hia 
twelfth or thirteenth year, a boy in the Rectoif^ 
class. However elevated above the other boys in 
genius, though generally in the list of the duxes, be 
was seldom, as tar as I recollect, the leader of the 
school : nor need this be deemed surprising; as it . 
ha9 often been observed, that boys of origin aigeniua 
have been outstripped by those that were far infe- 
rior to themselves, in the acquisition of the dead 
languages. Dr. Adani^ the rector, celebrated far 
his knowledge of the Latin language, was dM^- 
Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



LU^E OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



. ediy held by Mr. Walter in high aij miration and re^ 
sard :' of which the foUowing anecdote may be ad- 
, duoeo as a proof. In the High School as is well 
known, there are four masters and a rector. The 
classes of those masters the rector in rotation in- 
spects, and in the mean time the master, whose 
Bchooi is examined, goes in to take care of the rec- 
tors. One of the mastersi on account of some 

^ grudge, had rudely assaulted and injured the ven^ 
rable rector one mght in the High School Wynd. 
The rector's scholars, exasperated at the outrage, 
at the instigation of Master Waller, determined on 
revenue, ana which was to be executed when this 
(^noxious master should again come to teach the 

^ class. When thi^ occurred, the task the class had 

^ prescribed to them was that passage in the iEneid 
of Virgil, wl^re the Queen of Carthage interrogates 
the court as to the stranger that hadf come lo her 
babitation— 

. 'Quia noms hie hospes successit sedibus nostrisl** 

MtiBter Walter having taken a v^ece of paper, in- 
scribed upon it these words, substituting vasvus for 
noifu3t and pinned, it to the tail of the master's coat, 
and turned him into ridicule by raising the laufi[h or 
the whole school against him. Though this juve- 
nile action conld not be justified on the footing of 
Christian principles, yet certainly it was so far no- 
nourable, tlUc it was not a dictate of personal re- 
venue ; but that it originated in respect for a worthy 
and injured man, and detestation of one whom he 
lookea upon as a bad character. 

" One forenoon, on coming from the High School, 
he said he wished to know my opinion as to his 
conduct in a matter he should state to me. When 
passing through the High School Yards, he found 
^ a half-guinea piece on the ground. Instead of Ap- 

propriating this to his own use, aeenseof honesty 
led nim to look around, and on doing so he espied 
a oountryman, whom he suspected to be the pro- 
prietor. Having asked the man if he had lost anv 
thing, he searched his pockets, and then replied, 
that he had lost half-a-^uinea. Master Walter 
with pleasure presented him with his losv treasure. 
^B this transaction, his ingenuity in finding out the 
proper owner, and his integrity in restoring the pro- 
perty, met my most cordial aTOrobaiion.* 

" When in church, Master Walter had more of a 
soporific tendency than the rest of my young 
charge. This seemed to be constitutional. He 
needed one or other of the family to arouse him, 
and from this it might be inferred that he would cut 
a poor figure on the Sabbath evening when exa- 
mined about the sermons. But what excited the ad- 
miration of the family was, that none of the child- 
ren, however wakeful, could answer as he did. 
The only way that I could account for this was, 
1 I that when he heard the text, and divisions of the 
subject, his good sense, memory, and genius, suppli- 
ed the thoughts which would occur to the preacher. 

"On one'oceaslon, in the dining-room, when, ac- 
cording to custom, he was reading some author in 
the time of relaxation from study, I asked him how 
he account^ for the superiority of knowledge he 
possessed above the rest of the family. His reply 
was— Some years* ago he had been attacked by a 
swelling in one of his ankles, which confined him 
to the house, and prevented hiiiL taking amusement 
and exercise, and which was the cause of his lame- 
ness; as under this ailment he could not i-^i^p 
witl\hi8 brothers and the other young people rn ihe 
green in Greofge's Square, he found himself lmiii[. ti- 
led to have recourse to some subsiitute for tIlo ju- 
venile amusements of his comrades, and iLiH wps 

reading. So that, to what he no doubt ac i^ d 

a pHinful dispensation of Providence, het^lnl'jr 
stood indebted for his future celebrity.^ iVh, r* t 
was understood 1 was to leave the family, M ■^rr 

• Tba< tmnnposition of AM/** and ndttrU sufficipntlr oonftrmt 
hiipupil'ttUiteawntrUiat Mr. Mitchell ** superintended his clami- 
fsal themes, bat not cJassicatlf." The "ubnoxi 
luded to was lluros's friend Nicoll, the hero 

." ^ illie brewed i| pecit o* maut. 
Ami Uob and Allan cunt to see," fto. 



ibnoxioua master*' 
a of the ufrng— 



Walter told me that he had a small present lb m^ 
m& to be kept as . a memorandum ot his friandabipa 
and that it was of little value : *' But you know, 
Mr. Miichell,'v said he, Uhat preaeafii are not to 
he estimated, according to their intrinsic vidii#, but 
accordmg to the intenuon of the donor.' This wmfl 
his Adanvd grammar, which had seen bard servioe 
in its day, and had many animala and insdriptions 
on its margins. This^ to my regret, is no longer to 
be found in ray collection of books, nor do i fiuio w 
what has become of it. 

" Since leaving the family, although no atrsoffer 
to the widely spreading fame of Sir Walter, I hk^e 
had few oppof tonities of personal iBtefcoorse with 
him. When minister in the second charge of the 
Established Church at Montrose, he pud me a visit, 
and spent a nighi with me ; few visits have heea 
more gratifying, He was then on hia return from 
Aberdeen, where he, as an advocate, had atteaded 
the Court of JnsCieiary in ita^ northern ciriliit. Ner 
was his attendance m this court his sole ofafect f 
another, and perhaps the principal, was, as h/ata^ 
ted bo me, to collect in his excursion ancient heads' 
and traditional stories abmit furies, witches, aad' 
ghosts. Such intelligence proved to me as an ele€^» 
trtcal shock ; and as I llieQ sinoerely ngrettedr wo- 
do I still, that Sir Waller's precious time was aa 
much devoted to the doled, rather than the util€ of 
composition, and that his ^reat talent should ha4r« 
been wasted on such subjeotsi At the same titne 
I feel happy to qualify this eensure, as I am genisral** 
ly given to understand that his Novels are of « 
more pure and unexceptionable nature than ch^no- 
terizes. writings of a simil ar description ^ while at 
the same time his pen has been oocunied m the ]Mro* 
duction of works of a better and aohler order. Im*- 
pressed with the conviction that he would one day 
arrive at honour and influence in Ids native coun^ 
try^ I endeavoured to improve the occasion of his 
visit to secure his patronage in behalf of the strict 
and evangelical party in the Church of Scothnd,- in 
exerting himselt to induce patrons to grant to tho 
Christian people liberty to elect their own pastors 
in cases of vacancy. His answer struck me much 
—it was : *Nay, nau^Mr. Mitchell. I'll not do thati 
for if that were to be done, I ana the Uke of me 
would have no life with such as you ;' from whi<^ 
I inferred he thought that, were the evangelical 
clergy to obtain the sttpenority, they would intro- 
duce such smctness of discipline as would not 
quadrate with the ideas of that party called th^ 
moderate in the Church of Scotland, whose vievFSi 
I l^resume, Sir Walter bad now adopted. Some, 
however, to whom 1 have mentioned Sir Walter's 
reply, have suggested that I had misunderstood his 
meaning, and that what he said was not is earnest, 
hut in joeularity and good- humour. This may be 
true, and certainly is a candid interpretation. As to 
the ideal beings alreadjr mentioned as the subject of 
his inquiries, mf materials were too scanty to afford 
him much information." 

Notwithstanding the rijjidly Presbyterian habits 
which this chronicle describes with so much mor» 
sarisfaction than the corresponding page in the 
Ashestiel Memoir, I am reminded, oy a cortimuni- 
cation^lready quoted fh>m a lildy of the Ravelstone 
family, that Mrs. Seott, who had, she says. *' a turn' 
for literature Quite uncommon among the ladies of 
the time," eneouraged her son in fiis passion for 
Shakspeare— that, his plays, and the Arabian 
Nights, w^e often read aloud in the family circle 
by Walter, "and served to spend many a happy 
evening hour"— noy, that, however good Mitcneff 
may have frowned at such a suggestion, even Mr. 
Scott made little objection to nis children and 
some of their young friends, getting up priva#thea-'^ 
tricnls occasionally in the dioinar-room, after the 
lessons of the day were over. The lady adds, that 
Walter was always the manager, and had the whole 
charge of the afihir, and that the favourite biece uf»ed 
to be Jane Shore, in which he was the Hastings, 
liib sistpr the Alicia. I have beard from another 
frii^nd of the family, that Richard HI. also was m* 
tempted, and that Walter took the part of the Dl^ike 



UFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



of (Mo^cester, observing, that *' the limp Would do 
well enou^ to represent the bump." 

A story which | have seen in print, about his par- 
taking in the dancing lessons nf his brothers. I do 
• not believe. But it was during Mr. IV^itchell s re- 
sidence in the family that they all made their unsuc- 
cessful attempts in the art of music, under the 
auspices of poor Elahender Campbell—the Editor 
of *^ Albvn's Anthology." 

Mr. Mitchell appears to have terminated his 
■saperintendence before Walter left Dr. Adam j and 
in the interval between this and his entrance at 
College, he spent some time with his aunt, who 
now mhabited a cottage at Kelso ; but the Memoir, 
I suspect, ffives too much extension to that resi- 
dence— which maybe accounted for by his blending 
with it a similar visit which he paid to the same 
place during bis College vacation of the next year. 

Some or the features of Miss Jenny's abode at 
Keho are^lluded to in the Memoir, but the fiillest 
description of it occurs- in his " Essay on Lands- 
cape Oardenino." (I8i8,) where, talking of pounds 
laid out in the Dutch, iaate^ he says r— ** Their rarity 
Tiow entitles them to some care as a species of an- 
tiqaes, and unquestionably they gjye character to 
aome snuK, quiet, and ^ueslered situations, Which 
Would otherwise have no marked feature of any 
Kind. I retain an early and pleasing recollection 
of the seclusion of such a scene. A small cottage, 
adjacent to a beautiful village, the habitation of an 

fnefent maiden lady, wtis for $cmc time my abode, 
t was situated in a garden of sRven or eijirrii at' res, 
planted cbour ihc beginning of the oighicenih cen- 
tury, by oti6of the Millars felot^d to the author of 
the *Gnrri*?ners' Diciioniiry/ or, for aupht 1 know, 
by himsHf, It was full nf "lonfi Btrni^ht wdlks, be- 
.tween hciJst^iS of p^w and hornbeamj whieh rose 
tall and c!ijete on every mde. There were thickets 
of flowKry ishroba^ a hnwer, and an arbour, to which 
Access wna obialnini through a little maze of con- 
torted wjjlks, calling iiaeir a labyrinlh. In the 
centre of the bower was a ^lendid PlatnnnSi or 
Oriental plane-— a hujBe hjll of teaVL^s— one of the 
nobles E specimens of that regularly benutiful tree 
which I rememher !» have aetn. in diffcre-nt parts 
of the garflen wers fine ornamental trtea, which 
hadattainE-d sxreat #ijif, and the orchard was filled 
witn fruit trS' a of tht? btat description. There m^are 
seats an'i hilly walkj?, and n bnnqueting hmi^ee I 
visited this 3ef?ije laiety, after an absence of many 
years, fis nir of retreat, lb? neduaion which its 
^eys afford^], was tut^rely gone; the htigp Pla- 
tanus had died, Lite moat of its kiad^ in th« bc^m- 
ning of thw i^i^ntury ; the ii&dee» were cut down, 
the trees ^luhbedup, and the whole character of the 

{dace so destroyed, that I was glad when I eould 
eave it." It was tinder this Plaiajiu^ ihnt Scott 
first devnured Perc/s Reliquta. I remember ^'ell 
bemg ^ith hlia, in 1^20 or 1^2 1 p when he rci ed 
the lavourire 3cene| and the sadne^a of bi^^ ' ks 
whdlk he discoteted that " the hnH*^ hill of 1^ ,. s" 
was no more. 

To keep up his scholarship while iilhabrting the 
' gdrderii no attended daily, as he informs us, the 
public school of Kelso, and here be made his first 
acquaintance with a famflv, two members of which 
were intimately connected with the most important 
literary transactions of his after life— James Bal- 
lantyne. the printer of almost all his works, and 
his brother Jonn, who had a share in the pubUca" 
tion of many of them. Their fathei^ was a respect- 
able tradesman in this pretty town. The elder of 
the brothers, who did not long siirvive his illus- 
trious friend, was kind enough to make an exertion 
on behalf of this work, while stretched on the bed 
fipm which he never rose) and dictated a valuable 
paper ot memoranda^ fiom which I shall here in- 
troduce my first extract :— 

**I thmk,'* (says James Ballantyne,) ^ it was in 
tl^e year 17^3, that I first became acquainted with 
Sur Walter Scott then a bov about my own age, at 
the Gramtnar School of K!eLM>,t>f which Mr. Lan- 
celot Whale was the Rector. The impression left 
by his nMMM^ora wait f^J^Q M tbai ea4f Pfnod, cal* 



be deep, and I cannot recall any other 
1 which the man and the boy continued 



culated .to be do 

instance in whicF . _ , 

to resemble each other so much and so long. Wal- 
ter Scott was not a constant sohool-fellow at this 
seminarv; he only attended it for a few weeks 
durinc the vacation of the Edinburgh High School 
He was then, as he continued diuing all his after 
life to be, devoted to antiquarian lore, and was cer- 
tainly the, best story-teller I had ever heard, either 
then or since. He soon discovered that I was as 
fond of listening as he himself was of relating ; 
and I remember it was a thine of daily occurrence, 
that aften he had made himself master of his own 
lesson, I, alas! being still sadly to seek in mine, he 
used to whisper to me, 'Come, slink over beside 
me, Jami& and I'll tell you a story.' I well recol- * 
lect that he had a form, or seat, appropriated to 
himself, the particular reason of which I cannot 
tell, but he was always treated with a peculiar • 
degree of respect, not bv the boys of the different 
classes merely, but by tne venerable Master Lan- 
celot himself, who, an absent, grotesque being, 
betwixt six and seven feet high, was nevertheless 
an admirable scholar, and sure to be delighted to 
find any one so well quahfied to sympathize with 
him as young Walter Scott ; and the affectionate 
gratitude of the young ptipil was never intermitted, 
so long as his veneraofe master continued to live. 
I may mention, m passing, that old Whale bore^ in 
many particulars, a strong resemblance to Dommie 
Sampson, though, it must be admitted, combining 
more gentlemanly manners with equal classical 
lore^ and, on the whole, being a much superior sort 
of person. In the intervals of school hours, it 
was our constant practice to walk together by the 
banks of the Tweed* our employment continuing 
exactly the 0am& for his stories seemed to be quite 
inexhaustible. This intercourse continued durine 
thafnin^n^rr-^ rtfthf- 'jcnrr- 1.7*^-- -1, Viiit wfis hrnt;rn off 



in i"r^i'ti, when 1 WdEi^hitu BUmhurtih to CoWumb/' 
Ferhapa the aeparati^ Beat a9siji;|u;d to Walter 
Seott^ by the KjcIso !*i:hoo] master, was consider^ 



due to him as a tenipiorary visiter frucn the great 
Eiiinliureh at' nnn ft ry. Very poaaiblv, Uorcver, the 
wortliy Ml-. Whale ihoiighlof n&thiup but protaot- 
ing hia solitary aiitdent of PtTsius and Tueittid from 
th^chanceaof being jositkil ajumng tbt: adbercnia 
of Buddinian and rfrinii lii]£i Ncpoa. 

Another of ha^^ Kil^^i ^e huc.r|fL!l to ws wn^i} Robert 
Waklii-T (stJii of Mr. Wnhiu of HendersiJeJ and to 
this conne;iioii hy ow*jd» hath. whJTe quartered iti the 
Gariieu, otid ufttrward^ nt Ro'iebank, nmn^- kind 
attentions, of whioh he ^nt pTtifiirviri\ a grateful 
recollection, and which hava (e/i at rung lra<:t!a on 
every pa j^^ a( his worke m which h(^ bos occasion fo 
in I rod u ce t he Societ y of Pric n d sl TI *ip youn^ com - 
panion^a mother, Enoueh plwaya called m the . 
ntiiihbourhnod '^ Lady Waldicj'* btthnigcd to that 
cc nnmiiiiiv j ^fid the at>ie [)f Ijie and manners de- 
pi < i in tht.' houitidii>ld of Josht^a Ged^Jea of Mount 
S 'Tim nnd hia ami'ible tfi^ier, in aoirm of the 
sivfL'iesi chuptertt nf Rf?tl^auntlcri ij* a sliphily de* 
comiiod ediljon of what ht^ witn^^ascd imtier her hos- 
pi[rit>le roof. He record a, in a note to the iVovd, 
th>! 'Mib^rality and benevolf^mce" of ihiM^'kind old 
la<]''i" in allowitiK him to ^'^ruinmag^:^ at pleti6tjj'\ 
arjd ^^nrry hi^mc, any vokune^r he cbua*- of her ti|i)aN 
bijr \:sl(friK|+ librnrv',"— anqe3ting only iht condition 
thn! f"-,' -liiHilil" !a1%p nt ihfl ?fiin(M5mi^ 'Ofpif' of the 
tr. - • ■(■■ ' 't . .= . •■/:. ' . ■■■_'' . '.i^ 

docLf, jx 0^ ... i iuu '—ii iai_' L_ ■-i--lJ?s 

" even exact any assurance that 1 would read these 
performances, being too justly afraid of involving 
me in a breach of promise, but was merely desirous ' 
that 1 should have the chance of instruction within 
my reach, i^ case whim, curiosity, or accident, 
might induce me to have recourse to it." 1 remem- 
ber the l^easure w?lh which he read, late in life, 
"Rome m the Nineteenth Century," an ingenious * 
work produced by one of Mrs. Waldie's grand- 
daughters, and how comically he pictured the alarm 
with which his ancient fiiend would have perused 
some of its delineationB of the high places of Po 



. Digitized by V^OO'QlC 



so 



LIFE OP SIR T>^ ALTER SCOTT. 



s: 



I shall be pardoned for adding in this place a 
larginal note written' apparently late in Scott's 
iJe. on Kis copy of a little forgotten volume^ enti- 
tled, " Trifles in Verse, by a V'oung Soldier." "In 
1783," (lie ^ys,) "or about that time,! remember 
John Marjonbanks, a smart recruiting officer in the 
village of Kelso, the Weekly Chipnicle of which he 
filleawiih his love verses. His Delia was a Miss 
Dickson, daughter of a shopkeeper in the same vil- 
lage— his Gloridna a certain prudish old maiden 
lady, benempt Miss Goldie : I think I see her still, 
with her thin arms sheathed in scarlet gloves, and 
crosstxi like two lobsters in a fishmonger's stand. 
Poor Delia was a very beautiful girl, and not more 
conceited than a be-rnymed miss oimht to be. Ma- 
ny years afterwards I found the Kelso belU thin 
and pale, her good looks gone, and her smart dress 
neglected, governess to the brats of a Paisley man- 
ufacturer. I dught to say there was not an atom 
of scandal in her fbrtation with the voung military 
poet. The bard's fate was not much better ; after 
. some service in India, and elsewhere, he led a half- 
pay life about Edinburgh, and died there. There 
18 a tenuity of thought in what be has written, but 
his versos are usually easy* atnd I Uke them because 
they recall my school boy days, when I thought 
him a Horace, and his Deha a goddess." 

CHAPTER IV. 

ILLUBTBATIOira OF THl BIOGRAPHY CO VTIM I7BD— AV- 
•CDOTX8 OF scott's COLLBOB ufb— 1783-1786. 

On ret timing to Edirilurrth* and lmUh rni;^ tlu < ol- 
le^, in Nuvembi^rj ITS^, Scoii found himself ^iice 
tnore in ihc fcilbwship of all his iatimaies of ihe 
Hi£h School I (if whomr be^des Ihovc men leaned 
in his mitobiogTDphicftl ^agm^ni, ha speak it in his 
dmries with particular afFection of Sir WilHrmi 
Rae, Bart.* David Monytsenny^ nfterwunls l^'^d 
Pitmilly, Thomas Tod, W. S , Sir Arehibdd Cnnp- 
belf of Succolh, BarL, nll^ familmr friends of lis 
through manhood,— and the present KaH of hdl- 
hotwif, whomi, on mfjelins with htm sfitr a l-ha 
adoration in the evf:niO^ of life, hi: Tticord!* as still 
htinfTtSnil having alwavs been, " the sarno mcinly 
and generous eharacter that all about hi in loved as 
the I^niit Ramvay of ihe VufHs/' His chop^n 
intimarft how^'ver. continued to be for some nine 
Mr John Irving— his aabuHmn wAlks with whom 
hmve been r^colUcted so tenderly, both in the Me- 
moir of ISOtS and in the t>T¥fnce to WaverJoy of t^29. 
It will inuirtjst the reiier to comfj^T*-, with ihose 
b«flulini] dcacFiptionsi the folio win|? ciirtint ffi>fn a 
lettef with which Mn Irving has fttvourt?d mc r - 

"■^Ev^ry 9 a turd oy. and more frf^]tl<?rHly durint? iRe 
vicaijotip, wt' use*] to rt^tirf, wiih thrct? or four 
b^^okc frarn the drciifaiinL? Iibrarv, to BDitaljiity 
Ongs^ Arthur's Seal, or Blnt^kford Hill, tmd n ad 
tiiem logt^thcr. He read iavier than 1, and hud on 
this account to wait a little at finishing every two 
pages, before turning the leaf. The books we most 
delighted in were romances of knight-errantry— 
the Castle of Otranto, Spenser, Ariosto, and Boiar- 
do, were great favouYites. 'We used to climb up ih^ 
rocks in search of places where we might sit shel- 
tered from the wind j and the more inaccessible 
they were, the better we liked them. He was very 
expert at cUmbin^ Sometimes we got into places 
where we found it difficult to^move either up or 
down, and I recollect it being proposed, on Beverat 
occasions, that I should go for a ladder to see and 
extricate him, but 1 never had any need really to 
do so, for he always managed somehow either to 
gel down or ascend to the top. The number of 
books we thus devoured was very great. I forgot 
great part of what I read, but my friend, notwith- 
standing he read with such rapidity, remained, to 
my surprise, master of it all, and could even, weeks 
or months anerwards, rej^ni a whole pajge in 
which any thing had parncutarly struck him at 
the moment After we had continued this practice 
of reading for two veafs or more toi^ether. he pro- 
roaed that we should recite to etch other alternate- 



ly such adventures of knight-errants as we ooold 
ourselves contrive; and we continued to do 00 ft 
long while. He found no difficulty in it, and used 
to recite for half an hour or more at a time, while 
I seldom (Continued half that space. The stories 
we told were, as Sir Walter has said, interminable 
—for we were unwilling to have any of our favour- 
ite knights killed! Our passion for romance led 
us to learn Itqlian together; after a time we oould 
both read it with fluency, and we then copied such 
tales as we had met with in that language, being a 
continued Succession of battles and enchantments. 
He began early to collect old ballads, and as my 
mother could repeat & great many, he used to come 
and learn those she could recite to him. He used 
to get all the copies of theise ballads he could, aad 
s^t the best.*' 

These, no doubt, were among the germs of the 
collection of ballads in six little volumes, which, 
from the handwriting, had been begun Itt this earlv 
period, and which is still preserved at Abbotaforp. 
And it appears, that at least as early a date, must 
be ascribed to imoiher collection of httle humorous 
stories in prose, the Penny ChajhbookA, as they are 
called, still in hi^h iavour among the lower daises 
in Scotland, whicli stands on toe same shelf. |n 
a * ' ' ' tatea' that he ba(Lbouii4 31P 

thi]ii;sHji liii? kina e < Ae extent of several volanioi^ 
beftiri! he was ttn \^m'% old. 

Although the A^hestiel . Meinoir mentions so 
v«' ' ;2l)ijy hjs boyish addiction to verae, and the 
rei .' which his vein received from the ApotkM^s* 
ry uti'buakmcd ^ ife aa haTing been followed bjr 
811 r treatment on the part of others, I am in- 
cli : to believe that while thus devourmi^ aioiiK 
wi^ii U\9 young friend, the atorea of Italian romanoei 
he cssayvd, from time to time, to weave some <ft 
thF'if uiQierials into rhymer— nax> that he Biost 
hfl iiiado at kaat one rather aenous efiort of this 
kii L^ t^arly as the date of these xambles to the 
Si .iry Cmgd. I h rxve found among his motheii's 
paLuTs i cupy of verses headed, " lAntt to Mr. 
Walier ScoU-ron reaiding his poem, of Guiscarti 
and MoHldOi inscribed to fitiss Keith, qf R^el- 
stont." There is no date ; hut I conceive the tfoes 
bear internal evidence of having been written when 
he was very young— not, I should si^pose, above 
fourteen or fifteen at most. I think it also certain 
that the writer was a woman ; and have alinoat as 
little doabt that they came from the pen of his old 
admirer, BIrs. Cockbum. They are as follows : — 

^If sueh Che aeoentsof thy aarly youth, 
When playful limey hdlds the place of tnitb ; 
If to dfvioely sweet thy n)imb«ra llowi 
Aai) thy youag heart melts wUh such tender moy 
What praise, what admincion shall he thine, 
When sense niature with science sb^l combine 
To raise thy genius and thy taste refine 1 

" Go on. dear yoalb, the gtoriouapath partna 
Which Dooateous Nature klodly amoolhs fbr.yoa; 
Go, bid the seeds her hand hath sownariasi 
Bf timely culture, ^> their nathre sktea; 
/ Go, and employ the poet's heavenly art, • 

INot merely (0 delight, but mend the heart. 
Than other poets happier maystfhou prove, 
More blest in frien(»nip, fbrtunate in love, 
Whilst Fame, who longs to make tnia merit known,^ 
Impatient waits, to claim thee aa her owo. 

" Scorning the ^oke of prejudice and pride, 
Thy tender mind let truth and reason guide- 
Let meek humility thy steps attend, 
And firm integrity, youth's surest friend. 
80 peace and honour all thy iK>ufa shall bless, 
And conscioUB reoiitude each joy iaereaae ; 
A nobler meed be thine than empty praise— 
Heaven shall approve thy life, and Keith thy lays." 

At the period to which I refer these verses^ 
Scott's parents still continued to ha^e some eij>ec- 
tations of curing his lameness, and Afr. Irving 
remembers to have oflen nested in applymg the 
electrical apparatu^. on which for a considerable 
t£me they principally rested their hopes. There is 

» 8se ftMBff% Ctensftoy is Mt, val. r.,11. Ma 



LIFE OF SIK, WALTER 6C0TT. 



31 



an alTifton to these e^cpen'ments in Scott*a autobio- 
grtphicaJ frsRinen^ but I have found a fuller noiice 
on the margin of his copy of the " Guide to Health, 
Beftuty, Bicnee, and Longevity." as Captain Grose 
chofle to entitle an amusing collection of quack ad- 
Tertisements. • " ^ 

"The celebrated Dr. Graham" (says the anpo- 
utor) "was an empiric of «oine eenius and great 



denied bie the correctness of eye and neatness of 
hand. Yet I was very desirous to be a draughts- 
roan at least— and laboured harder to attain that 
point, than at any other in my recollection to which 
I did not make some approaches. Burrell was not 
useless to me altogether neither. He was a Prus- 
sian, and I sot from him many a loog story of the 
baitles of Frederick^ in whose armies his father 



assoraoce^ ^ In fact. He had a dash of madness in had been a commissary, or perhaps a spy. I re- 
hi? composition. He had a fine electrical appara- member his picturesque account of seeing a party 
tas^ and used it with skill. I mvself^ amotiget I of the 6/acifc «zwar« hringing in some forage carts 
others, was subjected to a course of electricity under I which they had token firpm a body of the Cossacks, 
ha charge, 1 remember seeing the old Earl of whom he described as lying on the top of the carts 
Hopetoun seated in a large arm-chair, and hung of hay mortally wounded, and like the dying gladi- 
round with a collar, and a belt of magnets, like an | ator, eyeing their own blood as it ran down through 
Indian chief. .After this, growing *^ « -i 



. ;^, ng quite wild, Gra- 
ham set up bis Temple qf Health, and lectured op 
the ceUsiud bed. He attempted a course of these 
lectures at Edinburgh, and as the ^Magistrates re- 
iosed to let ban do so, he libelled them in a series 
of ad?ertisements, the flights of which werjs infi- 
nitely more absurd and exalted than those which 
Grose baa dollected. In one tirade (long in my 
possession") he declared that he looked down 
upon them' (the Magistrates) *as the sun in his 



the straw. 

A year or two later Scott renewed his attempt. 
* I aiterwards" (he sa|^ " took lessons from Wal- 
ked, whom we used to call Blut Bttxrd. He was 
ofie of the most conceited .persons in the world, 
but a good teacher— one of the ugliest countenan- 
ces he had that need be exhibiteo— enough, as wit 
say, to apean weana. The man was always ex 
tremely precise in (he quality of every thing about 

-^-^ -_- ^ , . ,_: him ; nis dress, accoQvnodatioDS. and every thing 

meridian dory looks down on the poor, feeble, else. ^He became^ iusojvent, root man, and for 



^_nkmg^diQ)mer of a& expiring farthing candle, or someVeason or other, I ^l .^ -^ 

as 6— himseU in the plenitude of his omnipotence, ' thofie concerned in his affairs. Instead of ordmary 
may regard the insolent bouncinj^s of a £ew refrac- 1 ac(x>inmodation8, for writing, each of the piorsona 
tj>rymagsots in a rotten cheese.* Graham was a ' present was equipped with a Targe sheet o^drawin|[- 
* ioo&uig man; he used \q come to the Gray- paper, and a swan's qhill. 

culous enough. Skirvrngmai . ^ 

ness of Walker ; iK>t a single scar or mark of tpe 



l^-ioo^g man i he used \q come to th^ Gray- 
ihira' Church in a suit of white and s'dveri with a 
dbapean-bras, and his hair marvellouslv dressed 
into a sort of double toupee, which divided upon his 
head like the two tops of Parnasjius. Mn, Ma- 
caoOL the hislorianess, married his brother. Lady 
Hai^ton ia said to have first enacted his GJoddess 
of Health, being at this time aJUlt aejoU of great 
oddnity.* The Temple of Health dwindled into 
a sort of obscene 'A^Z/, or gambling house. In a 
ipiarrel whjch took place there, a poor young man 
vasnin into the boweW with a' red-hot poker, of 
vbtch injury he died^ The ri^ob vented their uury 
00 the house, and \the Maj^trales, soinewhat ,of 
<be lalest, nipt up the exhibmon», Aquaiitiiy of glasa 
4aci crystal trumpery, the cemams of the splendid 
ipparatos, was sold on the South Bridge for next 
to nothini;. Graham's next receipt was the earth- 
haUi, with which he wrout^hi i<ime cures, but that 
also foiling, he was^ I believe, literally starved to 
feth.** 

Cfraham^s eartti^bath top ^as^I understand^ tried 
apoo Scott, bat his wa^ not one of the cases, if any 
floeh there were, in which it worked a cure/ He, 
iwwoscn improvad about this time gr«atly in his 
aneral qeaju and attwngth, and Mr. Irviptt in ac- 
cordance with the statsment in the Memoir, assures 
m. that while attending the early classes at the 
CoUcfie, the yooflg fri^s exteooed their . walks, 
BO as to visit in sucoeasten all the old castles within 
eight or ten miles of Edinburgh^ ' Sir Walter" (he 
Ji^) ** wffa «MciaUy fond of HossliTn. We Ire- 
ttentiy walkad , thilbor before . breakfastr-after 
fcfaakwitinK thare walked aU down the ri^er side 
to Lasewade— and thence homo to town before 
dtfiQ^. He asedgemcraUy to vest one hand oa my 
shootdbr Mrh^ wa walked together, and leaned 
wi^ the other on a etout aiick.''^ 

Tbe love of j>iqttirefl(|ue aosnery, ^despecUHy of 
feudal castlodi wit^ which the vioimty of Kdmbrnwh 
m plentifully gaitu^bed, awokc^ as the Memoir tells 
OS, tha desire of being able io i|se the pencil. Mr. 
IrviiiK tays^— " I atiendad one summer a class of 
dnwittg along with hinif hut alth^gh both fond 
of it, we found it took up so muMtune that we 

Sve tbia up helwe we had made B^oh progress." 
<^m of his later wies, Scott fajinself gives the 
lowing .iBpro«4rtieQlar acootmt ipf ihia ^natter :-r 
"I, took laasOBS of ttl-paimiiig in yoaUtftom a 
little jew fnimalculo— ii siRoach oalled SnrreU-ra 
eWar aeiMvHe creptuiie.th^igb^ But | could make 
BO progress ather m paintmg or drawmg. Natiu-e 

Lend IfciKM's flOODMibo with tlblidrwiUiiroNrvf her ce- 



^ttended the meeting of 



^ ^ Jt was mournfully |im- 

Skirvmg made an admirable lik^ 



smallpox, which aeamed his countenance, but the 
too accurate brother of the brush had taithfully 
laid it down i^ longitude aiui latitude. Pqor Wai- 

* _ J, J . /!...-_ jn crayons) rather (hen lot 

.Jmess appear at- the.aalf of 
m myseir to take some vile 
views from nature. When Will Clerk and I livw 
very much together, I used sometim.es to make 
them under his instmction. He tq whom, as to all 
his uunily. art is a familiar attribute, wondered at 
ni« as a Newfoundland dog would at a greyhound 
^ich showed ffear of the water." 

Notwithstanding all that Scott s^ys about the 
total failure of his attempts in the art of the pencil, 
i presuixie few win doubt that they proved v^ 
useml to hjm afterwards ; from them it is natujral 
to Suppbae he catight ^le habit of analyzing, with 
some Bppfo&ch at least to accuracy, the scenes over 
which his eye might liave continued to wander with 
the vE^e sense of delight. 1 ^ay add, that a longer 
ai)d more successful practice of the c^rayon might,. 
I cannot hut think, have proved the reverse of ser- 
viceable to him aa a future painter with the pen. 
He might have contracted the habit of copying 
frotn pictures rather than fr6m nature itself; and 
we should thus have lost that which constuutee 
the very highest chartn io his delineations of scene- 
ry, namely, that the effect is produced by the selec- 
tion of a few striking featurefe, arranged with a 
light unconsdous grace, neither too much nor too 
little— eqtially remote fi-om the barren generaliza- 
tions of a wrmerage, and the ^ dull servile fidelity 
with which so many inferior writers of our time fill 
in both backgpund ismd foreground, having no moro 
notion of the perspective of genhis than Chinese 
i)aperstainers nave or that of the atmosphere, aiid 
producing m fact not descriptions but inventories. 
The ilmess, which he alludes to in his Memoir 
as interrupting for a considerable period his atten- 
dance on the Latin and Greek classes in Edinbnreh 
College, is spoken of more largely m one of ms 
prdaoes.* It arose fron^ the bursting of a blood- 
vessel in the lower bowers ; and 1 have heard him 
say that his unde, Dr. Rutherford, considered hia 
Recovery ft'omit as little less thaji miraculous. His 
sweet temper and calm courage were no doubt ■ 
important elements of safety. He submitted 
without a murmur to the severe diedpHne prescrib- 
ed by hi* dfi'ectionatQ physician, and found consO- 
iaiiaa in, poetry, romance, and ifao etitfausiasm of 
• 8m PM&oe to WavdWir, 1880. 



LIFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



young friendship. Day after day John Irving re- 
ueved hia mother and aisiter in their attendance npon 
hinL The bed on which he lay was pUed with a 
constant aucceseion of works of imagination, and 
sad realiiiea were forgotten amidst the brilliant day- 
dreams of genius, drinking unwearied from the 
eternal fountain^ of Spenser and Shakspeare. 
Chess was recommended as a relief to these imin- 
termitte^ though desultory studies ; and he engaged 
eagerly m the game which had found favour with 
«o many of his Paladins. Mr. Irving remembers 
playing it with him hour after hour, in very cold 
weather, when, the windows beiti^ kept open as a 
pnrt of thr medical — — :r— -n:, nQlhirip;hm yniiih-^ 
ftil ntTvp?^ flirtd ppint c<iiild hn.vc perse VLTeiK H«l 
Scan did nut pursue the science of chsRa oflcr hjs 
bayhood. He uaod to t^ay ibni it wfia o ^hame to 
throw BWfty upon ma^k™^ a mrre ^omc, howe- 
ver iiiijmions, the riruo vrmth would »aflit;c for the 
ftCfluisidoii of II new iun^^iasc " Surelv " he said, 
" cl I efs- playing la a sJid wbsIb of brains, ' 

Hia recovery was compieii^ by another Wait to 
Woiburifh shire. Captain Robert Scott, who bad 
b«^n m kind to the eickly inffirtt nt Balh, finflUy 
TE^fired about this lime fn>ni hia profujipsnont anrl pur- 
chaiod the eie«nrit vilU of RiiHebank, on the Twet^, 
ft Littb belovv Kd&o. Ht^re Walter now look, up his 
doarterg. anil here^ durina all the re«t of hia youih, 
nefbuna, whenever be cIiobOt, a second bnmp, in 
many respecis mori! anreedble ihan his own. Hia 
uncle, Bi letters to be mibsequently quoted wiU 
show, had norhing of his rather' a cold nei*& for po- 
lite leitprs, but entered info all hia favourite tuir- 
»yit« with keeo sympathy^ and wiis ronsullod, irom 
this ddie forth, upon all bia jiiveaile eJiSQy<ri both in 
prOie nnd verae. 

He docs not seem to have resumed atttMidance at 
CuRi';!^ dwnnf^ the ec&sion of I7j?5-fr ; ihi thtit the 
Latin and Gt&^k cUwe** wilh that of Lo^c, were 
the only ones Hta hjid paa»?d through pjvvinus to 
ihe aiijiiiriK of his indmitiirea aa an oppKntit*e to 
bin father Tho Metnoir meniione the crhical 
course of Dngald f^tcwart^ as if he had ffoof iinme- 
diaitly from the logical professor (Mr. Bruce) to 
that eminent leclureri but he. in frvct, attended Mr. 
Stewart four yeara aftern-anls, when begin niu^ lo 
conildAr himself as finally deBliucd for the bar. 

1 shall oply add to wfi^it he mu down on the 
Ml^eet of hi** enrl^ at^adeTnical studies, that in this^ 
at in almost every eaat^ he appcnrs lo have under- 
rated hia own attainment.^. He had, indeed, no 
pretcnsdone to ih*? name of an eii^^nsive, far Icsa of 
an accurate* Lniin acholar \ but h^ CLruld read, I 
bolicve, auyjiaiin author^ o^any a^e. so a5 to cstch 
without ij[ffiriilty hiB tuflanin^t and although his 
favourite Latin pott, as ^veli a^ hijtorian, in later 
day#i, was Buchanan, he had oreserved, or subai^ 
gently acquired, a stjrong relisn for some other or 
more ancient date. I may mention, in partictilar, 
' Lucan and Clatidian. Of Greek, he does not ez- 
aftgerate hi saving that he had forgotten even the 
alphabet; for he was puzzled with the words ioiSog 
and irottir!iSt which he had occasion to introdace, 
ft-onvsome Imthorityon his tjibV, into m&" Tut ro- 
ductipn to Popular Poetry," written m A^>ril, l^^^y^ 
and happening to be in the housu with him ai tlie 
tome, he sent for me to insert thtm for Lim in fiis 
MS. Mr. Irving has informed ue of (he early [a^nad 
at which he enjoyed the real TaiMso and Ariosto I 
p^ume he had at least aa soon as this ennbl^jd 
himself to read Gd Bias in the ori^nal > and, io all 
probability, wa may refer to the same time of his 
liie, or one not much later, hia aeijuisitioti of as 
much Spanish as served for the Gutrras Civile n de 
Granada, Lazahllode Torme«, and Fibove all. Dm 
Quixote. He road all tUbse laneuag^B in rifltr Jiie 
y>th about the same faaUty. 1 uMver but oiiee 
Hoard hinv attempt to speak any of iheint and that 
J^«» when aonae of the courtiers of Chnrtt^s X. cfiiiic 
to AbbotsfoR), soon after that unfummsi^ rrin^ 
took up his rendence for the stuoud iimc ai il^.f- 
roodhouse, Kmding that one or two of these gan- 
tlenMj^ GOQJd speak no Englisbiat ail, he inadeaome 



efforts to amuse them in their own h 



alter 



ettorts to amuse tnem m tneir own langUKe after 
the bhampagne had been passing briskly rdund Ihe 
table; and I was amused next rooming with tho 
expression of one of the party, who, alluding to the 
sort of reading in which Sir Walter seemed to 
have cl)iefly occupied himself, said, " Mon Dieu f 
comme U estropiaCit, entre deux vins, le Fran^aia dix 
bon sire de Joinvilte 1" Of all these tonguee, Its of 
German somewhat later, he acquired as much as 
was needful for his own purposes, of which a cri- 
tical smdy of any foreign language made at no tims 
any pan. In them he sought for incidents, and ha 
found images; but for tho treasures of diction he 
was content to dig on British soil. He had all he 
wanted in the old wells of English undefiled,** 
and the still living, though £ist shrinking, waters 
of that sister idiom which had not always, as ha 
flattered himself, deserved the name of a dialect. 

As may be said, I believe, with perfect trtith of 
every really great man. Scott was Self-educated in 
every branch of knowle(^e which, he ever turned 
to account in the works of his genius ; and he haa 
himaelf told ns. that his real studies were fhoae 
lonely and desultory onesk of which he haf given a 
copy m the first chapter of Waverley. where the hero 
is represented as "driving through the sea of booka^ 
tike a vdlssel without pilot or rudder ;" that is to 
say, obeying nothine but the strong breath of na- 
tive inehnation;— "He had read, and stored in a 
memory of uncommon tenacity, much curigne. 
though Ul arranged and roisi^Uaneous informaaon. 
In English literature, he was master of Shakapearo 
and Mdton, of our earlier dramatic authors, of ma- 
nv prcturesque and interesdng passages from our 
Old nistoriciu chronicles, and was particularly well 
acquainted with Spenser, Drayton, and oth^r poets, 
who have exercised themselves on romandc ficdon. 
— <l/ aU Ihema the moat fascinating to a youtlkfui 
ifnaginatioHt h^ort pu patsiona have routed ^m'- 
96lve»^ and demand poetry qf a more aetUim^ntaZ 
deacrtptioTu"* I need not repeat his enumeration 
of other favourites, Pulci, the Decameron, Froissart, 
Brantome, Delanoue, and die chivahrous and ro- 
mantic lore of Spain. I have quoted a ptasage so 
well known, only for the sake of the striking circum- 
stance by which it marks the very early date of 
these multifarious studies. 

CHAPTER V. 

iLLuarsATiONs ooMTiNOBD— Scott's AFPasimca- 
SHir to Bxa rATBsa—sxcirBsiQiHi to thbhior- 

LAFDS, dbc— SXBAT1190 SOCIBT»S— BARLT OOB* 
SS8?02n>BMCK, dtc &c.— 1766-1790. 

Iir the Minute-books of the Society of WritefS 
to the Signet appears the following entry :-***Bd- 
inburgh, I6th May, 1786: Compeared Walter Sootti 
and presented an indenture, dated 31st March Iss^ 
entered into between him and Walter Soott, his son. 
for five years from the date thereof onder a mutual 
penalty of iC40 sterting." 

An inauspicioas step this might st first sight ap- 
pear, in the etcAy history of one so strongly prsdis- 
posed fot pursmts wkle as the antipodes asunder 
from the dnr technicalities of convevanotng; but he 
himself I believe, was never heard, in ms mattira 
age, to express any reg[ret that it should have been 
taken ; and I am convmced for mv part that it was 
a fortunate one. It prevented him, indeed, from 
passing with the usual regolarity through a long 
course of Scotch metaph/siosi bat I extremely 
doubt whether any disciphne could ever have le^ 
him to derive either pleasure or profit from studies 
of diat order^ His spprendceiRUp left him time 
enough, aa w Ahall find, for continittng his appli- 
cation to the stores of poetry and romance, and 
those old dfaroniclers, who to tlie end ware his darl- 
ing historiana Indsisd, if he had wanted any new 
atimnhis, the neossaity of devotiiw certain houfs of 
every dsf to a rontme of dmdiery, however it 
might have opented on a spirit men prone to etrth| 

Dfgitized by v5vjOvl€ 



UFfi OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



must h&TO tended to qioicken his appetite for " the 
sweet bread eaten in secret." Bat the dnties which 
he had now to fdfil were, in Tsrions ways, directly 
and positively beneficial to the developinent both 
of his genius and hia character. It was in the dis- 
charge of his functions as a Writer's Apprentice 
that ne first penetrated into the Highlands, and 
formed those friendships among the surviving he- 
roes of 1745, which laid the foundation for one great 
class of his works. Even the less attractive parts of 
his new vocation were calculated to give him a more 
complete insight into the smaller workings of poor 
human nature, than can ever perhaps be gathered 
from the experience of the legal profession in its 
higher walk ;— the etiquette of the bar in Scotland, 
as in England, being averse to personal intercourse 
between the advocate and his client. But, finall:f, 
and I will say chiefly, it was to this prosaic disci- 

Sline that he owed those habits of steady, sober 
iligence, which few imaginative authors had ever 
before exemplified— and which, unless thus beaten 
.into his composition at a ductile Ptr r^ 71 h-, in 
all probability, could never havfi carr^tud ii^to ih^ 
almost professional exercise of sotne ^if the highf!gt 
and most deUcate faculties of the hum on mimJ 
^e speaks, in not the least remarkjjble pai^iago (A' 
the preceding Memoir, as if cuEi^timtioDii] mdo- 
lenoe had been his portion in common wiih all ihfi 
members of his father's family. When Giff^r^i. in 
a dispnte veith Soame Jenyns, quoted Doctor John- 
son's own-confession that he ' kn^ w Ijirk- Gn^k," 
Jenyns answered, " Yes, youn^ ni;in j bus haw shnW 
we Know what Johnson .wouid have called much 
Greek 7" and GKffbrd has recorded the deen impres- 
sion which this hint left on his own mind. What 
Soott would have called c9nstitutional diligence, 
I know not: but sorely if mdolence of any kind 
had been ihherent in his nature, even the triumph 
of Socrates was not more signal than his. 

It will be, by some of my friends, considered as 
ttivial to remaik on such a circumstance— but the 
reader who is unacquainted with the professional 
habits of the Scotch lawyers, may as well be told 
that the Writer's Apprentice receives a certain 
allowance in money for every page he transcribes; 
and that, as in those days the greater pan of the 
business, even of the supreme courts, was carried 
on by means of written papers, a ready penman, 
in a well-employed chamber, could earn in this way 
enough, at all events, to make a handsome addition 
to the pocket-money which was likelv to be thougbt 
suitable for a youth of fifteen by such a man as the 
elder Scott. The allowance being, I believe, three- 
pence for every page containing a certain fixed 
number of words, when Walter had finished, as he 
tells us he occasionally did, 120 pages within twen- 
ty-four hours, his fee would amount to thirty shil- 
lings ; and in his early letters 1 find him more than 
once congratulating himself on having been, by 
some such exertion, enabled to purchase a book, 
or a coin, otherwise beyond his reach. A school- 
fellow, who was now, like himself a writer's ap- 
prentice, recollects the eagerness with which he thus 
made himself master of Evans's Ballads," short- 
ly after their publication; and another of them, 
already often referred to, remembers, in particular, 
his rapture with Meikle's Cumnor Hall," which 
first appeared in that collection. " After the la- 
bours 01 the day were over," says Mr, Irving, "we 
often walked in the MeadoiM" (a large field inter- 
sected by formal alleys of old trees, adjoining 
C^eorge^s Square,) "especially in the moonlight 
nights: and he seemea never weary of repeating 
the first stanza— 

'The dews of nimmer li^ did ftl^ 

The Moon, sweet regent of the sky. 
Silvered the walls of Cumnor Hall, 

And many an oak that grew thereby.' " 

I have thought it worth while to pieserve these 
reminiscences of his companions at the time, 
though he hi\js himself staled the circumstance in 
' his preface to Kenilworth. ''There is a period in 
yooth/'^he there says, "when the mere power of 



numbers has a more strong effect on ear and imagi- 
nation than in after Kfe. At this season of imma- 
ture taste, the author was greatly delighted with the 
poems of. Meikle and Langhome. The first stanza 
of Cumnor Hall especially had a t»eculiar enchant- 
ment for his youlhtul ear— the force of which is not 
yet (1829) entirely spent."— 

,Thus that favourite elegy, after having dwelt on 
his memory and imagination for forty years, sug- 
gested the subject of one of his noblest romances. 

It is afiirmed by a preceding biographer, on the 
authority of one of these brother-apprentices, that 
about this period Scott showed him a MS. poem on 
" the Conquest of Granada," in four books, each 
amounting to about 400 lines, which soon after it 
was finished, he committed to the flames.* As he 
states in his Essay on the Imitation of Popular 
Poetry, that, for ten years previous to 1796, when 
his first translation from the Ck;rman was executed, 
he had written no verses "except an occasional 
sonnet to his mistress's eyebrow," I presume this 
Conquest of Granada, the fruit of his study of the 
Ouerras Civiles^ must be assigned to the summer 
of 1786— or, making allowance for trivial inaccura- 
cy, to the next year at latest. It was probably 
composed in imitation of Meikle's Lusiad :— at all 
events,, we have a very distinct statement, that he 
made no attempts in the manner of the old mins- 
trels, early as his admiration for them had been, 
unt^ the period of his aqaaintance with BUrger. 
Thus with him, as with most others, genius had 
hazarded many a random effort ere it discovered 
the tme key-note. Long had 

" Amid the striogs hia fingers straY'd, 
And an uncertain warbling made," 

before " the measure wild" was caught, and 

" In varyinc cadence, soft or strong. 
He swept ue sounding chords along." 

His youthful admiration of Langhome has been 
rendered memorable by his own record of his first 
and only interview with his great predecessor, Ro- 
bert Bums. Although the letter, m which he nar- 
rates this incident, addressed to myself in 1827, 
when I was writing a short biography of that poet, 
has been often repnnted, it is too important for my 
present purpose to be omitted here. 

"As for Bums," (he writes,) "I may trcdy saV, 
VtrgiHum vidi tarUum, I was a lad of fineen m 
1786-7, when he came first to Edinburgh, but had 
sense and feeling enough to be much interested in 
his poetry, and would have given the world to know 
him ; but I had very little acquaintance vrith any 
literary people, and still less vrith the gentry .of the 
west country, the two sets that he most frequented. 
Mr. Thomas Grierson was at that time a clerk of 
my fiither's. He knew Bums, and promised to ask 
him to his lodgings to dinner, but had no opportu- 
nity to keep his word) otherwise I might have seen 
more of tms distinguished man. As it was, I saw 
him one day at the late venerable Professor Fergus- 
son's, where there were several gentlemen of litera- 
ry reputation, among whom I remember the cele- 
brated Mr. Dugald Stewart. Of course we young- 
sters sate silent, looked and listened. The only 
thing I remember which was remarkable in Burns' 
manner, was the effect produced upon him by a 

Srint of Bunbur/s, representing a soldier lying 
ead on the snow, his dog sitting in misery on the 
one side, on the other his widow, with a child in 
her arms. These lines were written beneath— 

< Cold on Canadian hills, or Minden's plain. 
Perhaps that parent wept her soldier uain ; 
Bent o'er her babe, her eye dissolved in dew, 
The big drops mingling with the milk be drew, 
Gave the sad presage of his foture years, 
The child of misery baptised in tears.' 

Burns seemed much affected by the print, or rather 
the ideas which it suggested tt> his mind. He ac- 
tually shed teare. He asked whose the lines were^ 
and it chanced that nobody but myself remember- 

• UA of Soott, b7 Mr. Alkn. pAdtO Q IC 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



«d tbnt ihey occur in a liAlf'forigoEten wem o( 
Lani^harii^^'ja, called by thu im promising lula of 
*Thi: Jastiee of the Puaoe.* I wlnspert^d my in form- 
al tion to Q friend prcdf^nt, who m^niioned it to 
Burne, who nenardLKi m^ with a look i^nd a word. 
which, tKough of mtre dvilily. I tbta recti vtd a ad 
fiUll ncolkci with vury grtial plea»urti* 

'* HU pcrmm wat strong and robust i hi* axann^re 
ruitic, noi clowfnisb ^ q sorl of dignified plainness 
audAmiplicili?, wbicb received pan of ujs eflkt pL*r- 
haps frym one's knawltHJife <if his t^x Ira ordinary 
tait^m?- Hia fealurea aro represented in Mr. Nas- 
Tnyib'i* picture^ but to mo it conveys ib^ idea tbat 
thi^-y afp dtnitnidhcd a^ if seen in ptTsptcttve* I 
tbink bra counUi nance was icorii maesive tiinn it 
looka m any of the portraits, I woo Id have Lakea 
the poet, bad I not known what he was^ for a very 
sa^acioua country far»jer of Iho old Scotch sdiool 
-^L *; none of your modern oKricuUorists, who keep 
luboiirurs for tbtw dnid^crys but tbc doMc^ g-udimaa 
who held his own plough. Thero was a attxjng cjc- 
pressioQ of sense nnd sarewdncas in ail his hnea- 
tncnta ; the eye alone, I think* indicated the poet- 
ical cbjiracTcr and teniporametit. It was lame, 
aad of a dark, cast^ and plowM U say bterally ffh^t- 
€d) when iic apokc with fechTigor Lnicreat. I never 
saw such ftnother eye in a human htadj though [ 
have Been the molt distin^ushed men in ni^ titne. 
Hh conversation e^iprieftat^ perfect self conMunco, 
without the aligbtest prcsumpiIoFi. Atnong the 
men who were the nio^t learned of ibeir time and 
c^juntry. be eiprcDsed himself wiih perfect firmpea^ 
but wirbotit thf* ]va.i?i intrusive forwardness; and 
when he differ^^ in otiinioT>i bf did not beaitate to 
express it firmly, yet at the same time with modes- 
ty, I do not remember any par t of h^s converftalsoa 
, distinctly enough to be quoted, noniid 1 ever see 
bim agam escepi in the airtic^ where be did not 
reeoi^nase me, as I could not expect be should. He 
wai much aureued in EJmburKh, but (couaidprins 
what bt«nry etnotuments have boen aincc hia day) 
the*flbri* rawje for bis relief wereextr«!JTie|y trifling. 

'* I remomber on I hia occAanon I monfion, 1 
tboup;hi Burns'sacJiuAinrBncti with Eoi^lish pot'try 
was ralhcj Umitjed, and also, that havm^ i wen if 
tim^a ibe alnliti^fi of Allan Ramaay and of Fi^rt^n- 
■on, hf talkid of ijiem wilb loo nuiclti bumdity as 
hia models I iJ]ere was doubt lesa national predilec- 
tion inhifl e?timai(i." 

I nfw.^l not romark on tb* osiient of knowledge, 
and joBtic^j of taat^ exemplified in this early mea- 
auftiiient of Burnik bo»h ae aatiident of Kni^bab hi^^ 
laiwfrt?, and ns a Scottiib poet. The print* over which 
^Cotl f aw Burns $h«id ttflrs, vs stili in ibe noseea- 
SKjn of Dr. FerKuasi^n's fain 1 1 y* and 1 bad often 
heard birij rell the »t&ry^ m the ri>om where llio 
P|iDdoU!)rclic baupa, before 1 fequtat*d Inni to ^t it 
tlown in writini;— liow little anticipating? the use to 
>vhicli I should 111 lima td IT apply H! 

ilif* indin'iry with Adam (now Sir Adam Fwrsnis- 
floii) WAR thus hia first rnftuni of iniroductioM to ibe 
hifiber lite rurv society of Edinbunfib, and U svas 
very probably to that connexion timt he owfd. 
ainoniT Um rest, his acquaintanec with tba bbmi 
poet Blacklock^ ^vhoni Johnson, twelve years ear- 
Uer, " be:bcld with reverence.** vVe bave st*n, b^nv- 
ever, that the venerabbi author of DeuKhs wa^s r\ 
frietifl of his own parent^ a ad had noticiS htm evr n 
m bifl infancy al Bath, jubn Hume now inhabiiJ d 
a villa at no gr^at distance from Edinburtjh, nnd 
there nil through hia younaf day?, Scott mas a fre- 
quent jrueM. Nor must it he TTrgotTcn that bis un^ 
cle» Dr Rt)therf«|rd, inhcrifed much of the gcm»- 
ral accrjinpliabni^ntfi, a a well as the profession n I 
reputation of hh father— and that u waa beneath 
that mof hu saw, several years b(*fore ibia, Ur 
Cartwrighr, ihtn in the enjoyment nf s^rttie fame as 
a pocL In this family^ indeed^ be htd more than 
one ktnd and atrenuons efjcoura^er nf his earl^ lite- 
rai7 ta^Ecs, as will be shown nbondiintly when we 
reach cpttnin relic^P f?f bis corrcsiorvb nre wilb bb 
JjothcHs ai?E?r, Miss Christ inn Rtxtherfonf. Dr 
Rutherford's good natyrcd reraonairancaa with htm^ 
as a boy, for reading at brcakfaaij are well remem- 



bered, aod will remind my reader of a similar trail 
in the juvenile manners both of Boms and Byron i 
nor was this habit entirely laid aside even in Scott's- 
advanced age. 

If he is quite accurate in referring hia first ac- . 
quaintance with the Highlands lo his fifteenth year, 
tliis incident also belongs to the first season of hia 
apprenticeship. His father had, among a rather 
numerous list of Highland clients, Alexander Stew- 
art of Invemahyle, an enthusiastic Jacobite, who 
had survived to recount, in secure and vi£[^orous old 
age, his active experiences in the insurrections both 
of 1716 and 1745. He had, it appears, attracted Wal- 
ters attention and admiration at a very early date : 
for he si>eak8 of having " seen him in arms^*' and 
heard bim " exult in the prospect of drawing hia 
claymore once more before he died." when Paul 
Jones threatened a descent on Edinburgh ; which 
transaction occurred in September, 1779. Invemar 
hvle, as Scott adds, was the only person who seem- 
ed to have retained possessioi^ oif hia cool senses at 
the period of that disgraceftd alarm, and offersd the 
mamstratea to collect as many Highlandeia as 
would suffice for cutting ofi'any part of the pirate* s 
crew that might venture in quest of plunder into a 
city fiill of nigh houses and narrow lanes^ and 
every way welTcalculated for defence. The i 



deHgnt with which tlM young apprentice now hat* 
ened to the tales of this fine old man's early days, 
produced an invitation to his residence among the 
mountains, and to this excursion he probably de- 
voted the few weeks of an autumnal vaeation — 
whether in 1786 or 1787, it is 6f no great coBsequance 
to aseertain. 

In the Introduction to one of his novels, he ha» 
preserved a vivid picture of his-aensationa whea the 
vale of Perth firat burst on his view, in the coune 
of his progresa to Invemahyl& and the deecriptioa 
has made classical gtound of taeWick» of BokgUtt 
the apot from which that beautifiu lancfacape waa 
surveyed. "Childish wonder, indeed," he saya, 
"was an ingredient in my delight, for I was not 
above fifteen years old, and as this had been the 
first excursion which I was permitted to .make on a 
pony of my own, I also experienced the glow of in- 
depeifdence, mingled vdth that degree of anxiety 
which the most conceited boy feels when he is firat 
abandoned to his own undirected coonsels. I re- 
collect pulling up the reins, without meaning to do 
so, and gazing on the scene before me, as if I had 
been afraid it would shift, like those in a theatre,, 
before I could distinctly observe its different parta» 
or convince myself that what I saw was real. 
Since that hour, the recollection of that inimitable 
landscape has possessed the strongest influence 
over my mind, and retained its place as a memorable 
thing, while much that was influential on my own 
fortunes has fled from my recollection." So speaks 
the poet; and who will not recognise his habitual 
modesty, in thus undervaluing, as uninfluential in 
comparison with some aflair of worldly business, 
the inefTaceable impression thus stamped on the 
glowing imagination of his boyhood 7 

I need not ^uote the numerous passages scattered 
over his writings, both early and late, m which he 
dwells with fond aflection on the chivalrous cha- 
racter of Invemahyle— the delight with which he 
heard the veteran describe his broadsword duel 
with Rob Roy— bis campaigns with Mar and 
Charles Edward— and his lone seclusion (as pic- 
tured in the story of Bradwardine) within a rocky 
cave, situated not far from bis own house, while it 
was garrisoned bv a party of English soldiers, after 
the battle of Culloden. Her& too, still survived ' 
the trusty henchman who had attended the chief- 
tain in many a bloody field and perilous eacape, the 
same " grim-looking old Highlander" who was in 
the act of cutting down Colonel Whitefoord with 
hia LochabeuLxe at Prestonpans, when bis master 
arrested the nlow— an incident to which Invema- 
hyle owed his liff, and we are indebted for another 
of the most strikinir pages in Waveriey. 

I have often heard Scott mention aoma euriona 
particulars of his first visit to the remote faatneae 



UFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



of one of these Highland friende; but whether he 
told the story of Invemahyle, or of one of hie own 
relations of the Clan Campbell, I do not recol- 
lect : I rather think the latter was the case. On 
reaching the brow of a bleak eminence overhang- 
ing the primitive tower and its tiny patch of culti- 
vated ground, be found his host and three sons, &nd 
perhaps half-a-dozen attendant gillies, all stretched 
half asleep in their tartans upon the heath, with 
guns and dojss, and a profumon of game aboul 
them ; while m the courtyard, far below^ aopearea 
a companv of women, actively engaged m loading 
a cart with manure. The stranger was not a little 
astonished when he discovered, on descending 
from the heic^t. that among these industrious fe- 
males were the laird's own lady, and two or three 
of her daughters ; but they seemed quite uncon- 
scious of having been detected in an occupation un- 
suitable to tbeur rank— retired presently to their 
"bowers," and when they reappeared in other 
dresses, retained no traces of their mornings work, 
except complexions glowing with a radiant fresh- 
ness, for one evening of wnieh many a high-bred 
beauty would have bartered half her diamonds. He 
found the young ladies notiJi inforoHxl, and exceed- 
ingly agreeable; and the song and the dance seem- 
ed to form the invariable termination of their busy 
days. I must not forget his admiration at the prin- 
qittl article of this lainTs first course; namely, a 

figantio haggisi borne into the hall in a wicker has- 
et by two half-naked Cdts, while the piper strut- 
ted fiercely behind them, blowing a teoqpest of dis- 
sonance. 

These Hi^iland visits were repeated almost every 
summer for several successive years, and perhaps 
eten.the first of them was in some degree connect- 
ed ^th his pTofossional business. At all event^ it 
was to his allotted task of enforcing the execution 
of a legal instrument against some Madarens, re^ 
fractory tenants of Stewart of Appin, brother-in-law 
t&Invemahyle, that Scott owed nis introduction to 
the scenenr of the Lady of the Lake. ** An escort 
of a sergeant and six men," he says, " was obtain- 
ed from a Highland regiment lying in Stirling, and 
the author, then a writer's apprenuce, equivalent to 
the honourable situation of an attorney's clerk^ was 
invested with the superintendence of the expedition, 
with directions to see that the messenger discharged 
his duty folly, and that the gallant sergeant did not 
exceed nis pajt by committmg violence or plunder. 
And thus it happened, oddly enough, that the au- 
thor first entered the romantic scenerV of Loch Ka- 
trine, of which he may perhaps say he has some- 
what extended the reputation, riding in all the dig- 
nity of danger, with a front and rear guard, and 
loaded arms. The sergeant was absolutely a High- 
land Sergeant Kite, foil of stories of Rob Roy and 
of himself and a very good companion. We expe^ 
rienced no interruption whatever, and when we 
came to Inverneniy, foun^l ' ^ house deserted* 
We took up our quarters^ ft>r tlitj nichL and used 
some of the victuals which wc Tuund there. The 
Madarens,- who prctuihiy had never :hu Light of any 
serious opposition, wi^nt to Amenca, vbhtfre, having 
had some slight sharp m removing ibcin from their 
paupera regnOt I since r!" ^* ' 'Vv pmj^pered,"* 

That he entered wit] I . ■.ii.iv /. l1 -il' . ;-i.i'ih p^fes- 
sional business as mferred Higbland expeditions 
with comrades who had known Rob Rojr, no one 
vrill think strange; but more than one of ms biogra- 
phers allege, that m the ordinary indoor fagging of. 
the chamber in George's Souare, he was always an 
unwilling, and rarely an efficient assistant. Thdr 
addition, that he often played chess with one of his 
oompamons in the oflice, and had to conceal the 
board with precbitation when the old gentleman's 
footsteps were heard on the staircase is, I do not 
doabtftroe; and we may remember along vrrth it 
his own insinuation, that his fother was sometimes 
poring in his secret nook ovir Spottiswoode or 
Wodraw, when his mpprentices supposed him to be 
deep Jn Dirleton's Doubts, or Stair's Decisioifs. 
Bttf the' Memoir of 1808, so candid— indeed, more 
* iDtnidnetioa to Rob Roy, p, bam., noM. 



than candid— as to many juvenile irregularities, 
contains no confession that supports the oroad as- 
sertion to which I have alluded ; nor can I easily 
believe, that with his afiection for his father, ana 
that sense of duty which seems to have been inhe- 
rent in his character, and, lastly, with the evidence 
of a most severe training in industry which the hab- 
its pf his after-hfe presented, it is at all deserving of 
«erious accmtation. His mere handwriting, indeed, 
continued, during the whole of his prime, to afford 
most striking and irresistible proof how completely 
he must have submitted himself for some very con- 
siderable period to the mechanical disdpline of his 
fother's office. It spoke to months after months 
of this humble toU, as distinctly as the illegible 
scrawl of Lord Byron did to his self-mastership 
from the hour that he left Harrow. There are some 
Uttle technical tricksy such as no gentleman who 
has not been subjected to a similar regimen ever 
can fall into, vvhich he practised invariably while 
coniposinff his poetry, which appear not imfrcquent- 
ly on the jaSS. of ms beet novels, and which now 
and then dropt instinctively from bis pen, even in 
the private letters and diaries of his closing: years. 
I alnide particularly to a sort of flourish at the bot- 



torn of the page^ coriginally, 1 presume adopted ia 
agamst the in (rusion of a 



96t originally, 

engrossing, as a safeguard ag^-. 

footed hne between thie legiiunafo text and the at^ 
testing signatures. He was quite sensible that this 
om^ent might acf well be dispensed with : and his 
fomdy often heard him mutter^ aiter involuntarily 
pecformiiig it, "There goes the olq shop again I" 

I dwell on this matter, because it was always his 
fiivourite tenet, in coolrailietioQ to what he called 
the cant of sonmstteen^ that there i0 no necessary 
connexion between genius and an aver^on or con- 
tempt for any of the common, duties of life; he 
thought, Oil the corUrary» that to spend some fair 
portKHi of every<day in any nratter of facjt occupfH 
tion, is good for the hwher faculties themselves in . 
the upshou In a word tfom begiqning to end, he 
piqued himself on heAngamatKirbuaiiusa; and did 
—with one sad and memorable exception— whatever 
the ordinary course of things threw in his way, in 
exactly the business-like fashion which might have 
been expected froip the son of a thoroughbred old 
Clerk to the Si^aet, who had never deserted his fo- 
thef's profession* 

In the winter of I788t howeveri his appeentioe 
habits were ex|y>scri to a new danger; and jQrc»n 
that date I belwve them to have undergooe a com-r . 
siderable change; He was {hj^n seii;^«to fUtendthB 
lecture^ of the Professor el Civil Lnwjn\lm Univerr 
sity, this course forming part of tl^eiufusl piofoe«>/, 
sional education of Writers to the SjgOet* asiweUaa. 
of Advocates. For some time his' oempanioaag,' 
when in Edinburgh^ had been chiefly, alemt soleln 
hie brother apprentices and the clena in his fattier s 



^axative&y Uttle . 
School friends, 



office. He had latterly 

even of the better of his old Hi 

such as Fergussott and Irving— for thoagh both of 
these also were writers apprentioee. th^ had beeoa 
indentured to other masters, and each had natuiallf 
formed new intimades within his own chamber. 
The dvil law class brought him again into daily 
contact with both Irving and Fergusson, as well as 
others of his earlier acquaintance of the higher 
ranks ; but it also led him into the society of some 
young gentlemen previously unknown to nim, who 
had from the outset been destined for the bar, and 
whose conversation^ tinctored vrith certain preju- 
dices natural to scions of what he calls in Red- 
gauntlet ttie Swititk nobU999 de ia robe^ soon ban« 
ished from his mind every thought of ultmiatdy ad* 
hering to the secondary branch of the law. He 
found these future barristers cultivating general 
Uterature, without any apprehension that suoh de- 
gant pursuits could be regarded by any one as inter- 
fering with the proper studies of theur professional 
career: juptly believing, on the contrary, that for 
the higher class of. forensic exertion some acquaint- 
ance with almost every branch of sdence and let* 
ters is a necessary pneparative. * He contrasted their 
liberal aspirations, and the encouragement which 



36 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



these received in their domestic circles, with the 
narrower vjews which predominated in his own 
home, and resolved to gratify his ambition by adoot- 
mff a most precarious walk m life, instead of adhe- 
ring to that in which he might have counted with 
perfect security on the early attoinmentof pecuniary 
independence. This resolution appears to have 
been foreseen by' his father, long before it was an- 
nounced in terms ; and the handsome manner in 
which the old gentleman conducted himself upon 
the occasion^ is remembered with dutiful gratitude 
in the precedmg autobiography. 

The most important of inese new alliances was 
the intimate friendship which he now formed with 
William Clerk of Eldin, of whose powerful talents 
and extensive accomplishments we shall hereafter 
meet with many entnusiastic notices. It was in 
company with this gentleman that he entered the 
debating societies described in his Memoir ; through 
him he soon became linked in the closest intimacy 
with George Cranstoun (now Lord Corehousej) 
George Aljiircromby, (now Lord Abercromby.) Sir 
Patrick Murray of Ochtertyre, John James Edmon- 
stone of Newton, Patrick Murray of Simprim, and 
a group of other young men, all high in birth and 
connexion, and all remarkable in early life for the 
(i^ualities which afterwards led them to eminent sta- 
tion, or adorned it. The introduction to their several 
families is alluded to by Scott as having opened to 
him abundantly certain advantages, which no one 
coukl have been more qualified to improve, but from 
which he bad hitherto been in {^reat measure de- 
barred in consequence of the retired habits of his 

hit. Clctk inyii^ (bat he had b<?en ermck from the 
fust dsir he enlertMJ iho civi! lawf cIsfiB rootni with 
something; odd and remtirkabk in Scati'a appear- 
unc*^? wlini ihtfl 60in<:ihin« wne he caiin(»T now ft>- 
cttll, but ho rem**mb£Ta t«Uinf? his companion some 
time afterwards, ihst he though i he looked like a 
kauthof-playtr. Scoli was &mn^cd with ihJa no- 
fjon, as be bad rtever toachcd any musical insrru- 
m<5niof suy kind; but I fancy hie friend hud tn-^n 
watehing a certain noticeable bti[ alto^mher iiide- 
Bcribablejjlay of (he upwr lip when in an absiraiited 
mood. Be raMit^l Walter, m nAys, during one of 
their flrut evening watks tORether, on ihe slovcn- 
iin^a of his dreeikj he wore n r^aif of corduroy 
breeches, much j^la^ by die ruhoiiia of hid slan, 
which he immwliatdjr flooripbed— and said, " they 
be gt>od etiouffh for drinking in- let o? ^q and have 
•omeoiXitefa in the Covenant CloftoJ' 

Convivial habita we re theij induleed aniona the 
young men of KdiTibursEh, whether fikuienia of Inw, 
wriiert, Of bamsiera, io an ejEi<?nt now hayjily 
unknown i and thJH »ric*dc»tc recalls some sirmmff 
htnl» ofi that subject which occur in Si^tt's brief 
autobiogrJiphy. That he partook profusely in the 
juvenile boechanalia of ihqt day, and contittued to 
take a pleotifui ehare in such jol)uii?fci dowu to the 
timeof hi» mflrTiatfi\ arufs>et<i worthy nf being dis- 
tincMy MatDfJ— for no man in mature \ih was more 
(j abi t ual ly a versa ta *'v cry son of m te rripcro net?. He 
cou Id, ^ 1 1 c n J fi r (« I k n e w i M I n , s w al low n p;rc n i qu an- 
niy y\i v,tni wieIk'i.m htiii*; at all visibly di^ordt red 
by ii J but nothui^ short oisomc verypanicular oc- 
casion could ever induce him to put this strength of 
head to a trial ; and I have heard him many times 
utter words which no one in the days of his youthful 
temptation can be the worse for remembering:— 
** Depend upon it. of all vices, drinking is the most 
incompatible with greatness/' 

The hveiiness of his conversation— the strange 
variety of his knowledge— and above all, perhaps, 
the portentous tenacity of his memory- riveted more 
and more Clerk's attention, and commanded the 
wonder of all his new allies; but of these extra- 
ordinary gifts Scott himself appeared to be Uttle 
coMoioos ; or at least he impreMed them all as at- 
taching infinitely greater consequence (exactly as 
uad been the case with him in the days of the Cow- 
gate Port and the kitUe nine »Up§) to feats of ner- 
sonal agUity and prowess. Wilhara Clerk's brother, 
James, a midshipman in the navy, happened to 



come home from a croise in the Mediterranean 
shortly afler this acquaintance began, and Scott and 
the sador became almost at sight sworn brothers." 
In order to complete his time under the late Sir 
Alexander Cochrane, who was then on the Leith 
station, James Clerk obtained the command of a 
Iui;g$r, and the young friends often made Uttle ex- 
cursions to sea with him. "The first time Scott 
dined onboard," says William Clerk, "we met be- 
fore embarking at a tavern in Leiih— it was a large 
party, mostly midshipmen^ and strangers to him, 
and our host introducing his landsmen guests, said, 
' my brother you know, gentlemen ; as for Mr. Soott, 
mayhaps vou may take him for a poor lamiter. but 
he IS the first to begin a row, and the last to end it ;' 
which eulosdum he confirmed with some of the ex- 
pletives of Tom Pipes."* when, many years after- 
wards, Clerk read The Pirate, he was startled bv 
the resurrection of a hundred traits of the table talk 
of this lugger : but the author has since traced some 
of the most striking passages in that novel to hia 
recollection of the almost childish period when he 
hung on his own brother Robert's stories about Rod- 
neyfa battles and the haunted keyt of the West 
Indies. 

One morning Scott called on Clerk, and exhibit- 
ing his stick all cut and marked, told him he had 
been attacked in the streets the night before by three 
fellows^ against whom he had defended himself for 
an hour. " By Shrewsbury clock 1" said his friend. 
"No," says Scott smiling, "by the Tron." But 
thenceforth, adds Mr. Clerk, and for twepty yeara 
after, he called his walking stick by the name t>f 
"Shrewsbury." * 

With these comrades Scott now resumed^ and 
pushed to a much greater extent, his early habits of ' 
wandering over the country in quest of castles and 
other remains of antiquity, his passion for which de- 
rived a new impulse from the conversation of the 
celebrated John Clerk of Eldin,t the father of his 
fHend. William Clerk well remembers his father 
telling a story which was introduced in due time in 
The Antiquary. While he was visiting his grand- 
fiither. Sir John Clerk, at Dumcriefii m Dumfries- 
shire, many years before this time, the old Baronet 
carried some English Virtuosos to see a supposed 
Roman camp ; and on his exclaiming at a particu- 
lar spot« " this I take to have been the Pretorium," 
a herdsman, who stood by, answered, " Prteiorium 
hera Prstorium there, I made it wi' a flaughter 
8pade."t Many traits of the elder Clerk were, his 
son has no doubt, embroidered on the character of 
Greoi[ge Constable in the composition of Jonathan 
Oldbuck. The old gentleman s enthusiasm for an- 
tiquities was often played on by these young friends, 
but more effectually by bis eldest son, John Clerk, 
(Lord Eldin,) who, having a great genius for art, 
used to amuse himself with manufacturing muti- 
lated heads, which, after being buried for a conve- 
nient time in the ground, were accidentally dis- 
cdvered in some fortunate noiu'. and received By the 
laird with great honour, as valuable accessions to 
his museum.! 

On a fishing excursion to a loch near Howgat& 
among the Moorfoot Hills, Scott, Clerk, Irving, and 
Abercromby, spent the night at a little pubUc-nouse 
kept by one Mrs. Margaret Dods. When St. Ro- 
nan's Well was published, Clerk meeting Scott in 
the street, observed) "That's an odd name; surely 
I have met Mrith it somewhere before." Scott 
smiled, said, "Don't you remember Howgate?" 
and passed on. The name alone, however, was 
taken from the Howgate hostess. 

At one of their drinking bouts of those days, Wil- 

* " Diooa vteer him," layi Hobfa« EUiot ; " ye may think 
Elslne'i but a lamiter. but I wanmnt je. criDpie for nipfxe. be'O 
gar the blue Mood ipin frae jroor iiail»--Mi band'i like a imftli^ 
rfoe."— Btacfc Dwirf^ Wavertey Noteit, voL is. p. SOL 

t Antbor of the fmam Ettay on dhidiiic the Una in Sea 
fi^ita. 

1 Compare " The Antiqaarri'* vol i. p. «. ^, . . 

I The moat remarkable of tbcM onri^fM AmA waa ao hUhb 
appRciated bf another diaUnrab^ed oanDotaaenr. tba kta Bail or 
RuJkn, that he carried it offfiom Mr. Clerli'i maMom, and jm- 
aented it to the Soottiih Bodetr of Antigaariee-ia whose eoBae* 

tk«. no doubt Jl mnr ■tIflbraanp^^;;7V lOOqle 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT.. 



87 



Aam CSerk^ Sir P. Humy, Edmonstone, and Aber- 
cromby, being of the party, the aittins was prolonged 
to a Tenr late hour, and Scott fell asleep. * When he 

• awoke, nia friends succeeded in convincing him that 
be had sung a song in the course of the evening, and 
song it extremely well. How must these gentlemen 
have chuckled when they read Prank Osbaldistone's 
acooont of his revels in the old hall !— " It has even 
been reported by maligners that I sung a sons while 
under this vinous influence; but as 1 rememoer no- 
thing of it, and never attempted to turn a tune in all 
my life, either before or since, I would willingly hope 
there is no actual foundation for the calumny."* 

On one of his first long walks with Clerk and 
others of the same set, their pace, being about four 
iiiles %n boor, was found rather too much for Scott, 
and he oflfered to contract for three, which measure 
was thenceforth considered as the legal one. At 
this ntA thejr often continued to wander from five 
IB the mormng till eight in the evening, halting for 
such relreshment at niid-day as any village alehouse 
nught.afTord. On many occasions, however, they 
haq stretched so far into the country, that they were 
obhgiDd to be absent fiwm home all night; and 
though great was the alarm which the first occur- 
reoee of this sort created in George's Square, the 
luuly soon got accustomed to such things, and 
k'ttJe notice was taken, even though Walter remain- 
ed away for the better part of a week. I have 
heard him laugl^ heartily over the recollections of 
one protracted excursion, towards the closle of 
whicn the party found themselves a long day's 
walk— thirty miles, I think— f^om Eldinburg^ with- 
out a single sinenc^ left among them. ^ ** We were 
put to our shirts," said he ; ** out we asked every 
DOW and then at a cottage-door for a drink of wa- 
ter ; and one or two of the goodwives^ observing 
our worn-out looks, brought forth milk m place oi 
water — so with that, and hips and haws^ we came 
in httle the worse." His father met him with some 
impatientquestionsas to what he had been living 
on so long, for the old man well knew how scanti- 
ly hia pocket was supplied. " Pretty much like the 
vicrang ravens," answered he ; *' I only wished I had 
been as good a pllyer on the flute as poor George 
Primrose in The Vicar of Wakefield. If I had his 

I art, 1 should like nothing better than to tramp like 
him firom cottage to cottage over the world." — " I 
doubt," said the grave Clerk to the Signet, " I great- 
ly doubt, sir, you were born for nae better than a 
gangrel scrape- frui." Some allusions to reproaches 
of this kind occur in the " Memoir :" and we shall 
find others in letters subsequent to his admission at 
the bar. 

The debating club formed among theseyoung 
friendaat thiseraof their studies was called TluLt- 
terary Society ; and is not to be confounded with 
the more celebrated Speculative Society, which 
Soott did not join for two years later. At the LUt- 
rery he spoke frequently, and verv amusingly and 
sensibly, but was not at all numbered among the 
most brilliant members. He had a world of know- 
ledge to produce ; but he had not acquired the art 
of arranging it to the best advantage in a continu- 
ed address ; nor, indeed, did he ever, I think, except 
iMider the influence of strung personal feeling, even 
when years and fame had given him full conndence 
in himself, exhibit upon any occasion the powers of 
oral eloquence. His antiquarian information, how- 
ever, supplied many an interesting feature in these 
evenings of discussion. He had already dabbled in 
Anglo-Saxon and the Norse Sagas : in his Essay 
OD Imitations of Popular Poetry, he alludes to these 
stodiee as having facilitated his acquisition of Ger- 
man :— But he was deep especially in Fordun and 
Wyntoun, and all the Scotch chronicles; and his 
friends rewarded him by the honourable title of 
Dun» Scottts. 

A smaller society, formed with less ambitious 
views, originated in n ride to Pennycuik, the seat of 
the head of Mr. Clerk's fannlv,, whose elegant 
hcMpitahties are recorded in the Jnemoir. This was 

• •• Rob Rof ." Waverley Novel*, vd. m p. itt. 
D 



called, by way of excellence^ The Club^ and I be- 
lieve it is continued under the same name to this 
day. Here, too, Walter had his sobriquet ; and— 
his corduroy breeches, I presume, not Ming as yet 
worn out— It was Colonel Chrogg.* 

Meantime he had not broken up his connexion 
with Roaebank ; he appears to have spent several 
weeks in the autumn, both of 1788 and 1789^ under 
his uncle's roof; nnd it wr^s, I think, of his loiiTney 
thither in ihe \mi namod year, that bti usc'd to \v\i 
an anet.'doti', which 1 s^hnlS hire JWl down— how 
ahom, alna J of ail tha a ccr dearies thai gnve it life 
when he fedii?d \i. CaUinj?, liefore ho »pi our, ott' 
one of the suL^ieni ^itietpfa of his fati^ily, to in- 
quire ii -r^W bod anv mf9»agr for KtlsOj 9h*3 relirpd, 
andpri -njt!y nlat-ed in hia iianda a packet of ftome 
bulk atiit vvti^hr, which rtquir^d, phc sftid, vtrfy par- 
ticular atu.nuon. We tcHtk it without eacamming 
the addr^ is.^f and carried it in his pock**t nvxx dny, 
not at till lo ihe Lightcrunfiof a fortymiles' ride in 
August. On his srhval, )t lurnffd <^Tit la contain 
one of the aid UAy's pat ten h, amled yp for a pufti- 
cular cobhitr \n Kelso, and actrjiiipani^d wiih four- 
pence lo 1-1 a v tor TTjendinf; it, and special dirociionB 
that it mijEht bt bruu^bt bn,:k to hor bv (he «ariie 
economical conveyance. 

It will be Been m>m the following letter, the ear- 
liest of Scott's writing that has fallen into my 
hands, that professional business had some share 
in this excursion to Kelso ; but I consider with 
more intereift the brief allusion to a day at Sandy- 
Knowe. 

' To Mr: Seott^ George Sguaref Edinburgh. 

"^^With a parcel.) 

^'Roeebank, 5th Sept, 1788. 
" Dear Mother, 

*' I was favoured with your letter, and send you Anne's 
stockings along with this : I would have sent them last 
week, but had some expectations of a private opportuni- 
ty. I have been very happy for this fortnight ; we have 
aome plan or other for every day. Last week uiy uncle, 
my cousin WilUam,t and I, rode to Smaiiholm, and Aom 
thence walked to Sandy-knowe Craigs, where we sftent ' 
the whole day, and made a very hear^ dinner bv the 
side of the Orderlaw Well, on some cokf beef and bread 
and cheese: we had' also a small case-bottle of rum to 
make grog with, which we drank to the Sandy-knowe 
baima, and all their connexions. This jaunt gave me 
much pleasure^ and had I time, I wonkl give you a more 
full account of iL 

"The fishing has been hitherto but indifferent, and I 
fear I shall not be able to acompliah my promise with 
regard to the wild-ducks. I yna out on Friday and only 
saw three. I may probably, however, send you a hare, 
as my uncle has got a present of two greyhounds from 
Sir H. MacDongall, and as he has a license, only waits 
till the com is off the ground to commence coursing* 
Be it Imown to you, however, I am not altogether em- 

Eloyed in amusements, for 1 have aot two or three clients 
eaides my uncle, and am busy drawing tacks and con- 
tract9,-^not, hoWever, of marriage. I am in a fair way 
of making money, if 1 8t«y here k>ng. 
'* Here I have wriuen a pretty long letter, and nothing 

* " Tlw m'*tiilwr» fyt Th*. Club iuchI ii* mijpt (mj Tri'lar f*QO- 
in;.-!'!^ Fiif*m in CRirntib^'fl Giixiv frttm wticfh pomi!' tjrik>m 

u»'i'ii|v RHj*«irnMi t0Riip«i M]ioj\ff(j>f invom in tbe woim* nvifjr- 
bci jiI^-hkI. in iifltf Uit thttip 'tf tkm 'whc cNiw*^<l iw \y^ ia 
£-;jiii*i>fifh iJFth>0 loffothri It* ici? pVTTy yt'm, st r)i'' ^■^^-'f '-^f 'lin 
Vii.'iT nfid iMrnt]i€'iM7«nuiii'4)f fho Ijjw r.itutu i i . i ' i ■ r- 

tj . .if>*. Bit Walt^ w** ^rj nuvU aWi'ni ti ^ 

II ■-■••'ii uUu n hiIuk that ^[va ^uy laniilH-r rrvtivi ■. : -i iV 

lu. ■I' *ir |ifntiir>Lkiii. Iiu JifiN»iJd fitwji Jinrif^r to Jiji itlA nri^ h iut*« j 
ai.'i Mvfj' JujlI ar-'-iinlir^RJj^ <H'o '-inh Ltmrfon t'ntm iiriit-uFip vhtn 
n i^c-i.riic fc^ltfnff of s..(^jrk»h,irn, Jiii4 liunih t vtiwn Im van 
n[iii.(.J f Ink ofFiiuiifjH Tln! rHT4!ii44il irwrHln-i^ vnn', in OJira- 
brr. niotlo^'it— v« . ^ir l»'a//?r Sattf. Mr Wilhrttfi Ckrlt, 3it 
A. F^rEUHtia, Mi. Jnirin FidiTtf^n^TrMLf^ >Ir. GuMpt A^i^rcjmiTihf 
(t^inl A^KtzTitmbyA Mr 1^ B- ►,>!(* (now Ijf»rO Jm^iiw tlt^rfc,! Mr 

»■■" Mr HaviJ M[inv[i.?riiiv it^.rcf Mi fin lib ' >lr ihJitn PnviiJ- 
•I I i r.iT'ni*i-iof Lii» It! MiuxfwJ £^ir Wdl'ini fUi . Hurt , HtF 
P.i'r I, MuTTnir, Birl., D'irid D^tUiifitM (I^jM H^<iL>]U Mr AJur- 
ra, < r i^m^ifiiiii, Mr Maffbr^lli n? Ctowlrtjm, ih Jrffubaid 
td.'.) (ion i>rPr»<iw«ir MH^.i BarVft R/^fm, « thiituttrttun ► , 
ih. H-iriwimtH* TAvmst Btturt^t, (i(li^w*ttli Enri nX e»!knt,--' 
and Jr^hri \n\nt F.Xf^pi tltt flws ythfmt rjan>» ur iiit^or iliMtf. 
Ibr^F cm* mil meir^b^Tt iir all iM\ aliw ''-L*f|«r fUm tif* 



* The preset Laird of RaefgMDQlC 



38 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



faH; bat you know writinf to one»B friends ia th^ ner: 
thlof to seeloK them. My love to my fiither anA ihe bojB, 
. irom, dear mother, your dotifal and atffectifiEUU^ wirt, 

It appears from James Ballanlyne's vu^oranda, 
that havmffbeen very early bound apprentice (o a 
•ouator in Kelso, he had no uitercoue><] w^ith Scoit 
, during the three or four years that followed their 
companionship at the school of Lancelot Whale ; 
but Ballantync was now sent to spend a winifir in 
^inburgh for the completion of his profession iil 
eduction, and m the course of his atiendanoe on 
the Scots-law class, became a member of a younir 
Teviotdale club, where Walter Scott t^^M^in fajlt^d 
to make his appearance. They supped tog^tlie^ 
It seems, once a-month ; and here, ai^ ui ilio asao- 
ciations above mentioned, good feltifii-.^hip wae 
often pushed beyond the limits of niorioni iadal- 

SBnce. The strict intimacy between ;Scoit aiKJ 
allantyne was not at this time renewed— iheir 
Avocations prevented it— but the Utier was no 
nmnterested observer of his old comradti's bearine 
on this new scene. "Upon all these occaaionB^" 
he says, one of the pnncipal features of hie charac- 
ter was displayed as consoicuously as i bellfri-e it 
ever was at any later period. This wae thr re ma rk- 
able ascendency he never failed to exhihh amang 
^is youn^ companions, and which appeared lo arise 
ftoin their involuntary and unconscious BubmUaion 
to the same firmness of understanding, and ^eptJe 
exercise of it, which produced the same effecrs 
Ihroughout his after life. Where there was always 
a good deal of dnnking, there was of course now 
and then a araod deal of quarrelling. But thtve 
words from Walter Scott never failed to put all 
such propensities to quietness." 

Mr. Ballantyne's account of his fricnd^s c^ace- 
making exeruons at this club may seem n imle at 
Yjmwice with same preceding details. There is a 
ditterence, however, l)etween enoouraginK quarrels 
m the bosom of a convivial party, and taking a fair 
part m a row between pne*sown party mid another. 
But Ballantyne adds, that at 7%e Teviotdale, Scott 
was always remarkable for being the moHt tempe- 
rate of the aet I and if the club consistctl chiefly of 
persons, like Ballantyne himself; somewhat inft^rior 
to Scott m birth and station, his careful ncsa boib of 
Bobnety and decorum at their meetings was bat 
another feature of his unchanged and uncho ngcable 
cnaracter--yii<ut« ab tmo. 

wiu°J*a •KT"^.?®^ Buppers of this time. 
Walter Scott had said aomethmg, of which, on 
recollepting himself next morning, he was eenaiblo 
that ms fneod Clerk might have reason to com- 
plain. He sent him accordingly a note apoloceticaL 
which has by some accident been preserved, ancl 
which I am. sure every reader will agree wfih ine 
•m considenng well worthy of preservation. In it 
Scott contnvea to make use of both Wis own clwb 
designations, and addresses his friend Uy another 
of the same order, which Clerk had receivi=d in con- 
sequence of comparing himself on some foreot ten 
occaaipn to Sir John Brute in the play. Th5 cha- 
ractenstic document is as follows :— 

To WiUiam Clerk, Esq. 
" Dear Baronet 
"lam sorry to find that our friend Colonpl Grwg hfti 

Su^T"* S?*** T^'T^ .""u*^"® ***«**« of vehemen?irin a 
depute with you 1«« night, occasioned by whai I ftm con- 
rrJhJT^l^^^Jf'TK' ™i«^onj;fP«<on of your erpreasions. 
At the Co onel, though a miUtary man, is not uh* iiamrhly 
to acknowledge an error, he has comml»!-ifti»ecl mi lo 
make his apoogy as a mutual friend, whieh I uu con. 
vioced you will accept from yours, ever. 

„-,.„ . ^- ., _ DuHS Scorns/' 

" Given at Oaatle-Duns, 
Monday." 

I should perhaps have mentioned sooner, that 
when first r^un^Slco/tt* became f^ Baronet's th\- 
ly companion— this new alliance was oh?, rv^rl with 
considerable jealousy by some of his forinr r insvpo- 
^WeB of the wnting office. At the mxi annual 
■apper of the clerks and apprentices, the g^rndy of 



the chamlioT. this feeling snowed hself in varioOB 
ways, and when the clout was drawn, Walter rose 
and aaked what was tneant, " WeU/' said one of 
the lada^ " §mce you will have it ont^ yon are a*/- 
ting your old friend a for the sake of Clerk, atid 
^nio moT^ of tbeec done, thfit look do^n on the 
liko q( liB." " Gentlemen," aTjBwertui Scott, *' I 
will never rui any innn unices 1 detect him in. 
econndrdieni ; but 1 know not what ni?bt any of 
you have to interferu with niy thoice oi my com- 
pany. If any one f bought I had injured him, he 
would have duno well to SJik an i^xplanittion in a 
more private matmer As it is, 1 fau^ly own that 
thous^h I like many of you very much, and hare 
lonff done so, I think WiUiam Ch rk ^'ell worth 
yo 61 all p u t toge ! h e r . " Th e se ni or in th e chair wae 
wise enough to laugh, ami the evening passed BflT 
wjThotit further iJieturbance. 

Ab one t-iTcct of his oSSus^ r-ducntion, Scotf aoon 
benm to prc^rvc in re^lar Bles ihi- IctterjaddreBS- 
m to him I ond from the style and toti^ of sgeh 
letters, as Mr. Southey observes in his LifeofCow^ 
.per, a man'ii character may oft^n he giihsredevni 
more (suruly than from those written by himaiuC 
The firfit series of any con^ldershlu cxtrmt in )hs 
euliection, include* letters dated as far back as 1786, 
and proce*?dB, with not many ini^rruutiuns, down 
b*^vona the perii^ when iila fame hnd b^^nest^- 
IhihtrJ. I re^ei, that from the delicnte nature of 
the transactions chmfty dwelt upon in ilie eaiiiar 
of these coniinunicaiions, I dare not make a firee 
usfl of chum ; but I feel it toy duty to rscord the 
s irons impri.flsion they have left on my own miiid 
of hjgh generosity qT afft^ctioti, coupled 'ftith calm 
judgment, and petet^v^mnce in well-doing^ on the 
part of ihestiiphng Scott, To these nidiied evefy 
line in the collection bears pregnant tc^tiiaony. A 
yciunK s<.nHeinatT, horn of good futnik^ and heir to 
a t alterable fortujie. In sent lo Edioburgb College, 
md IS M^n pA Making, ulonc with ScoU, thi>Mlgh 
several apparently hftppy and cweieiw years, of t£e 
slud[cs and llmusement^ of which the readisr may 
by thia time have fonned an adequate notion. By 
degrees, from the ugu^i license of hta ^ml com- 
radea^ he ainka mm habits of a looser desoription— 
bLi:tiiiic« rcickkfa, contracts dcWls, jrritatL*s his own 
family almost beyond hope of reconciliatnTH, is vir- 
tuftlly cast off hy them, runs away from -Scotland,* 
forma a mDrriage far below his condition in a re- 
nio(c part ol the sister kinedonv-nnJ, when the 
poorgFfl has.ine^lt! him a father, thcji first begins 
to opsQ hi| eye* to the full cons^xjuoncta of his mad 
cnrcr-T. Ho appeaje lo Scott, by this time in bis 
[;jgbteenth year, '* as the tru*?ei and noblest of 
fn-nda/' who had given him "*ihe i^arlie stand the 
pirotiwest warning^,'' had assisted him '' ihe most 
KtfiiLToiisly ihroughoiil all his wanderings and dis- 
r^cafi^^^, end will not now abaiidnn biTn in his 
'penitent luwlmess of misery/' the rfsuii ufhis see- 
I riK vir tue and I n n eentP I n ? ol veci in th (i punish- 
nicnt of bis errora," I find Scoit obtaining the 
plow and muciant assist ance of his own carefiil 
Jatherj— who had long t»efore obaerptxi thid youth's 
wii>*ward diapositionj and often cautiont^i his soil n 
asntns»t the connection,— to iniercpde witti the un- 
ibritinatc wanderer's family, and pmcaro, if pos- 
31 hie, some mitigftiion i3f their uenttnce. ThereslUt 
is, that he is fuj nished with the scanty means of 
rt'inoymg himaijlf to a distant a>lony, where he 
spi nda several yaa/e in tb<j drudgery of a very 
hrjnihTe occupation, but hy depr^jca esiabliahes for 
hii>r>»elf a uew character, winch commnnds the 
anxirtu? intereBf of atraitj^ers j-and I fmd these 
sjTBngers, parNcularly a benevolent and venerable 
cTrr^yntan, nddrcaam^, on \m behalf, without hia 
pnvflcj', (he young pHf son, as yei unknown to eh« 
wortd, whom the; oh|ect of their euncern h^ paint- 
ed to tbi^ni aa " iimtrng the warm fcelinRs of youth 
WLth the jH nap^f ) parw^-^bo^e hair he had, *^from 
tlae day he left Fngknd, worn next his heart^' Jnst 
at ihc time wlun this appeal reachefj yootf, ha 
heap that his e^ded friend'a fath.ir has died sod- 



denly, nnd afuf all int*sT&Tc i hn haii flctajJly bam 
takmg steps to ascortain the tntch of the case at 
Digitized by V^OOQ IC' 



UFE OF am WALTSa SCOTT. 



the jnoment when the American despatch is laid 
' oi^ Mb table. I leave the reader to guess with what 
pleasure Scott has to communicate the intalhgence 
that his repentant and reformed friend may return 
to take possession of his inheritance. The letters 
before me contain touching picmres of their meet- 
in8--of Walter's first visit to the ancient hall. 
where a happy family are now aseembled*-and ox 
the affectionately respectful sense which his friend 
retained ever aflerwards of all that he had doue for 
him in the season of his strufi^les. But what a 

Fievous loss is Scott's part of tms correspondence ! 
find this correspondent over and over again ex- 
Sressing his admiration of the letters in which Scott 
escribed to him his early tours both in the High- 
lands and the Border dales ; I find him prophesyinof 
from them, as early as 1789, ** one day your pen will 
make you famous,"— and already, in 1790, urging 
him to concentrate his ambition on a "history of 
the clans."* 

This young gentleman appears to have had a de- 
cided turn for literature ; an4« though in his earlier 
epistles he makes no allusion to Scott as ever 
dabbling in rhyme, be often inserts verses of his 
own. some of which are not without merit. There 
. is a long letter in doorel, dated 1788, descriptive of 
a ramble from Edinourgh to Carlisle— of which 1 
may quote the opening Iine^ as a sample of the 
simple habits of tnese young people. 
*' At four in the momiof , I won't be too sure, 
Yet, if right 1 remember me, that was the boor, 
When wiUi FenuMoo, Raoisay. and Jones, sir, and yon, 
From Auld Reekie I aonthward my route did poraue. 
But two of the dogs (yet God blem them, I aaid) 
Grew tired, and but set me halfway to Laaawade, 
While Jones, you and I, Wat, went on without llulter, 
And at Srmonds's feasted on good tnread and butter ; 
Where I, wanting a aineace, you Ingged out a shilling, 
And paid for me too, though iwaa mom. unwUliag. 
We parted— be aural was ready to snivel- 
Jones and joa to go home— I to go to the devU.'' 

In a letter of later date, describing the adventu- 
rer's captivation with the cottage maiden whom he 
aflerwards married, there are some lines of a very 
diifierent stamp. This couplet at least seems to me 
exquisite .— 

" LowIt beauty, dear fiiend, beams with primitive grace, 
And 'tis innocence self plays the rogue in her iace." 

I find in another letter of this collection— and it 
ia among the first of the series— the following 
passage :—" Your Quixotism, dear Walter, was 
Highly characteristic. From the description of the 
blooming fair, as she sppeared when «he lowered 
her tnanicau vtrt, I am hopeful you have not dropt 
the acquaintance. At least I am certain some of our 
more rakish friends would have been glad enough 
of si|ch an introduction." This hint I cannot help 
connecting with the first scene of TJu Lady Green 
Mantle in Redgauntlet : but indeed 1 could easily 
trace many more coincidences between these letters 
and that novel, though at the same time I have no 
sort of doubt that mlliam Clerk was, in the main, 
Darsic Latimer^ while Scott himself unquestion- 
ably sat for his own picUire in youn^ Alan Pairfprd. 

The allusion to our mote rakish friends"^ is in 
keeping with the whole strain of this juvenile corres- 
pondence. Throughout there occurs no coarse or 
. even jocular suggestion as to the conduct of Scott 
in that particular, as to which most youths of bis 
then age are so apt to lay up stores of self-reoroach. 
In this season of hot and inmetuous blood, he may 
not have escaped quite blanleless, but I have the 
• concurrent testimony of all the most intimate 
amouih is surviving associates, that be was remark- 
ably free from such indiscretions ; that while his 
high sense of honour'^shielded him from the remo- 
test dream of tampering with female innocence, he 
had an instinctive delicacy about him, which made 
him recoil with utter disgust from low and vulgar 
debaucheries. His friends. I have heard more than 
one of them confess, used often to rally him on 
the eoldness of his nature. By degrees they disco- 

• AB Seott'f letten to the Mend here aflucM to ais Midto 
tefe pviibed in an scdilaital OR. 



vered that he had, bom almost the dawn Mihe 
passions, cherished a secret attachment, whicn con- 
tinued, through all, the most perilous stage of m^ 
to act as a romantic charm in ssfeguard of virtue. 
This— (however he may have disguised the story 
by mixing it up with the Quixotic adventure of the 
damsel in the Green Mantle)— this was the e^ly 
and innocent affection to which we owe the tender- 
est pages, not only of Redgauntlet, but of the Lay 
of the Last Minstrel, and of BokebyH In all ot 
these works the heroine has certain di^inctive 
features, drawh from one and the same haunting 
dream of his manly adolescence. 

It was about 1790, according to Mr. William Clerk, 
that Scott was observed to lay aside that careless- 
ness, not to say slovenHoess^ as to dress, wbaoh 
used to furnish matter for joking at the beginning 
of their acquaintance. He now did himself more 
justice in these little matters, became fond of mix- 
ing in general female society, and, as his friend ex- 
presses it, " began to set up for a sguirjs of daraes." . 

His personal appearance at this time' was not 
unengaging. A fsily -' Iji;;!i ninli, who woll-re- 
meinbers him in ihe ^m Afleembly Roomiv aay& 
"Young Walter Scod wnh a Ciinidv creature." 
He had outgrown the vallowncei^is oft^arly ill health, 
and had a fresh brilliuiU coin;)li'iion. His ^yes 
were clear, open, und well st^i, fviih a changnhl 
radiance, to which teeth of the most perfect regu- 
larity and whitenes Itnt their assistance^ while the 
noble expanse and elevntmu of the brow gave to 
the whole aspect a dighity fnr sboire the charm of 
mere features. His smile was always iJi.]iMhtluIj 
and I can easily fancy the neciilinr intetmixtureot 
tenderness and graricy^ witli playful ioaoc«nt hila- 
rity and humour in the cxproseion, as b«in£ well 
calculated to fix , a fun tady s eye. His figure, ex- 
cepting the blemish lh out] Unib, muvv in tlu>^ days, 
have been eminently handsoiue; tail, much above 
the usual standard, it was castm the very. mould 
of a young Hercules, the head set on with singular 
grace, the throat and chest after the truest model 
of the antique, the hands d^oately finished, the 
whole outline that of extraordinary vigour, without 
as yet a touch of clumsiness. When he had acquir- 
ed a Uttle facility of manner, his convrfsation must 
have been such as could have didrn n^pd with any 
exterior advantages, and certainK t. rough! swift 
foiY^eness for the one unkindu-^^ 'f nature.^ I 
have heard him, in talking of thi^ pnrc of bis life, 
say, with an arch simplicity of Ion k and lune which 
those who were familiar with hiio e^in fill in for 
themselves. —" It was a proud night with me;, when 
I first found that a pretty young woman could think 
it worth her while to sit and talk with me, hour 
after hour, in a comer of the ball-room, while all 
the world were capering in our view." 

1 befieve, however, that the "pretty young woman" 
h< . ' .?' rsn<«rt' .1 t.\ had occupied his attention 

io:/. iiifi^r-.- Ji-- 'jv<.r JH'i" !ircd in ihf Eilinhiirgh As- 
seniUly RooiTii, or nny of his fntndij <ook note of 
him ns -"scttinff up for a &quire of damfs.** I have 
b«^!i tr>{d I hot rlieii BCqaiiinrance bf can i;i iheGray- 
fr;Ltr^-' Church yard^ w la ere rmn beginning [^j fall one 
SijimNi^4)h tki e^ngregjition wi^rv dif^j^erhjitg, Soott 
hut fi'iied Lo offer his umbrt-lla, and the tencler being 
acr-Etedt 1*0 eneoried her to her re^jdenre, which 
prtjvrtJ! lo lie nt no RPeaT dtsinnee from his own. 
To rtiMirn from ehiirnli tomnhcr hft<i* it seems, 
grown into something !ike a custom, before they met 
m society, Mrs. Scott being of the party. It then 
appeareci that she and the Tedy's mother had been 
companions in their youth, though both living sedu- 
dedly, they had scarcely Men each other for man/ 
years; and the two matrons now renewed theu: 
fijrmer intercourse. But no acquaintance appears 
to have existed between the fathers of the yoofig 
people, until things had advanced in appearance fur- 
ther than met the approbation of the good Clerk to 
the Signet . 

Being aware that the young lady, who was vexy 
highly connected, had prospects offortune far above 
his son's, the upright and honourable man concei- 
ved it his duly to give her parenu warning that he 



Digitized by V^OOQ IC 



*40 



LIFE OP &m WALTER SCOTT. 



oBienred a degree of inthnac^r which, if allowed to 
go on, might inYolve the paities in future pain and 
disappointnient. He had heard his son talk of a 
contemplated excuraion to the part of the country 
in yfinch. his neighbour's esta^ lay, and not doubt- 
ing that Walter's real object was different from 
that which he announced, mtroduced himself with 
a frank statement, that tie wished no such affair 
to prtM^ed, without the express sanction of those 
most interestCMi in the happmess of persons as yet 
too young to calculate consequences tor themselves. 
The northern Baronet had heard, nothing of the 
yotmg apprentice's intended exciu'sion, and appear- 
ed to treat the whole business very lightly. He 
thanked Mr. Scott for his scrupulous attention- 
hut added, that he believed he was* mistaken : and 
this paternal interference, which Walter did not 
hear of till long afterwards, produced no change in 
his relations with the object of his gfowing at- 
tachment 

I have neither the power nor the wish to give in 
detail the sequel of this story. It b sufficient to say, 
that after he had through severaUong years nourish- 
ed the dream of an ultimate union with this lady, 
his hopes terminated in her being married to a gen- 
tleman of the highest character, to whom some 
affectionate allusions occur in one of the greatest 
of his works, and who lived to act the part of a 
most generous friend to his early rival throughout 
the anxieties and distresses of 1826 and 1837. I 
have said^ enough for my purpose— which was only 
to render intelligible a &w allurions in the letters 
which I raall bv and by have to introduce ; but I 
may add. that I have no doubt this unfortunate 
passion, besides one good effect already adverted 
to, had a powerful miluence in nerving Scott's 
mmd for the sedulous diligence with which he pur- 
sued his proper legal studies, as described in bis 
Memoir, during the two or three years that preceded 
his call to the bar. 



CHAPTERVI. 

1LLU8TKATI0N8 COKTZNUXD— STUDIES FOB THE BAB— 
XXGUBSIOMS TO N0BTHI7MBB BLAND— LETTBB ON 
FLODDBN FIELD— CALL TO THE BAB— 1790-1792. 

The two following letters may sufficiently illus- 
trate the writer's every day existence in the autumn 
of 1790. The first, addressed to his Jidus Achates, 
has not a few indications of the .vein of humour 
from which he afterwards drew so largely in his 
novels ; and indeed, even in his last dayfi, he de- 
lighted to tell the story of the Jedburgh bailies' 
boots. 

To Wtttiam CUrk. Esq., at John Oerk'o, Bsq.,qf Eldin, 
Prince t-Mtreet, Edinburgh. ^ 

" Rosebank, 6(h Aqfust, 1790. 

"Here am I, the weather, according to your phraae, 
moBt bOchiferous: the Tweed within twenty yards of the 
window at which I am wrttlnir, swelled from bank to bra^ 
and roaring like thunder. It is payhig you but a poor 
compliment to tell you I waited fbr toch a day to perK>rm 
my promise of writing, but you muat consider that it Is the 
point here to reserve tach within-doors' employment as 
we think most agreeable for bad weather, which in the 
country always wants something to help it away. In> fair 
weather we are far from wanung amusemem, which at 
present is my business ; on the conurary, erery fiiir day 
has some plan of pleasure annexed to it, in so much that 
I can hardly believe I have been hero above two daya, so 
swiftly docs the time pads away. You will ask how It is 
employed. Why, negatively, I read no civil law. Hei- 
neocins and his fellow worthies have ample time to gather 
a venerable coat of dust, which they merit by their dul- 
Bess. As to my positive amusements, besides riding, 
fishing, and the other usual sports of the country, I often 
spend an hour or two in the evening in shooting herons, 
which are numerous on this part of the river, l^i do this, 
1 have no fartiier to go than the bottom of our garden, 
which literally hangs over the river. When you fire at 
a bird she always crosses the river, and when again shot at 
with ball, usually returns to your side, and will cross in 
this way several times before she takes wing. This fnr- 
nish^s floe sport; nor arc Hisy easily shot, as you never 



can set very near them. The intervals between fhehr a^ 
pearing is spent very agreeably in eating gooseberries. 

"Yesterday was Bt. James's Fair, a day of great busi- 
nesp. There was a great shqw of black cattle — I meaa 
of ministers; the narrowness of their stipends here obli- 
ges Doany of them to enlarss their tncomea by taktog 
farms and graxing cattle. Thk in my opinion, dimioislies 
their respectability, nor can the farmer be soopoaed to 
entertain any great reverence for the shostly aavice of a 
pastor, (they literally deserve the epithet,) who parhsps 
the day before overreached him in a bargain. I would 
not have you to suppose there are no exceptions to this 
character, bnt it would serve most of them. 1 had beea 
fishing with my ancle, Captain 8cott, on the Teriot. sAd 
returned through the ground where the Fair Is kept. 
Hie servant was waiting there with our horses, as we 
were to ride the water. Lucky it was that it wtts so ; for 
just about that time the msgistcstes of Jedbaigh, who 
preside there, b^fan their solemn procession tbroagfa the 
Fair. For the greater dignity upon this occasion, they 
had a pair of boots among three men— t. e., as they ride 
three in a rank, the outer legs of t^ose personages who 
formed the outside, as they may be called, of the proees- 
sloa, were each clothed in a boot. This and several 
other incongruous sppearances, were thrown in the teeth 
of those eavaUers by the Kelso populace, and, by the as- 
sistance of whbkey, parties were soon inflamed to a very 
tight battle, one of thsC kind which, for distinction sake, 
is called royal It was not without great difficulty that we 
extricated ourselves from the confusion; and had we 
been on foot, we misht have been trampled down by 
these fierce Jedburgnian^ who charged tike so many 
troopers. We were spectators of the combat flrom an 
eminence, but peace was soon after restored, which made 
the older warriors regret the effeminacy or the age, as, 
regularly, it ought to have lasted till n^ht Two lives 
were lost, I mean of horses ; Indeed, had yon seen them, 
you would rat her have wondered that they were able to 
bear their masters to the scene of action, than thsTtbey 
could not carry them off. 

" I am ashamed to read over this sheet of nonsense, so 
excuse Inaccuracies. Remember me to the lads of the - * 
Literary, those of the eiub in par^cular. I vrrote Trriof . 
Rememser my most respectml compliments to Mr. and 
Mrs. Clerk and &mily, particularly James; when yon 
write, let me know how he did when you heard of him. } 
Imitate me hi writing a long letter, bnt not in being long in 
writing it. Direct to me at Miss Scott's Garden, Kelso. 
My leUera lie there for me, as It saves their being sent 
dowm to Rosebank. The carrier puts up at the Grass- 
market, and goes away on Wednesday forenoon. 

"Yours, YfAvrm. awn." 

The next letter is dated from a house at which I 
have often seen the writer in his latter days. Kippi- 
law, situated about five or six miles behind Abbots- 
ford, on the high ground between the Tweed and the 
Water of Ayle, is the seat of an ancient lahtl of the 
clan Kerr, but was at this time tenanted by the 
family of Waller's brother-apprentice, James Ram- 
say, who afterwards realized a fortune in the civil t 
service of the East India Company at Ceylon. 
•• To WiUiam Clerk, Esq. 

"KippiUw.8ept3,1790. 
"Dear Clerk, 

"I am now writing from the country habitation of our 
friend Ramsay, where I have been spendhig a week as 
pleasantly as ever I spent one in my lite. Imagine a com- 
modious old house, pleasantly situated amongst a knot of 
venerable ehns, in a fine 8|k>rting, open country, and only 
two miles from an excellent water for trouts, inhabited 
by two of the,best old ladies, (Ramsay's aunts,) and three 
as pleasant young ones, (his sisters,) as any person would 
wish to converse with— and yo<iwiU have some idea of 
Kippilaw. James and I wander about, fish, or look for 
hares, the whole (^y, and at night laugh, chat, and play 
round games at cards. Such is the fatherland In wriich 
I have been living for some days past« and which 1 leave 
to-night or to-morrow. This day is very bad; notwith . 
standmg which, James has sallied out to make some calls, 
as he soon leaves the country. I have a great mind to 
trouble him with the care of this. 

"And now for your letter, the receipt of which I have 
not, I tl)tnk, yet acknowle<lged, though I am much obliged 
to you for it. I dare say you would relish your jaunt to 
Pennycuick very much, especially considering the eollta- 
- r desert of Edinburgh, from which It relieved you. By 

le by, know, O thou dcvourer of grapes, who contemn* 
est the vulgar gooseberry, that thou art not singular in thy 
devouring— ner tarn avereus equos »ol jungit ab uroe 
{KHsomand. gciNeety^mj uncle being the lawful posses* 
or of a vinery, measuring no lois thuitwenty-four ftSC 
Digitized by VjCJD^C 



Z 



UFBOP SIR WALTE»«COTT. 



41 



^ l iii tl ig» J h€ eooCmti of whieh come often In my w»j ; 
■■d. accordiDff to the provorh, tlwt enoof h is as good as a 
flaw, m m|imU^ acceptable as if they came out of the 
OMMt ejoenrtve Tineyard In France. 1 cannot, however^ 
equal your boast of brealcfastiog, dining, and supping on 
ii!^an.JiM for the civiUans*— peace be Mrith them, and 
may tm dost lie Ii|ht upon their heads— they deserve this 
prayer in return for tnose sweet slumbers which their 
Deolfn toUnence infuses into their readers. I fear I shall 
too aooo be forced to distuirb them, for some of our (amny 
BOW at Kelso, I am under the agonies lest 1 he 
d 10 escort them into town. The only pleasure I 
I rasp by this, is ttiat of ^Unf you how yon do, and, 
pertm, the solid advanii^ e of completing our studies be- 
for* the CoUese sits down. Employ, therefore, your 
' i|rs in slumber while you can, ior soon it will be 
. i from your eyes. I plume myself on my sagacity 
regard to C. J. Poz.t I always foretold you would 
tti^ of him — a Tile brute. I have not yet forgot the nar 
row escape of my fingers. I rejoice at James'sl intimacv 
wttb Miss Menzies. dhe promised to turn out a fine gir^ 
has a fine fonune, and could James get her, he might sing, 
* FQ go no more to sea, to sea.' Give my love to him 
whea Toti write. — ' God preserve us, what a scrawl !' says 
one Of the ladies just now, in admiration at the ex- 
pecfitioo with which I scribble. Well— I was never able 
In my life to do any thing with what is called gravity and 
de6t>ermtioo. A 

** I dined two dm aso fele ft tite wKh Lord Bnchan 
Heard a history of all nis ancestors wl|||p he has hung 
TOVod his chiaraey* piece. From couni^v of pedigrees, 
CBod hoed deliver us ! He is thinking oMrectmg a roon- 
uneot to Thomsoo. He' freouented Drvburgh much In 
my gnuidiitf her'ji time. It will be a handsome thing. Aa 
lo your scamp of a boy, I saw nothing of him ; but the iac*^ 
is eooi^h to condemn there. 1 have seen a man flogged 
for stealing spirits on the sole information of his nose. 
Remember me respectfully to all vour family. 
"Believe me yours, affecUonatety, 

Waltbb Scott." 
After bis return from the scene of these merry do- 
ing^ he writes aa follows to his kind uncle. The 
r«uler>ill isee that, in the course of the preceding 
year, he had announced his early views of the on- 
gin of what is called, the feudal system, in a paper 
read before tht Literary Society, He, in the suc- 
ceeding winter^hose the same subject for an essay, 
nbmitted to Mr. Dugald Stewart, whose prelec- 
tions on ethics he was then attending. . Some time 
later he again illustrated the same opinions more at 
length, in a disquisition before the Speculative Soci- 
ety : and, indeed, he always adhered to them. One 
(/the last historical books he read, before leaving 
Abbotaford for Malta in 1831. was Colonel Tod'a 
interesting account of Rajasthan; and I well re* 
member the delight he expressed on finding his 
views confirmed^ as they certainly are in a very 
striking manner, by the philosophical soldier's de- 
tails of the structure of society in that remote region 
oi the East. 

** To Captain Robert Seoitf Rooebank, KeUo. 

« Edinburgh, September, 1790. 
**Dear Uncle, 

*'We arrived here without any accident about five 
o'clock on Monday evening. The good weather made our 
ioamey pleasant I have been attending to your com- 
missions here, and find that the last volume or Dodsley's 
Annoal Register published is that for 1787, which 1 waj$ 
abool to send you ; but the bookseller T frequent had not 
floe lo boards, though he expects to procure one for me. 
' There is a new work of the same title and size, on the 
sme plan, which, being published every year regularly, 
lias aimoat cat out Dodaley'& so that this last is expecterl 
o atop altogether. You will let me luiow if* yon would 
wish to tkave the new work, which is a good one, will join 
very wen with those volumes of Dodsley's which you 
already have, and is published up to the present year. 
Byron'k Narrative is not yet published, but you shall have 
itwbenever it comes out. 

"Agreeable to your permission, I send you the scroll 
copy of an essay on the origin of the feudal system, writtct^ 
fsr the LHerary Society last year. As you are kind 
saeogh to interest yourself in my style and manner of 
writing, I thought yon wight like better to see It in itn 
\ orighial slate, than one on the polishing of which mon^ 
' time had been bestowed. You will see that the intention 
*nd anempt of the essay is principally to controvert two 

• Books on Civil Law. , 

* A tame fox of Mr Clerk's, which ba sooo 
Ilb.iaiBesClerk.R.N. 

6 D» 



1 r,.' aijrUWns ?4i(tdowD by the writers on the subject t— 
' ^rilCtrt uBitlnv^ntrd by th« Lnmbftrda i and, 

roUndiUk'n dppendiui an the king'* being &&- 
. . \ .^, J ihe va\c lord of aU I lie iBJida in ihe country, 
v¥t<icli iiii tt (Iter war iti f{j»lribmtd to be held by military 
t emu res. J iiave ^O'leaVDred to A3Kij;n it a ixtorv jfeuioTul 
■Trlgtuif and to prgive Ml«i M piorecitA upon prm^ipl^A ct>aj- 
mon 10 All natioins wh(<ci pjaci^d In a ccxlain luti/ution. I 
dfu 4rm1ii Ihe inattvr ftjll bul poorly rewaN iIiq (rem- 
J4i* jk-m witi flntt iri rt'Mltng somn pdrle. I liope^ Ijuiv* 
'^ejt ?fifi wi^J wiakfl tiut CDOUftFi Mi (?aabJo ynu to favour 
iij:^ with Tt^tjr BcdUmenis iiitan \\a (iiih*, Th*?f* \a Dona 
whflBe oiivice I prim w higiiT for ihrro is nont? In wHojib 
judgment f can so oi itch ron£de, orwbo has abimn ma 
HO uiuclj kjnrlnesR, 

^* I abso s<f [id, u ariiuiieni«nt for an idJe half hour; a wpy 
of (hi! rfffuJiiLouM nf our Boci^iy, some of which will, t 
thifjkt be fttTuiiroil wtLh your approbailoQ. 

" f\y ranthrr oiiila^Aier >>irt jn compliments lo aunt and 
>i>u, andul^t inthiuok^ Tor Lh^ att^Eitifjns fuid hospllility 
wliirti ifjej frpdrlenced wX Roaebfink. And I am ever 
y^iijr afTcc^tooaitc nejilicw. Walt^h ttcOtT. 

*'P. B— If you coutiniJE! to want h [as^tKT^ J iltink I cui 
procure you one of a food bteed^ and KtiKt bim by th« 
currier."'^ 

White HitendiiiK Mr* Dugald Stewart 'a clsiSi in 
the mnler of I79(t-1) ScoU product'd, in ^i^oynptituce 
with tine ii^inl custom of etbicftl studcnin, Bevmil 
essay* btwdefi ihit to which I have alreidy mjtdo 
on nil 11 "lion, and which wns 1 believe, en titled ^ " On 
The M^innufs niirl Cueloma of the Nnnhern Na- 
tkins.'* Bui this essay it wfi* ihat 6r»l nUracted, 
in anv nnrlkufar nmnner. hte profeisof'* Btfeofion. 
Mr. Robert Ainsli^ wdl known na the frit?nd and 
fellow traveller uf Burns, happened to attend Slew- 
Jirt the same *t»fFsion. anrl rem em be ra hb sayiiit; ex 
tathidrk^ ** Ttia author t/f ihia paper shows much. 
knowIetlKB of his subject, and a if real to etc for such 
rr *o a re hc3. " Scott ht ca m^^ before I h <.^ c I o Pe of the 
Stftsiort, n frtcjuctit visiter in Mr. Stewart's fauiilyj 
find an afft?ciipfiflie int/TCOurac was mainLained he- 
twe^^n ihem through iheir after-livtie. 

Let iim here set down Ei httle atorv which moit 
of his friends masi h.ive hi^ard him tell of the nme 
pt-riod. VVhde at lending Dusaki Stewart's lectnrea 
on moral |ihiIo^phy, Scoil happeiifid in sit fro-' 
quetilly beside modest atuJ ddigent youth, conaid* 
(TiiUy his ectiior, and obviously of very hiimble con- 
dition. Their acquaintance wjon became raiher in- 
(imatjPj Dud he occnisiynntly made ihta new friend 
ilie companion of hia conntiv w^lks, but as to hia 
parent ti^e Jind pld€e of rtsjidence h« atwoys pre- 
Sf^rvtd tKtaJ sitcact^. One day, lo wards il>c end of 
the seaaion^ as Scult was n^turninp [a EJinbuTKh 
from a solitary ramble, his eye was arrested by q 
minify if I fly venertible Blutgown^ ik beggar of tha 
Kdie Ochiltree orders who stood propped on hm 



stick, with ilia hat in hia hand, but silent and mo- 
tionless, at one of the out skirls of tho city. Scolt 
gave tbe oJd man what tntlc he had in his pocket, 
and passed on his way* Two or three times after- 
wurdn ihe same thing liappened, and \w hud b^guti 
to consider the Bl ucKown as one who had cstab- 
h^hed a claim on hii$ bounty : when one day he felt 
iri with Uini as he was walking with hia itumble 
St ude n L. Obfto rvin g eom e con f u&io n in his com ti a n- 
Eou'a niann<;r a^ he ^aUittd his penisijoncr) and b<^ 
Slowed' the uauol betiefaetiot!, he coutd not heip 
s.i^jnp, after ihey had proceeded a (pw yards fur- 
ther. Do you know any thing to the old man's dJa- 
er'dit 7" Lpon which the youth burst inlo t*;ars;, 
and cried, O oo, sir, God fiirbid— but lama poor 
wrttch to be aahomcd lo speak to him—he i» mjr 
c3wn father. He has enough loid by to Fervo for hi« 
own old dttVEs but he s^tande bleacbing hia head in 
the windt (hat hii may git the means of pay log fur 
m y eiJ ij c Ji 1 it 1 1> . " Co iripa s ?ianatm^ I he yoan k rna n^a 
ailuaiioo, Scott ?oolhed bia weaknesF, and kept his 
jwcrel, but by no m«!ans brnkeofftheacqUDitiianc^j!, 
j^dme DMjnEhs hod eUpecd tufurc he n^i^mn mei iho 
OIueRown— It was in a retired place, ond the old 
man bei^petl to speak a word wtih him^ 'VI findj 
^ir,'' he said^ " thsit you hnve been vtry kind to my 
Wdlie. He hnd often spoke of r1 bef^pre I saw you 
toKciher* Will fm pardon nix^h a lij^e^iy, and givo 
me ^ij boauui utd pl«ani^^| |^X you unwff^ 



LIFE4V SIR WALTER QOOTf. 



12 « 

poor roof 7 To-monrow ia Saturday, will you come 
at two o'clock 1 Willie has not been very well, and 
it would do him meikle good to see your face." His 
curiosity, besides better feelings, was touched, and 
he accepted this strange invitation. The appointed 
hour found him within sight c^ a sequestered little 
cottage, near St. Leonaixi's^the hamlet where he 
has placed the residence of his David Dean's. His 
fellow-student, pale and emaciated from recent sick- 
bess, was seated on a stone bench by the door, 
lookmg out for his commg, and introduced him into 
a not untidy cabin, where the old man, divested of his 
professional garb, was directing the last vibrations 
of a leg of mutton that hung by a hempen cord1>e- 
fore the fire. The mutton was excellent— so were 
the potatoes and whiskey: and Scott returned 
fhi' ' '' in (^ntt^rtainmg ponversation, in which, 
UL-.j.j.t i, u i.iijg many q\nxt storiee of his own life — 
and he had seen service in his youth— the old man 
more than once used an c^Eprcftsion, which was 
long aflerwftrds put jnti> the mouth of Dominie. 
Samp son' 3 mothiir :— ** Pteaift God, I may live to 
iee iJiy bairn wji^f hi3 head in u pulpit yet." 

Walter couUl n<it ht^lp i tiling rill this the same 
night ta hia mo [her, and added, that he would fain 
sec his poor fnendohtuin a moor's place in some 
gentlem&n'i family. ""Dinnfl speak to your father 
about it," Enid the good ^adv; *'if it had been a 
t^QUIderhe migh I have ihought Jess, but he will say 
ik&jigot watf a 3in VW see what [ can do." Mrs. 
SciiLi miide itiquirifs in her own way among the 
profcsBors, emd having satiB^cd herself as to the 
young nian's charncit^r, applied to her favourite 
miniaLort Dr. Erakme^ what<ie iriffuence soon pro- 
en red sti{!h a situaiion oa had been suggested for 
him, in the north of Scotland. *' And thenceforth," 
said Sir Walter. " I lost sight of my friend— ^ut let 
ue hope he made ooi his curriculum at Aberdeen, 
and IB now wagging; his ht^ad where the fine old 
carle wi?htNi1 to «t*^ liipn.^'* 

On tl)o 4th of Jauuary. 1791, Scott was admitted 
a member of The Speculative Socieiy^ where it had, 
long before, been the custom of those about to be 
y called to the bar, and those who. after assuming the 
gown were left in possession of leisure by the solici- 
tors, to train or exercise themselves in the arts of 
elocution and debate. From tinie to time, each 
member produces an essay, and his treatment of his 
subject is then discussed oy the conclave. Scott's 
essays were, for November, 1791, "On the Origin of 
the Feudal Syatem:" for the Uf h February, 1792, "On 
the Authenticity of Ossian's Poems ;" and, on the 
llth December, of the same year, he read one "On 
the Origin of the Scandinavian Mythology." The 
selection of these subjects shows the course of his 
private studies and predilections; but he appears, 
from the minutes, to have taken a fair share m the 
ordinary debates of the Society,— and spoke, in the 
spring of 1791, on these questions, which all belong to 
the established text- book for juvevile speculation in 
Edinbumh :— " Ought any permanent support to be 
provideofor the poor 1" "Ought there to be an estab- 
lished religion 1" " Is attainder and corruption of 
blood ever a proper punishment ?" " Ought the pub- 
lic expenses to be defrayed by; levying the amount di- 
rectly upon the people, or is it expedient to contract 
national debt for that purpose 7" " Was the execu- 
tion of Charles I. justifiable?" " Should the slave- 
trade be abolished ?" In the next session, previous to 
his call to the bar, he spoke in the debates, of which 
these were the theses :— " Has the belief m a future 
state been of advantage to mankind, or is it ever 
likely to be so T " Is it for the interest of Britain to 
maintain what is called the balance of Europe?" 

Snd again, on the eternal question as to the fate of 
'jne Charles I., which, by the way, was thus set 
up for re-discussion, on a motion by Walter Scott. 
He took, for several winters, an ardent interest in 

* Tin reader wiU ibid a itoiT Dot anlikbUua in tholatroducti^ 
Ip tlie •• Antwuaiy," 1830. When I fint read that note, I aaked 
hm why he had altered ao many cifcamstanoe« from ihe luual 
ml edition of htt aneodote. " Nay." taid he. " both atories may 
be trae, and why ahould I be alwaya laUing in myaeir, when what 
happened to aooUier ofour class would serve oqitally well lor U» 
mipoaalbadnTiewr' I regretted the /c^oTmuKon., 



this flociety. Very floon after hit admiiBioii* (IMIl 
January, 1791,) he waa elected their Ubrarian ; sod 
in the I^ovember following, he became alao their 
secretary and treasurer; all which appointments in- 
dicate the reliance placed on his careful habits of 
business the fruit of his chamoer educaUoB. 'Hie 
minutes kept in his handwnting attest the strict 
regularity of his attention to the small afiairs, lite- 
rary and financial, of the club ; but they show, also, 
as do all his early letters, a strange carelessness in 
spelhng. His constant good temper softened the 
asperities of debate ^wh||e his mulufarious lore, and 
the quaint bumour with which he enlivened its dis- 
play, made him more a ftivourite as a speaker than 
some whose powers of rhetoric were far above Us. 

Lord Jefirey remembers being struck, the wH 
night he spent at the Speculative, with the singuMr 
appearance of the secretary, who sat gravely at the 
bottom of the table in a huge woollen nignt-oap ; 
and when the president took the chair, pleadsd a 
bad toothadie as his apologv for coming into that 
worshipful assembly in sucn a "portentous ma- 
chine." He read that night an essay on ballads, 
which so much interested the new member; that be 
requested to t^introduced to him. Mr. Jeffrey call- 
ed on him neif evening, and fpund him "in a small 
den, on the sunk floor of his father's house, ia 
George's S«ire, surrounded with dingy books." 
from which Ifley adjourned to a tavern, and supped 
together. Such Was the oommeiiMment of an ao- 
quainianoe, which by degrees ripftied mto friend* 
ship, between the two most disunguished meA of 
letters whom Edinburgh produced m their time. I 
may add here the description of that early den, with 
which I am flavoured by a lady of Scott's £unily. 
" Walter had soon begun to collect out-of-the-way 
things of all sorts. He h{id more books than 
shelves ; a small painted cabinet, with Scotch and 
Roman coins in it, and so forth. A claymore and 
Lochaber axe, given him by old Invernahrle, 
mounted guard on a little print of Prince Charlie ; 
and Broughton^s Saucer was hooked up minst the 
wall below it." Such was the germ of the magni- 
ficent library and museum of Abbotsford ; and such 
were the " new realms" in which he, on taking pos- 
session, had arranged his little paraphernalia aSont 
him " with all the feelings of novelty and liberty." 
Since those days the habits of life in Edinburgh, as 
elsewhere, have undergone many changes ; and the 
"convenient parlour.' in which Scott first show- 
ed Jefirey his collections of minstrelsy, is now, in 
all probability, thought hardly good enough for a 
mental's sleeping-room. ' 

But I have forgotten to explain BrcughiorC* 
Saucer. We reaa of Mr. Saunders Fairfbra, that 
though " an elder of the kirk, and of course zealous 
for King George and the Grovernment," yet, having 
" many clients and connexions of business amon^ 
families of opposite political - tenets, he was particu- 
larly cautious to use all the conventional pnrases 
which the civility of the time had devised as an ad- 
missible mode of language betwixt the two parties : 
Thus he spoke sometimes of the Chevalier, but 
never either of the Prince, which would have been 
sacrificing his own principles, or of the Pretender^ 
which would have been ofifensive to those of others: 
Again, he usually designated the Rebellion as the 
ajfair of 1746. and spoke of any one engaged in it 
as a person who had oeen ott/ at a certain period — 
so that, on the whole, he was much liked and res- 
pected on all sides."* All this was true of Mr. Wal- 
ter Scott, W. S. ; but I have often heard his son 
tell an anecdote of him which he dwelt on with par- 
ticular satisfaction, as illustrative of the man, and 
of the difficult time through which he had lived. 

Mrs. Scott's curiosity was strongly excit^ eoa 
autumn by the regular appearance, at a certain hear 
every evening, of a sedan chair, to deposit a person, 
carenilliT muffled up in a mantle, who was imme- 
diately ushered in toner husband's private room, and 
commonly remained with him there until long after 
the usual bed-time of this orderly family. Mr. Scott 



Digitized by 



t,'-(5»gie 



LIFE OF Sm WALTER SqQTT. 



^^'z^n 



^, . . . — j-^-T-r .— ll-^ — "^^^^ avagnenesi 
wUca imtatad tne ladr s feelings more ana more ; 
uta, at laflt, she could bear tne thing no longer; 
bat ooe erenin^ just as she heard thvbell ring as 
for the strangers chair to carrv him of!; she made 
her appearance within the forbidden parlour with 
a salver in her hand, observing, that she thought 
the sanUamen had sat so long they would be the 
becicr of a dish of tea. and had ventured according- 
]f to brin^ some for their acceptance. The stran- 
fitf. a pe^an of distinguished appearance, and rich- 
nr dresaed, bowed to tne lady, and accepted a cup ; 
but her busbaod knit his brows, and refused very 

■""to partake the refreshment. A moment at- 
is the visiter withdrew— and Mr. Scott, lift- 
the window-sask took the cup, which he 

,_ t empty on the table, and tossed it out upon 
ihe^KTeznent. The lady exclaimed for herchma, 
but was pat to silence by her husband's saying, " I 
eaa forgive your Uttle curiosity, madam, but you 
aiBSI pay the penalty. I may admit into my house, 
on a piece of bttsiness, persons wholly unworthy to 
he tzaaisd as guests by my wife. Neither liv of me 
Borof miBe oomes after Mr. Murray of Broughton's." 

Tins was the unhappy man who, after attending 
Pxiiice Charles Stuart as hiq secretary throus^out 
the greater part of his expeditidn, condescended to 
redeem his own life and fortune by bearing evidence 
'the noblest of his late master's adherentSi 



against 
vbeii. 



*■ med by lentje hearts Kilmarnock died— 
The bnre, Bslmerino, we^e on thy side." 

WboBfiise conlronted with the last named peer be- 
fore the Prhrv Gooncilm St. James's, the prisoner 
was asked, do you know this witness, my lord 1" 
*Not I," answered Balmerino; "I once knew a 
psrsoB who bore the designation of Murray of 
Bro^^hton — ^but that was a gentleman ^d a man 
of honour, and one that could hold up his head f 

T%e asooer belongiM to Broughton's teacup had 
beea ptteerved ; and Walter, at a very early period, 
Bade prise of it. One can umcv youn^ Alan Fair* 
fard ppinting significandy to the relic when Mr. 
Saoaders was vouchsafing him ooe of his custom- 
aiy leetuies about listening with unseemly Bym< 
fuhy to ** the Mawing, bleeaing stories which the 
tMand oentlemen told of those troublous times."* 

The fiiBowini^ letter is the only one of the autumn 
«f 1791 that has reached my hands. It must be 
nad with partieolar interest, for its account of Scott's 
trst Tistt to Flodden field, destined to be celebrated 
ssveateen shears afterwards in the very noblest spe- 
isiisii oi WB numbers. 

Tb WSUam Gerk^ Esq. Prinee'a Street, Edinburgh. 

"Northumberland, 26th August, 1791. 
''DeerOerk. 

° Bebeld a letter from the moontain», (nr I am very 
aBOffy settled here, in a fiurmer's house, about six miles 
twa Wooles, in the very centre of the Cheviot liills, in 
oae at the wildest and oiost romantic situations which 
yoor inuifiostiup, fertile upon the subject of cottages, 
ever ao g gej tcd. And what the deuce anre you about 
ffacn 1 meOatokM I hear you say. Why, sir, of all things 
ta the woild-ilrlnking goat's whey— not that I stand To 



: one army posiea upon loe lace oi a nm, ana 
by high grounds projecting on each flank, with 

ir Till in front, a deep and sUll river, winding 
a very extensive vauey called Milfield Plain, 



Oat least need of it, but my unele having a slight cold, and 
beiag a little tired of home, asked me last Sunday even- 
h^ir Iwoald like to 90 with him to Wooler, and I 



_ in the sArmative, n«A moraing's sun beheld 
M eo our joomey, through a pass In the Cheviots, upon 
lae bnclE of two special nogs* and man Thomas behind 
vfelin portoiantean, and two fishing rods fastened across 
feis baek, Doch In the style of 8t Andrew's Cross. Upon 
rcncbing Wooler, we found the aceommodadons so bad 
ttwt we were forced to use some interest to get lodgings 

1 indeM. 



delightfully appointed 
To «dd to my astlsfactioa, we are amidst places renown- 
ed hy the ibats of former days ; each hlU la crowned with 
a (swer, or camp, or cairn, and in no situation can you 
be ttcar onyre ftcMs of battle : Flodden, Otterbom, Che- 
vyChME^ Ford Castle, Chillingham Castle, Copland Cas- 
cte, ai^ many another scene of blood, are within the 
I of a forenoon's ride. Out of the' brooks with 
I hills are intersected we pull trouts of half a 

voLLp. tm 



yard in leagtbk as ftst as we did the perches from the 
pond at Pennyculek, end we are in Uie very country of 
muirfowL 

• *' Often as I have wished for your company, I never 
did it more earnestly than when I rode over Flodden 
Edge. I Icnow your taste for these things, and -coi^d 
have undertaken to demonstrate, that never was an afUr 
more completely bungled than that day's work was. 
Suppose one army posted upon the fece of a hill, and 

secured by ^*-*' — — -* *' *- "■— • '•'- 

the river' 
through 

and the only passace over it by a narrow bridge, whicli 
the Scots artiUeiT. from the hilL could in a moment havo 
demolished. Add that the English must have hazarded 
a battle while their troops, which were tumultuously : 
levied, renoatned together; and that the Scota, behhid 
whom the country was open to Scotland, had nothing to 
do but to wait for the attack aa they were posted. Yet 
did two thirds of the army, actuated by the perfervidum 
ingenium Scotorum^ rush down and give an opporttmity 
to Stanley to occupy the ground they had quitted, by 
coming over the shoulder of the hill, while the other 
third, under Lord Home, kept their ground, and having 
seen their King and about 10,000 of their countrymen ' 
cut to pieces, retired into Scotland without loss. For the 
reason of the bridge not beins destroyed while the Bog- 
lish passed, I refer you to Fitscottie, who narrates at 
large, and to whom I give credit for a most accurate and 
clear description, agreeing perfectly with the ground. 

" My uncle drinks the whey here, as I do ever since I 
understood it was brought to his bedside every morning 
at aiz, by a very pretty dsiry-maid. So much for my reai- 
dence ; all the day we shoot, fish, walk, and ride ; dine and 
sup upon fish struggling from the stream, and the moM 
delicious heaths fed mutton, barn-door fowl^ poys,* milk- 
cheese, Ao., all In perfedfon ; and ao much simplicity 
resides among these hills, that arpen, which could write 
at least, was not to be found about the house, though 
belongtng to a considerable farmer, till 1 shot the crow 
with whose quill I write this epistle. I wrote to Irving 
before leaving Kelso. Poor fellow, I am sure his sister's 
death must have hurt him much ; though he makes no 
noise about feelings, yet still streams iJways nm deepest. 
I sent a message by him to Edle,t poor devil, adding 
my mite of conaolation Jo Mm in his affliction. I pity 

poor ', who Is more deserving of conq)aaslan, 

being his first offence. Write soon, and as long as the 
last ; you vrill have Perthshire news I suppose soon. 
Jamie's adventure diverted me much. I rejui it to my 
uncle, who being long in the India service, was afih)ntea. 
Remember to James when you write, and to all vour 
family and friends in general. I send this to Kelso— 
you may address as usual ,* my letters will be forwarded 
—adieu— au revoir, 

Waltbs Soott." 
With the exception of this Uttle excursion, Scott 
appears to have been nsiled to EdinburRh during 
this autumn, by that course of leRsl study, in com- 
'Pany with Glerk, on which he dwells in his Memoir 
with more satisisction than on any other passage 
in his early Ufe. He copied out twice, as the Frag- 
ment tells us, his notes of those lectures of the 
eminent Scotch law professor, (afterwards Mr. Ba- 
ron Hume,) which he spesks of m such a high strain 
of eulo^ ; and Mr. Irving adds^tbat the second 
copy, being fairly finished end bound into volumes, 
was presented to his father. The old gentleman 
was highly gratified with this performance^ not only 
as a satisfactory proof of his son's aasidoous at- 
tention to the Law Professor, but inasmuch as the 
lectures afibrded himself ** very pleasant reading 
for leisure hours." 

Mr. Clerk assures me, that nothing could be more 
exact (excepting as to a few petty circutnstances 
introduced for obvious reasons) than the resem- 
blance of the Mr. Saunders Fsirford of Redgauntlet 
to his friend's father •— " He was a man of business 
of the old school, moderate in his charges, econo- 
mical, and even niggardly in his expenditure ; strict- 
ly honest in conducting his own affairs and those 
of his clients; but taught by long experience to be 
wary and suspicious in observing the motions of 
others. Punctual as the clock of St. Giles tolled 
nine,'' (the bout- at which the Court of Session 
meets,) ** the dapper form of the hale old gentleman 
was seen at the threshold of the court ball, or at 
farthest, at the head of the Back Stairs," (the most 



•Pirn. 



^^D^t^fS^bTt-oogie 



LTPE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



convenient access to the Parliament Hoase from 
George's Sauare,) " trimly dressed in a complete 
suit of snun-coloured brown, with stockiiu^s of 
silk or woollen, as suited the weather; a bob wig, 
tnd a small cocked hat ; shoes blacked as Warren 
would have blacked them ; silver shoebuckles, and a 

fold stock-buckle. His manners corresponded with 
is attire, for they were scrupulously civil, and not 

a little tbrmal On the whole, he was a man 

much liked and respected, though his friends would 
iiot have been sorry if be had given a dinner more 
irequeutly, as bis Uttle cellar contained some choice 
old wine, of which, on such rare occasions, he was 
no niggard. The whole pleasure of this good old- 
fashioned man of method, besides that which he 
really felt in the discharge of his own daily busi- 
ness, was the hope to see his son attain what in the 
father's eyes was the proudest of all distinctions— 
the rank and fame of a well-employed lawyer. Eve- 
ry profession has its peculiar honours, ana his mind 
was constructed upon so limited and exclusive a 
plan^ that he valued nothing save the objects of 
ambition which his own presented. He would have 
shuddered at his son's acquiring the renown of a 
hero, and laughed with scorn at the equally barren 
laurels of literature : it was by the path of the law 
alone that he was desirous to see him rise to emi- 
nence ; and the probabilities of success or disap- 
pointment, were the thoughts of his father by day, 
and bis dream by ni|ght."* 

It is easy to imagine the original of this portrait, 
writing to, one of his friends, aoout the end of June, 
1792,—" I nave the pleasure to tell you that my son 
has passed his private Scots law examinations with 
good approbation— a great relief to my mind, espe- 
cially as worthy Mr. Pest told me in my ear, there 
was no fear of the * callantJ as he familiarly called 
hini, which gives me great heart. His public trials, 
which are nothing in comparison save a mere form, 
are to take place, by order of the Honourable Dean 
of Faculty,t on Wednesday first, and on Friday he 
puts on the gown, and gives a bit chack of dinner 
to his friends and acanaintances, as is the custom. 
Your company will be wished for there by more 
than him.— P. S.— His thesis is, on the title, ' De 
ptriculo et commodo rei vtnditcB^* and is a very 
pretty piece of Latinity."t 

And all things passed in due order, even as they 
are figured. The real Daraie was present at the 
real Alan Fairford's " bit chack of dinner," and the 
old clerk of the Signet was very joyous on the oc- 
casion. Scott's thesis was. in fact, on the Title of 
the Pandects, concerning the disposal of the dead 
bodies of criminals. It was dedicated, 1 doubt not 
by, the careful father's advice, to his friend and 
neighbour in Greorge's Square, the coarsely humo- 
rous, but acute and able, and still well-remembered, 
Ma(»ueen of Braxfield, then Lord Justice-Clerk 
(or President of the Supreme Criminal Court) of 
Scotland. ^ 

I have often neard both Alan and Darne laugh 
over their reminiscences of the important day when 
they " put rm ih© ffown." Aflpr thft CrTpmony wns 
crjinplet^i. and tJuyhad iiiinabdlW s-jitic llnl^► wirfi 
the cruwd of barnaiers^ in tiit,* omer Court, Scut 
said to hia cumrad^, mimicking the lur and tone 
of a HixhkiifJ Ifi-is u ailing m the crops of Kdin- 
burgh ii> he hired for tht Imrvest work^— *' Wt've 
Hood here an hgur by tlii? TroTTj hinny, and ditl a 
line haa sjiu^rwd our price J* SoDie muudly «oh- 
cjtar. ho^vever, ijsve him a mjiiiea fra before the 
Court rope: »ind as ihey walktsti df>wn the Hj-h 
Street (oge^lier, he ^aid to Mr* Clerk, in nnsiiinp a 
hosier' a fihop— '' This is a surt of a wccidinK-ibsr, 
Wdlje I 1 Ihmk I inuttt go in and bny rno a naw 
n;«hi-eaij/' Hr iha ao aix^ordingly ; pcrhnfis iEhs 
wa^ LonJ J l ffrev ' tt ' * po rten t q u.% mo t4i ne." 1 1 \v first 
fwtof ouy confliquence, however, wasrxpcnded on a 
fhvet tapt^r-stjDind for hia mo I her, \vhitrh *hfl <>ld 
lady ueed to pom: to ^ ith great saflafacNon, as it 

* Redgauntlet, vol. i. p. S43-5 
..^ The situation of Daan of Faculty was 6I)ed in 1793 by the 
Honourable Henry Erfkioo. of >nuy and beoevoloDt momory. 

I Rcdgauiitlet, vol. L p. 144. 



Stood on h^ chimney-piece five-aad- twenty yet 

afterwards. 



CHAPTER VII. 

FIBST EXPEDITION INTO UDDBSDALB— 8TUDT O^ GB 
MAN— POUTICAL TRIALS, &C— SPSCIMXN OF" LJI 

PAPSB3— BUSGEe's LBNOBB TEANBLATED DIBA 

POINTBfBNT IN LOVE— 1792-1796. 

Scott was called to the bar only the day befc 
the closing of the session, and he appears to ha 
almost immediately escaped to the country. ( 
the 2d of August I find his father writing, ** 1 ha 
sent the copies of your theais^ as deairea ;*' and < 
the 15th he addressed to him at Rosebank a letu 
in which there is this paragraph, an undoubt 
autograph of Mr. Saunders Fairfbrd, anno €stai 
sixiy-three. 

" Dear Walter, / 

" . . . I am glad that your expedition to the w« 
proved afteeable. You do well to wara joar nx>ch 
against AahesUeL AUhouch I said little, yet I new 
thought that road could bo ^reeable ; besideaa H 
talcing too wide a circle. Lord Justice-Clerk is in to^ 
atlending the Bills.' He called here yesterday, and j 
quired very panicularly for you. I told him where yi 
was, and he expects to see you at Jedburgh upon rl 
21tt. He is to be at Mellerstaint on the 20ch, and w^ 
be there all night. His Lordship said, in a rerr plel 
sant manner, that something might cast up at Jeabun 
to ^ive you an opportunity of appearing, and that 1 
would insist upon it, and that in future he meant to gii 
you a share of the criminal business in this Ooart, i 
which is very Icind. I told his LordstUp that I had di 
suaded you from appearing at Jeilburgh, but he m 
I was wrong in doing so, and 1 therefore leave the ma 
ter to you and him. / think it it probable he tetfl brea\ 
fast with Sir H. H. MaeDousaU <m the 2)8t. on his t«ci 
to Jedburgh." • * * 

This last quiet hint, that the young Uwyw migli 
as well be at Makerstoun (the seat of a relatioil 
when His Lordship breakfasted there, and of coun 
swell the train of His Lordship's little processMM 
into the county town, seems delightfully charactef 
istic. I think I hear Sir Walter himself lecturii^ 
me, when in the 9ame sort of sdmation. thirty year 
afterwards. He declined, as one of the followiri^ 
letters will show, the opportunity of makiu^ hi 
first appearance on this occasion at Jedburgh. H 
was present, indeed, at the Court during the assizea 
but durst not veiiture." His accounts to WiUiao 
Clerk of his vacation amusements, and more pap 
ticularly of his second excursion to Northumoe^ 
land, will, 1 am sure, interest every reader. 

To William Clerks Esq. Advocate^ Princess Street^ £din 
burgh, 

" Rosebank, 10th Sept. 1792. 
"Dcar.Wimam, 

"Taking the advantage of a very indifferent day. 
which is likely to float away a good deal of com, and or 
my Other's leaving this place, who will take chane o( 
this scrawl, 1 sit down to answer your Avour. I fimi 
you have been, like myself^ taking advantage of tbi 
good weather, to look around you a uttle, and oongratu- 
late you upon tlie pleasure you must have received 
from yonr jaunt with Mr. Russell.} I apprehend, 
though yoyi are silenl on the subject, that your conver< 
sation was enlivened by many curious disquisitions of 
the nature of undulating exhalations. 1 should have 
bowed before the venerable frrove of oaks at Hamilton, 
with as much respect as if 1 had been a Druid about to 
gather the sacred mistletoe. I should hardly have sus- 
pected your host Sir Williaroi of liaving been the occa- 
sion of the srandal brought upon the library and Mr. 
Gibb.l by the introduction of the Cabinet des F6es, o< 
which I have a volume or two here. I am happy to think 
there is an admirer of snug things in the administration 

* The Jadgei tlien attenrled in Edinljaisfa in rotation dorior the 
intervals of term, to tnke care of various sorts of trasisess Wnioh 
could not brook delay, bills of injunction, itc. 

\ The jjeautinii seat uf j^he Balllies of Jerviswood, in Berwick- 

rjr at lidinburgb. ~ ^ 

'SirWUIia- 
Blx. Gilib 



shire, a few miles t^clow DrvbarKli. 
t Mr, Russell, itargeon, afterwards Professor of Clinieal 
' at Eklinburgb. 
^SirWUItamMiUerd 
iBlx. GilibwastiwI 
Digitize! 



FacnhyorAdfoeates. 



UFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 

9{ tile fibmy. Poor Linton'a* misfortuae, thoufh I 
••T°*.?? ^ ^^^^^ y«' heartily grievei me. Ibave 
fe> duobt he wiU have maoy advisers and animadverters 
li^ the naugbiiaess of his ways, whose admooitiODS 
mil be forgot upon the next opportunity. 

* I ajii loanging about the country here, to speak sin- 
rerelj, ai td]e u the day is long. Two old companions 
■f imne, brothers of Mr. Walker of Wooden, having 
toae io this country, we have renewed a great intimacy. 
ks ^ey live (irectly upon the opposite bank of the river, 
mn ^je stgosls ai^reed upon by which we concert a 
pte ef operatioas for the day. They are both officers, 
mi xery intelligent young follows, and what is of some 
^»sr^Qcace, have a brace of fine greyhounds. YesteV 

flaw Ui^i 1 m^^ l.:1l^^ ^. I T ^ ' 



them! Upon the Tyn^, about Heiham, the cotmtrr 
has a different aspect, presenting much of the beautiful 
•though less of the subhme. I was particularly charmed 
with the situation of Beaufront, a house belonging to a 



^tenocn we killed seven hares, so you uay see how 
pii^vne game is with us. I have turned a keen duck 
B«t^ though my success is not very great ; and when 
wjlg through the mosses upon this errand, accoutred 
"^h ihe kmg ^un, a jacket, musquito trowsers, and a 
nawi cap, I might weU" pass for one of my redoubled 

tsrs^j^s^c^Z"'" «-••*»—■» « "• 

* Per aboat-doors* aaiosement, I have constructed a 
■s: m a lane tree which spreads it branches horizontal- 

t Offer the Tweed. This la a fcvourite 6ituatk>n of mine 
r reading, especiaUv in adav like this, when the west 
»d roeka the bnochet on which I am perched, and the 
wer roOs tts waves below me of a turbid blood colour. 
I have,* moreover, cut an embrasure, through which 
icaefire opon the goUa, berona, and cormorant as they 
ff screamiqg past my nest. To crown the whole, I have 
ami an asehption upon it in the ancient Romant taste. 
beSe^lsittO hardly return into town, barring accidents, 
MBer tbso the ^|iddle of next month, perhaps not till 
lovnnber. Next week, weather permitting, is destUied 
» a Northumberland expedition, in which I shall visit 
cac pans of that country which I have not yet seen, 
■njcohrly about Hexham. ' Borne days ago 1 had nearly 
Mt wish a wone accident than the trampi took at Moor- 
wt ;i for having bewUdered myself among the Cheviot 
f^ it w«B oeaxly night&n before I got to the village of 
msB, and the passes with which I was acqoataited. 
[«do Boc apeak of being in Perthshire this season, 
Mgh I simpoae you intend it I suppose we, that is, 
ISM aafrss,Tare at present completely dispersed. 

CuBpiiraenta to all who are in town, and best respects 
» wa own family, both In Prince's Street and at Eldin.— 
t^ve me ever most sincerely yours, 

Waltib Scorr." 
"7\» William Qer*. Eaq. 
•D«rWiai.m, "Ro.eb«»k, 30th Sept, 17112. 



[ have told you 
foble 



mad sort of genius, whom, I am sure, '. 

some stories about He used to call himself the N<A)L 
Errington, but of late has assumed the title of Duke of 
Hexham. . Hard by the town is the field of battle where 
the forces of Queen Margaret were defeated by those of 
the House of York, a blow which the Red Rose never 
recovered during the civil wars. The spot where the 
Duke of Somerset and fhr nnrthrrn nobitity of ttu^ Iasi- 
CBStrian ficLion wctp- - ? i!,r Ljiulir. Lb silU 

called J Hike srit'ld "ni. j linAcouiury fiiieak 

an odd Ijdil^cl of ibe fr... .., .., , ,^.., fin.ji uiaarU tliat of 
ChaucM, md ha^e rLUinL-tJi n^^atv i m .ms [-oultJir to 
•„ TJiey arc the deSfernLinr. ..i rl..; arjuleiit 
■j-utE III L^. (he- r;i-[jih^*5es of .V.-'crJiUUibuiliritl by 
' .H]M[ti('ror. Tiic'ii igTjbrojicc 
h{s ccminon for th? tn 
' -^ i« tftrried on to a ftrat ex- 
— ^ .. ,_ri> ciJJ JtLECf* luttiverJ ifi ct^urjaf* of Irfed^ to 
the parish f>niTch, where the clerk rfrsdm [heiuatoudaf^er 
service, and anfwerstri<?in acconJini^ to circuinstaiicflf. 

"We iiHcnrJed lo ?JBlt the k lien in CumhcTtiiidt bwl 
our jaient W4£ cut ttbun by tlie bad wetUjer. J w«Dt 
to the circuit ot Jedbtif^lk to mske my bow to tord J. 
Clerk, and mijflJl bave had cniiitoynieot, but durst not 
venture. Sim of ilie Uund^ rloltTs were condirimrd 
to baniut latent, btJi the rermeiiit continues violent in Oie 
Merse. KcI»o races afforded bttJ^ jjKirt— Wifthaw* last 
a hotse. which cost Mm SdtJO, and foundered Irrecovpr- 
ably ort the course. At another time 1 febuuld quote 
Geoiige Biichanan's sdA|re of *a fool and hiii uiooey,' 
but at ptcsL'Eil hinmt undur a fliioilar injafortunei mf 
Gallowoy having y^iit^niiy ihoufht preiter (N. B^ 
without i] lEdar) to feap over a pttc* Mjfl bcliig lamed for 



themsf I 
Danes, < 
the se^ 
issurp 
dersin 
tent, III 



the pre -in. This is uoi bia fi r ft fuvipti*, for b e j n nj pc c\ 
into a v^MoT with dk» on bis i^atk whipn in >iortliucub(.-r' 
land, to the tmuiln^Tit tluijrcr of cuy Itfc II f; ijg, tUvfe- 
fore, to he sold, (wii^n rscov^Ted^) and in Etcher pttrchaaed. 
This accidi-tii baa ocf^Monftl you Hie trtmble of readjni 
80 long jt El tpJstJf, tite day bdtij| i^unday^ and o^yunde^ 
the ca^^Jil^ busily etigH^ed witli your fftJher*« naval 
tactics, ii tfjo bcrioualy employ <^d to be an aitireeatilo 
companion Apri^prni (flr^ b*>Ut«>— I am vincerely torry 
to hear iti^jii: Jimca it sUU unefnpioyed, but ba^e no doubt 
a time imU cqijdc rt-iind when hia talpflia will h*Te an op- 
portunity of beln^ displaycii lo hit idvtUitaac I have 
no proapcer of aeeing^ my diirr odnr^lf tm winter, if 
then. Alt for you, 1 pity^jou inn. fece^lni? la how yotj have 
so good 4 aiiccedancHiiii In M. G, ; aiirt dh ihe coniraty, 
Ki»»..w..^.i.-. ^n« ^ ^ _i »-. »,._ hope, nut only thai Ed SBotitf lone may rwHt yo!i, but tbat 

w.ji?*'^ '"■ . t ^^" 5°"?*?P« like a green Cupid vmy agaiii (!w% erat) /ry yntj on Uic gridirnn of joa- 
2J!L?* r**n .T"?*^°* ®^ Perthshire, and in full lousy for your itifideliry: C^amiimcnts Aut hghE irua^ 
^acni of an the pleasures of the country. AU that ty. and wiHl beloVL-d Union ^fi Jean Jarquti.t If you 



leary yon Is the 9u»eres cenaqut deunt, whicn, I take It 
ff irsnted, yoa three merry men will be spending to- 
wer, whOe I am poring over BarthoUne in the long 
"niaa, solitary enough ; for, as for the lobsters, as 
^csU ibem, I am separsted firom them by the Tweed, 
•wA jpredades evening meetings, unless in fine weather 
M m nKwna. I have had an expedition through Hex- 
■ffi »od the higher narts of Northumberland, which 
swa kave defignted the very cockles of your heart, not 
B tsQcii on account of the beautiful romantic appear- 
Ke of the country, though that would have charmed 
«i abo, as because you would have seen more Roman 
>*tfip(iooa boiU into gate-post, bams, Ac., than per- 
>l« Kfs to be Ibaod in anv other part of BriUin. These 
^ been aJl dog up from the xieighbonring Roman 
'w. whfch Id still in many places tery entire, and gives 
'SapeBdoue idea of the perseverance of its founders, 
'"^carried such an erection from sea to sea, over rocks, 
^oataina, rivers, and morasses. There are several 
«•« among the mountains above Hexham, well worth 
i^ many miles to see, though their fame is eclipsed 
^'iicjr neighboarhood to those of Cumberland. They 
f« airrcMmded by old lowers and casUes, hi situations 
»aoit esTagelv romantic; what would I have given 
^ ^ave been abb to take effect-piecea from some of 

'Ouk, AbaatjabT, Soott, FntussoD, and others, had occa- 
^ trntnc escamoos Irom Leith toJochcoIm. loehkeith. &c. : 
■«e of theat their boat was neared by a Newhaven ooe-Pe^ 
m at the moment, w^ standinff up talking ; oneof the New- 
•« Mmbkb, takmf faun,fi>r a brother of h» own craft, bawl- 
■«fl," Uoloa, ftm lang bitch, i»Uiat you?" Prom that day 
^•} rergawoo's oognomen smong his fiienda of The Club 

Jjr&ber 8ei)Ct ef Synliw (elder brother of Bolt-Foot, the first 
S^ of Ha^sp) was Uas designated. He grnOy djstii«aished 



"^■^^^S^^-"- 



•''^alMss to 



CfM». 



iisMng axeunrion. 



write, w]iii:h, by rlirS. way, J hiirdiy have Hie conaciepce 
to expect, direct to iii;? faTher'* tare, viiio will forwani 
your lettpr. I have cjuire pvni up diictc-BliooUnj; for 
the season, tlie birds being: loo old and tht irio»»es too 
deep and cold. ] iiavo no reatun to hoimt i>f my eipe- 
rience or aurn'^n iu the irpori, and for tny own jiart, should 
fire at any ch^iiCance under i^lpbry or fvsr ninoty paten, 
though abuve furty-five 1 would reckon it a csup dish- 
periy and as the bird is beyond measure shy, you may 
be sure I was not very bloody. Believe me, deferrmg, 
ao itaual^ our dispute till another opportunity, alwaya 
sincerely yours, 

Walter Scott. 

"P. 6.— I believe If my ponv does not soon recover, 
that misfortune, with the bad weather, may send me 
soon to town." 

It was within a few days after Scott's return from 
his excursion to Hexham, that, while attending the 
Michaelmas head-court, as an annual counly-meet- 
mg is called, at Jedburgh, he was introduced, by 
an old companion, Charles Kerr of Abbotrule, to 
Mr. Robert Sbortreed, that gentleman's near rela- 
tion, who spent the greater part of his life in the 
enjoyment of much respect as Sheriff-subslitute of 
Roxburghshire. Scott had been expressing his 
wish to visit the then wild and inaccessible district 
of Liddesdale, particularly with a view io examine 
the ruins of the famous castle of Hermitage, and to 
pick up some of the ancient riding ballctdSf said to 
be still preserved among the descendants of the 
moss-troopers, who had followed the banner of the 

» William Hamilton of Wishaw.-wbo aftscwaids, 



Maolaimto the 
^ John James 



pceraieorw 
BdnoostoMb 



of Belhavea 



Digitized by 



it 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



Douglasses, when lords of th^t grim and remote 
fastness. Mr. Shortreed had many connezionfrin 
Liddesdale, and knew its passes well, and he was 
pointed out as the very guide the young advocate 
wanted. They started accordingly, in a aay or two 
afterwards, from AbbotroUij and the lajrd meant to 
have been of the party ; but " it was well for him," 
said Shortreed, " that he chaneed his mind— for be 
could never have dorie as we aid."* 

Durins seven successive years, Scott made a raid. 
as he called it, into Liddesiiale, with Mr. Shortreed 
for his guide ; exploring every rivulet to its source, 
and every rained peel from foundation to battlement. 
At this time no wheeled carriage had ever been seen 
in the district— the first, indeed, that ever appeared 
there was a gig, driven by Scott himself for a part 
of his way, when on the laBl of these 3f»v<-n pxciir- 
eipji-!, Tnero was no iiiii nor puMic !i ly 

kind ill the m^ hole vallt^y j tii(j irttVtU-T^ i m 

the »bep herd's but to trie m mister' m lutitiH, uiid 
ae^D iroin thechecrfsil hfiBpUsliiy of tl>« iiioJi>« to 
the rough and juHy weiconie of the home^tc^Ld ; 
gathering, wherever tlity woiiti ^oitss and luru^s, 
and occasionally more laiL^blri relks of aniiimity 
— even euch " a. rowlli of nald nkknackets as 
Burns a^crihca to Cap la in Grose. To tht^e ram- 
bk^ ScoU owed much of th^ matorin^lsi oT his 
'* Mistre I fty of the Scottish Btjrders" and not lew 
of that inimiflte Eicqufuutanct? with the liviag mnti- 
neirs of tlieae unsonhidticated rej^onei, whitli cun- 
seiiutes thechi<3f charm of on« ot the most charm- 
ing of his pr&se workfl. But how soon hv had any 
definite ob/#et before him m his researchess imems 
very doubtful. *'H€ was makin* him^iU" a' the 
tLide," said Mr. Shortreed : '' but he dtdna ken may- 
be what ho wa& about till years had passed x At 
first he thought o' little, I dare say, but the tiuet-r- 
neua and tlie fun." 

"io those day»," says the Mcinorandum hr-r*ire 
ma ^^ adwicates were not sopJenty— at h'FJst rj^nmt 
Liade^dale j" and the worthy Shcrtff-i^obJititnrt- sjm^ 
on to de^cnbo the sort of bustle, not unmixeii wiih 
aJaifm, produced at the first farm- ho u bo they vikj^lJ, 
(Willie Klliol'A at Millbumholm,) when ihthLHivst 
man wq^ mformed of ihu cju^tty of nnc of his 
gue»ta, Wh^ri t hey dtsm o u n ted, acrordi tigl y* h o re- 
cmved Mr. Scott with grrat cereniouy, and in stilt- 
ed upoii himself L'adini? his horse to the §iahte. 
Shoriret«i acconipfltjti?rl WiiUi?, howev**r, nnrf liie 
latter, after taking a deliberate* Dfwn at S t- 

bf the edge of the door-cheek ' wnisji' jl, 

Robirt. I Bav, de'il hae me if Ts he a h.i 3r 

him now; Fie> justa chield tike ourselvni, I ihis.;^." 
Half>a-doten do^ of nU dei^reeft had nUemty giithcr- 
ed round " the advtJcate,^' atid his way of returning 
their coinpUiucnts had set Will lb Rlliot at attti^ at 
his ease. 

According to Mr. Shortreed, this gootl-tnan of 
MHllnirnhoTm was tho grent origtntii (%f Diindie 
IWnnTonL Ashe seems to have been the fi^rs?! of 
these upland flht'^-ranncT^ that Scott ever vieittd, 
there f:^an he little dnubt thnt ht^ t+at for sooif pnrts 
of that inimitnh!?! twrtfailnte ; arid it is certain ihat 
the Jnnie? Davidson^ who carried the name of 
Danilif to h)8 mve with him, and whctse thoroui^h- 
bred deatlibcjj seene ie* told in ihti Notes to fitly 
M*nfierinir, was firit pointed out to Seoit by Mr. 
Shortreed iiini«clf, saveml ynara after the novL-l had 
eatahlished thi man's ci?lebrity all over the Border; 
some acicideotAl repurt about hi^ lernere, and their 
, odd names* having nlone hi«n ivrnied to aeeount in 
tha oriKitial eompoeitioii of the tale. But I have the 
best reason to helieve that the ktftd nnd manly eha- 
Ttifiterot Dandio, the gentle and dchcious otio of his 
wj& arid some at lenat uf iho mnuff pjcturu#<[ue 
jMSemtaritiea of the inenag£ at CharhEi'sJiOpi^f were 

* I amoblued to Hr. John Elliot Shortreed. a toaof SooU's 
Mdy friend, tar aonoe memoriMda of hiM father's coovefwitjon* on 
thi* Bufarioet, whid) are the more iotercatinx ^lat tbc7 reprpsent 
the wo|thy dhDrifriubttitute'ii dialect exactir as it wm. Theee 
notot were vrritten in 1834 ; and I shall make several quotati^ms 
trpm them. I had. hoMwver, many opportonltics of hewtac Mr. 
Shortreed's stories from his owa lipa, haviof often been imder 
his huspitablo roof m company with Sir Walter, who to the last 
aJwaji lodliad tbeia wbea any bunncn took tiim to Jedburgh. 



filled up frooi Scott's observation, years after 
period, of a flimily, with one of whose membeffi 
hsd, through the best part of his life, a close 
affectionate connexion. To those who iwere fa 
liar with him, I have perhaps already sufficiei 
indicated the early home of his dear fhend, WHL 
Laidlaw. among the braes of Yarrow." 

They dined at Millbumholm, and after having 
gered over Willie Elliot's punch-bowl, until, in 
Shortreed's phrase, thejr were "half f^lowr 
mounted their steeds again, and proceeded to 
Eiliott's at Clenghhead, where (" fort" says iny i 
morandum, '* folk were na very nice in those daj 
the two travellers slept in one and the' saTpe be 
as, indeed, seems to have been the case M;ith th 
throughout most of their excursions in this ori 
tive district. Dr. Elliot (a clergyman) bad aire 
a large MS. collection of the ballads Scott wad 
guest of; and finding how much his guest adzni 
his acquisitions, tbenceibrth exerted himself, for se 
ral vears, with redoubled diligence, in seeking 
the living depositaries of sneh lore among the da 
er recesses of the mountains. "The doctor.** » 
Mr. Shortreed, " would have gane through fire i 
water for Sir Walter, when he ance kenned him 

Next morning they seem to hfive ridden a k 
way, for the express purpose of visiting one " ai 
Thomas o' Tuzzilehope," another Ellioi I soppo 
wtio was celebK»ted for nis skill on the Border pk 
and in pattieular for being in possession of the r 
liit of Diek o' the Cow. Before starting, that is, 
six o'clock, the baUad-honters had, ** just to lay i 
stomach, a devilled duck or twae. and some Z^cnd 
porter." Auld Tiiomas fotmd them, neverthelee 
well disposed for "brea^tfast" on their arrival 
Tuzzilehope ; and this bebg over, he delighted tiu 
with one of tbe most hideous and unearthly of ^ 
the specimens of " riding niusit^" and, moreoin 
with considerable libations of whttket-'poiich, vat 
ufactured in a certain wooden vessef, resemblinA 
very small milk-pail, which he called " Wisdom 
because it " made" only a few spoonfuls of spirits 
thou^ he had the art of replenishing it so adroiti 
that It had been celebrated for fifty years as mo 
fatal to sobriety than any bowl in the parif 
Having done due honour to '* Wisdom," they a^ 
mounted, and proceeded over moss and moor 
some other equally hospitable master of the pip 
" Ah me,** says Shortreed, " sic an endless fund 
humour and drollery as he then had wi' him ! Nev 
ten yards but we were cither laughing or roarir 
and singing. Wherever we stopped, now brawl 
he suited hunsell to every bodv 1 He aye did as tl 
lave did; never made himaeu the great man, < 
took ony tan in the company. I've seeii htm m 
moods m these iaimts. grave and gay, daft ar 
serious, sober and drunk— (this, however, even ) 
our wildest rambles, was but rare)— but drunk • 
sober, lie was ay^ the gentleman. He lookit e; 
cessively heavy and stupid when he was/ou, but b 
was never out o' gude-humour." 

On reaching, one evening, some Charlit^hope i 
other (1 forget the name) among those wildemesse 
thev ff^iin^l A kindlv Tra ptton aauaucil : bur, to thi 
aglr» I tjlili- ^Mrij'ii-'-, i^OrT Hume dnys of liard liimiTi 
meflr^Ljrr.ii uiul ^irdL-rly hrpsipitolitv a« respected KqiW 
Soon afier aupptT, at which a bottle of elderbep 
wine alone had Lfen produced ^ a young student ( 
divinityn who impi>eri^ to be io the house, was cal 
ed upon to \jikii tht? " big Im' BihW' m tlie guc 
old fnfilLLon of Burns' » Samrduy Ni^nt ; and ton 
proMf«ns iiud bt**ti slrtody made in the stn-icc, wh4 
the K^iodmnn of tJit: farm, who^e " tcnuiajcv/' • 
Mr, Miiclif II P!iy», '' wna eoporifie/' scant [a Jim 
his w^fr and tbi* dointliie by ^tantiip auddetily fro* 
his kuees^ arul rubbini; his ey^s, with h stsntoHl 

exdnmauoti of "By , hero 4 the keg at Ual I 

and m lurnbl«d, da \m spnke the word, a eoiitiki 
sturrJv herdamen, *%'hom, on hearinfi a dav Wufuo 
the aJvocaie'fl Bpprf>acb>iiff vi*ii, he haddoffjaiAhs 
toa4?crtniu Bmujii^kr's haunt, at lotne ctJiisidc'n 



LIFE OP Sm, WALTER SCOTT. 



a Aoosand spoloKies.for his hitherto shabbv enter- 
tmmient, this joTly EtHot, or Armstrong, had the 
vflfcome keg mounted on the table without a mo- 
meat's delay, and gentle and simple, not forgetting 
tbc dominie, continued carousing about it until day- 
l^t streamed in upon the party. Sir Walter Scott 
seldom failedi when 1 saw him in company with 
his Liddesdflle companion, to mimic, with infinite 
kumour, th« sudden outburst of his old host, on 
bearing the clatter of horses* feet, which he knew 
to indicate the arriiral of the keg— the consternation 
d'lhe dame— and the rueful despair with which the 
yoong clergyman closed the book. 

"Ii was that same season, I think," says Mr.' 
Sbortreed, "that Sir Walter got from Dr. Elliot, 
eke large old border war horn, which ye may still 
see hanging in the armoury at Abbotsford. How 
rrtai he was when he was made master o' ihxit! I 
bebere it had been found in Hermitage Castle— and 
one of the doctor's servants had usecl it many a day 
aj a grease-horn for his scythe, before they dis- 
corered its histor>'. When cleaned out, it was never 
a hair the worse— the original chain, hoop, and 
mouthpiece of steel, were allentire. just as you now 
fee them. Sir Walter carried it home all the way 
from Liddesdale to Jedburgh, slung about his neck 
like Johnily Gilpin's bottU, while I was intrusted 
«idi an ancient bridlebit, which we had likewise 
picked op. 

* The feint o' pride— oamide had he . . . 
A Un; ^aflguDy hong down by hia side, 
ksri a greu melkle oomhorn to rout on had he,' 

And meikle abd sair we routed on% and ' botched 
and blew, wi' micht and main.' O what pleasant 
days! and then a* the nonsense we had cost us 
HasfkiBg We never put hand in pocket for a week 
en eod. Toll-bars there were none— and indeed I 
ikiak our badl charj^ were a feed o' com to our 
borsaa ia the gtii0a* anil comin' at Riccartoun 

It V a pity that we have na letters of Seott*s, de- 
•enboig this first raid into Liddesdale ; but as he 
Bw( have left Kelso for Edinburgh very soon after 
ii« eoocluflion, he probably chose to be the bearer 
«f has own tictaDgs. At anv rate« the wonder per- 
b^e ie not that we shoqia have so few letters of 
m period, aa that any have been recovered. *' I 
teethe the preservation of my little handfuj," says 
Mr. CUik, " ta a eort of instinctive prophetic sense 
irf bw ^turegieatness." 

I_ have _{Qundi however, two note-bo(^ in- 



Kftbeil "Walter Scott, 1792,' 

of scraps ana bints which may help us to fiU up our 

action of bis private studies during that year. He 



, . containmg a variety 

I bints which may help us to fiU up 

I private studies during that year. — . 

,^ to have used them indiscriminately. We 

hai« BOW an extraet from the author he happened 
to be reading ; now a memorandum of something 
thai had struck him in conversation s a fragment 
«f aa essays transcripts of favotffite poems; re- 
carke on curious cases in the old records of the Jus- 
ticiary Court ; in shorty a roost miscellaneous col- 
teetiMt, in which there is whatever might have been 
k>oked for, with perhaps the single exception of 
vngiaal verse. One of the books opens with " Veg- 
ua's £vi(h8. w the Descent of Odm, with the Latin 
of Thomas Bartholine, and the English poetical 
version of Blr. Orav^ with some account of the 
dtsib of Balder, both as narrated in the Edda, and 
to beaded down to us by the Northern histi>rian8^ 
AMd^rt. GuaUero ScotL^ The Norse originaK and 
the two versions, are then^ transcri^ } ana the 



ng i 

Mines a pai^ headed '* Pecuniary distr^ of 
Claries the First,'' and containing a trfinscnpt of a 
iceaiiii f^r somt plate lent to the Kjng in 1643. He 
ti»e<L copies the Owen of Cijrron," of Langhomer 
tke varase of Canute, on passmg Ely t the lines to a 
(QokMS given by Warton as the oldest specimen of 
F't«Iian verse t a translation, '*by,a gentlemsn hi 
pcrooskire,'^ of the ^th song of " JbUgner Lod- 
^ ; and. the beaiaifiil quatrain otnittedTin Gray' s 



"There scattered ott, tbt earliest of the year," Ac. 
After this we have an, Italian canzonet, on the 
praises of blue eyes, (which were much in favour at 
this time ;) several pages of etymologies from Du- 
cange ; some more of notes on the Morte Arthur; 
extracts from the books of Adjournal, about Dame 
Janet Beaton, the Lady of Branxome of the Lay of 
the Last Minstrel, and her husband, " Sir Walter 
Scott of Buccleucn, c^led Wicked Watt ;" other 
extracts about witcuesand fairies; various couplets 
from Hall's Satires; a passage from Albania j 
notes on the Second Sight, with exUnctsfrom Au- 
bry and Glanville; a '^^List of b^juids to be dis- 
covered or recovered ;" extracts Aom Guerin de 
Montglatef and after many more similar entries, a 
table of the Mceso-Gothic, An^lo-Saxon, and Runic 
alphabets— with a fourth section, headed German^ 
but left blank. But enough perhaps of this record. 

In November, 1792, Scott and Clerk Ix^an their 
regular attendance at the Parliament House, and 
Scott, to use Mr. Clerk's word& " by and by cra>t 
into a tolerable share of such business as may be 
expected from a writer's connexion." By this we 
are to understand that ne was employed from time 
to time by his father, and probably a few other so- 
Ucitors, in that dreary every-day task-work, chiefly 
of long written tr^ormo/toiw, and other papers for 
the court, on which young counsellors of the Scotch 
bar were then expected to bestow a great deal of 
trouble for very scanty pecuniary remuneration, and 
with scarcely a chance of finding reserved for their 
hands any matter that could elicit the display of 
superior knowledge or understanding. He had also 
hia part in the cases of persons suing in forma pou- 

£erta / but how Uttle important those that came to 
is #i«re were, and how slender was the impression 
they, had left on his mind, we may cath^ from a 
note on Redgauntlet, wherein he signines his doubt* 
whether he really had ever been engaged in what he 
has certainly made the ^atwe cSUbre of Poor PtUr 
PttbUt, 

But he soon became as famous for his powers of 
stonr^telfing among the lawyers of the Oater-Housew 
as he had been among the c<Rnpamons of his High 
School days. The place where these idlers mostly 
congregated was called, it seems, by a name which 
sufficiently marks the date— it was the Mountain. 
Here, asRog?r North says of the Court of JCing'a 
Bench in his early dajr, '* there was moreNefv than/ 
Law;"— here boor sifter hoiir paeaed away, week 
after week, month after month, and year after year, 
in the int^change of light-hearted merriment, 
among a cupole oi young men, more than one or 
whom, in after times, attained the highest honours 
of the profeesion. Among the most intimate of 
Scott's daily associates from this time, and during 
all his subsequent attendance at the bar, wer& be- 
sides various since eminent persons that have been 
already named, the first legal antiquary of our time 
in Scotland, Mr. Thomas ^liomson, and William 
Erskine, afterwards Lord Kinedder. Mr. Clerk re- 
memoers complaining one morning on finding the 
group convulsed with laughter, that Duns ^ottts 
had been forestalling him in a good story, which he 
hadcommnnicat^ privately the day before— adding, 
moreover, that his friend had not only stplen, but 
disguised it. " Whv," answered he, skilfijlly waving 
the main charge, this is always the way with tho 
Baronet. He is continually saying that I change 
his stories, whereas in fact I only put a cocked hat 
on their heads, pftid stick a cane imo their hands— 



to make them ^t for going into company." 

The German class, of which we have an account 
in one of the Prefaces of 1830, was formed before the ' 
Christmas of 1792, and it included almost all these 
loungers of the Mountain. In the essay now re- 
ferred to, Scott traces the interest excited in Scot- 
land on the subject of Germaniiterature to a paper 
read before the Royal Society of Edinburgh, on the 
21st of April, 1768, by the author of the Man of Feel- 
ing. "The literary persons of Edinburgli," he 
says, " were then first made aware of the existence 
of workeof geniue in a langnage cognate with th* 
English, and possessed of the same manly force of 



tiPE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



4a 

expression ; they learned at the same time, that the 
taste which dictated the German compositions was 
of a kind as nearly allied to the English as their 
language; those who were from their youth accus- 
tomed to admire Shak8i>eare and Milton, became 
acquainted for the first time with a race of poets, 
who had the same lofty ambition to spurn the 
flaming boundaries of tlie universe, apd investigate 
the realms of Chaos and Old Night ; and of drama- 
tists, who, disclaiming the pedantry of the unities, 
sought, at the expense of occasional improbabilities 
and extravagance, to present life on the stage in its 
scenes of wildest contrast, and in all its boundless 
variety of character. . . . Their fictitious narra- 
tives, their ballad poetry, and other branches of their 
literature, which are particularly apt to bear the 
stamp of the extravagant and the supemamral, be- 
gan also to occupy the attention of the British lite- 
rati. In Edinburgh, where the remarkable coinci- 
dence between the German language and the Low- 
land Scottish, encouraged young men to approacb 
this newly discovered spring otliterature, a class 
was formed of six or seven intimate friends, who 
proposed to make themselves acquainted with the 
German language.* They were in the habit of being 
much together, and the time they spent in this new 
study was felt as a period of great amusement. 
One source of this diversion was the laziness of one 
of their number, the present author, who, averse to 
the necessary toil of ^ammar, ana the rules, was 
in the practice of fighung his way to the knowledge 
of the German by his a^aintance with the Scot- 
tish and Anglo-Saxon dialects, and of course fre- 
quently committed blunders which were not lost on 
nis more accurate and more studious-companions." 
The teacher, Dr. Willich, a medical man, is then 
described as striving with httle success to make liis 
pupils sympathize in his own passion for the " sickly 
monotony*' and ** affected ecstacies" of Gessner's 
Death of Abel ; and the young students, having at 
length acquired enough of the language for their 
respective purposes, as selecting for their private 
pursuits, some the philosophical treatises of^ Kant, 
others the dramas of Schiller and Gk>ethe. The 
chie^ if not the only KantisC of the party, was, I 
beUeve, John Macfarlan of Kirkton : among those 
who turned zealously to the popular BelUa jLttUrea 
of Germany were, with Scott, his most intimate 
fiiends «f the period, Wilham Clerk, William Ers- 
kin^ afm Thomas Thomson. 

These Mudies were much encouraged by the ex- 
ample, and assisted bv the advice, of an accom- 
plished person, considerably Scott*s superior in 
standing, Alexander Praser Tytler, afterwards a 
Judge of the Court of Session by the title of Lord 
Woodhouselee. His version of Schiller's Robbers, 
was one of the earhest from the Gtorman theatre, 
and no doubt stimulated his young friend to his first 
experiments in the same walk. 

The contemporary famihars of those ^ays almost 
all survive ; but one, and afterwards the most inti- 
mate of them all^ went before him; and I may 
therefore hazard m this place a few words on the 
influence which he exercised at this critical period 
on Scott's literary tastes and studies. WiUiam 
Erskine was the son of an Episcopalian clergyman 
in Perthshire, of a good fanuly, but far from weal- 
thy. He had received his early education at Glas- 
gow, where, while attending the college lectures, 
he was boarded under the roof of Andrew Mac- 
donald, the author of Vimonda, who then oflAdated 
as niinister to a small congregation bf Episcopalian 
nonconformists. From this unfortunate but very 
ingenious man, Erskine had derived, in boyhood, a 
stronfi; passion for old English Uterature, more 
especialiv the Elizabethan dramatists ; which, how- 
ever, h' r 45 J nil ; w]ili a far liveUer relish tor the 
claHs^tf's \,\ [iTuiiiUM \' than either Scott or his master 
ever j j > s^-rs f <-( I . F* rom the beginning, accordingly, 
Scou \i.:'\ iiL t'r^kinea monitor who— entering most 
warittly into bi^ ta-^te for national lore, the life of the 
pasi-rmd ibe bold a uA picturesquestyleof the origin- 
al Enghsh sch oo I— wo b instantly urging the advan- 
tages to be derivt<l from combining witn its varied 



and masculine breadth of deUneation, snclittleBtion 
to the minor graces of arrangement and diction as- 
might conciliate the fastidiousness of modern tastc^ 
Deterring what I may have to say as to Erskine^ 
general character and manners, until 1 shall have 
approached the period when I myself had the plea- 
sure of sharing his acouaintance, I introduce the 
general bearing of his literary opinions thus early, 
because I conceive there is no doubt that his com- 
panionship was, even in those days, highly service- 
able to Scott as a student of the German drama 
and romance. Directed, as he mainly was, in the 
ultimate determination of his literary ambition, by 
the example of their great founders, be appears to 
have run at first no trivial hazard of adopting the 
extravagances, both of thought and language, which 
he found blended in their works, with such a capti- 
vating display of genius, and genius employed on 
subjects so much in unison with the deepest of his 
own juvenile predilections. His fnendly critic was 
just as well as delicate; and unmerciful severity as 
to the mingled absurdities and vulgarities of Ger- 
man detail commanded deliberate attention from 
one, who admired not less enthusiastically than 
himself the genuine subUmity and pathos of his 
new favourites. I could, I beheve. name one other 
at least among Scott's fellow-students of the same 
time, whose influence was combined in this matter 
withErskine's: but his was that which continued 
to be exerted the longest, and always in the same 
direction. That it was not •accompanied with en- 
the succescL the readers of the Doom of Devorgoil, 
to say nothing of minor blemishes in hi b#tter 
works, must acknowledge. 

These German studies divided Scott's attention 
with the business of the courts of law, on whidi he 
was at least a regular attendant, during the winter 
of 1792-3. J 

If the preceding autumn forms a remarkable point 
in Scotrs history, as first introducing him to the 
manners of the wilder Border country, the summer 
which followed left traces of equal importance. He 
gave the greater part of it to an excursion which 
much extended his knowledge of Highland sceneir 
and character ; and in particular furnished him with 
the richest stores which he afterwards turned to ac- 
ooant in one of the roost beautiful of his creat 
poems, and in several, including the first, of his 
prose romances. 

Accompanied by Adam Fergusson, he visited on 
this occasion some of the finest districts of Stirling- 
shire and Perthshire ; and not in the percursory 
manner of his more boyish expeditions, but taking 
up his residence for a week or ten dsys in succession 
at the family residences of several of his young al- 
lies of ihe Mmn/atn, and from thence familiartzins 
himself at leisure with the country and the people 
round about In this way, he lingered some time at 
Tullibody, the seat of the father of Sir Ralph Aber- 
cromby, and grandfather of his fnend Bfr. Gieorxe 
Abercromby, (now Lord Abercromby;) and heard 
from the old gentleman's own lips his narrative of 
a journey which he had been obliged to maka short- 
ly after he first settled in Stirlingshire, to the wild 
retreat of Rob Roy. The venerable laird told how be 
V. '" ^■■cciVrfThytnei'-^.-nrk "with much courtesy," 
in u t avtrn cx^ciU' ^^^'X^ ^At that of Btan Lean} dined 
Oil collope cut from ponie of hj.s own cattle, which 
hf r^xigmat'J hnngitip by Hicir iK^eln frnm the rocky 
roof b«!>'and \ und returned in all sair ry, after con- 
eluding n bareain of blask-tnaii—ifi viriue of which 
an n oaf pa xm em, Rob Roy guarantetxl the future we- 
cuniy of hia hi?rda agaiimt, not hia own followers 
mcrt'Vj bill nil freebooters wlmtev^r. Scott next 
visitfia hip friend EdniotiBtont^T ^^ Nt wton, a beau- 
tiful seat close to ihe*rumK of the ofk:c magnificent 
Casit^ of Dourifc and b^urd anotlu r ugta gentle- 
ma u'f vivid recollef!ikms of all thar hippenea there 
\f\\m John Hornet ihe author of Dou-fr^s, end other 
Hanuvf^rtan prisoaorB, oBcaf>cd from ihe Highland 
gHrriaon in 17(5** Proceorfiuf towards the sources 
of the Teith. he was rw^ved tot ilio first time under 
e roof which, in aubsequcntyi^a/^ he rt^tuluT revisit- 
• WtfcricTi voL it p. tt. 



LIFE OP 8nt WAI^TER 800TT. 
•d, tbi^of CBDtlitr of ilia miiMiat«8, BuphttNtfl, tha Jamas tba Saeoncfa briif huanitf* Baidg invilaA 



into the manae after dinner to take a glaaa of whi»<' 
kv punch, " to which he wai auppoaed to.baTo no 
obW 



youoiniutl oCQnnbiiaiiHvre. I^yraa thus that the 
loenerY of Loch Katrine came t9 bo so aaaociated 
with " the MGollectton of many a dear friend aad 
merry expedition of former daya," thai to compoae 
the Lady of the Lake waa " a labour of loye, and 

no ieaa 80 to recall the manners and incidenta intro- . ^ 

duoed.*'* It waa atarting from the aame houae, hearing, in a certaif^berdooian kirk, ifae paalmodf 
when tba foam itielf h^d made aome progress, that directeia by a pitclHMpe, or some similar instnimenL 
he put to the test the practicability of*ndiaa from : which was to Old Mortality the abomination of 
the banka of LocbTeimachar to the Caat]p of Stirl- abominaliona." 

ing within the brief apace which he had aaainied to i It was alio while he had his head-qtiartera at 
Pin-Jamea'a Oray Bayard, after the duel with Meigle at thia time, that Scott visited for the first time 



objections.'^ he joined the minister'a party accord* 
ingty. but ^* he waa in a bad humour,'' says Scoti, 
" and, to use his own phrasa had no free(K)m tor 
conversation. His apint had been sorely vexed by 



Roderick Dfau; and the pnaeipal landmarka in the 
deaeriptkm of thai Iiery progress are ao many ho*- j 
pitable mansieiM all familiar to him at the same | 
period— Blaildntrnmond, the reaidenoe of Lcnrd i 
Kaimea; Ochtertyre, that of John Ramaay, the{ 
scholar and antiquanan, (now beat remembered for ; 
hiB kind and ssgacioos aavioe to Bornai) and ** the i 
lofty brow of ancient Kier," the splendid seal of the 
chief fkmiljr ofjjlie name of StirUng; fW)m \yiiich, , 
to Bay nothing df remoter objects, the prospect has, 
on om hand, thoTock of '* Snowdon,'' ami in front 
the field of Bannockbom. 

Another sestingplace waa Graighall, in Perthshioe, 
the aeat of the Rattraya, a family lelated to Mr. 
CMc, who aooompan^ him. From the poailion 
of thiaatriking place, as Mr. Clerk at onoe percaived, 
and as the author afterwards oonfeaaed to hira^ that 
of the TitUf'Vtolan waa very iuthlblly copied; 
thaagh in the deacriptioo of the hooae itself; and iia 
nrdens. many fieanu-ea were adopted from BrentB* 
fiekiandRa¥€litone.t Me. Clerk has told ma Ihat 
heirent through the firat diaptenof Waverlsy %viih* 
oat more than a-irague anapicion of the new niotel*> 
iat ; hot that when be read the anhrai atToUy^Veo- 
Ian, hia suapieion waa at onoe couYertsd into cer- 
tainty, and he handed the book to a mutotl friend 
of hia and the authot^a. aaying, '"Iliis ia Scott' »— 
afkd I'll lay k bat wm'U find aiidi and such tbiogain 
Ihe next chapter.'^ I hope Mr. Clerk will forgive me 
for mentioning i^partionlartarcnmatance that first 
fiaabed the eonviction on his ndnd. In the course 
ef nridefrora Graigball, they had both bebomeoon* 
aadsrably ftgged and heated, and Cleik aeeinf the 
eaadba of a clackan a htde way before them^ ejaoa- 
lated, "How agreeable if we ahould here fall in' 
wi^ one of those signpoau where a red lion pre- 
doninates over a punchbowl." The phrase hap- 
^efred to tickle Scott's £iney— he often introduoed 
It on similar occasions aflerwardfr^-«nd at the dia- 
tsnce of twenty yeara, Mr. Cl^k wma at no Waa to 
lecogniae an old acquaintance m the " huge bear" 
which " predominates" over the atone basm in the 
eonrt-yard of the Baron of Bradwardine. 

I believe the longeat sta^ he made this antnmn 
waa at Meigles in Forfarshire, the seat of Patfiek 
Mnrray of Simprim, a f^ntleroan whoae enthaaias- 
tic passMn for antiquitisa, and eapeciidly military 
antiquities, had peculiarly endeared him both to 
Soott and Clerk. Here Adam FecguaeoiL too, Waa 
of the partv ; and 1 have often heard them each 
and all dwell on the thonsand eoeaes of adventure 
and merriment which diversified that visit. In the 
village churchyard, close beneath Mr. Murray'a 



Olamviis, the reaidence of the &trls of Strathmoreb 
by far the nobleat apecimen <lflHi>real feaaal caatle 
entire and perfect, that had fPflt come ander hia 
inspection. What its aapeci was when he fi^ aaw 
it, and how giievooaly he lamented the change it niid 
uiidergon»when< he revisited it some years after- 
warda, he haa recorded in one of the most stiiking* 
passajges that I tbink ever came from hia pen. Com- 
mendng, in his Essay on Landacape Gardening; 
(1828.) on the proper domeatic ornaments of the 
Caatle PZeasoimes, he haa thia beautiful burst tif 
lamentation over the barbarona tnnovatioM ef ihs 
CaptUnUi^ men : — ^ Down went many a trophy of . 
old magmfioenoe, eourtiyard, ornamented eiicl»- 
sare^ foase^ * avenne* barbican, and Cvety external 
raoniment ef battled wnil ana fianking tower, ont 
of the midst of which the ancient dome^ rising high 
above all its charactensfie accdmpanimenta, and 
aoamingiy girt round by ila anprofiriate defended 
which again encireled Ckch other m their dimaitt 
gradationa, looked, aa.it ak«dd, thd qaeen aad mi»« 
tress of the snrroimding amntry. It waa thna thai 
the huge ohi tow^ of Qlammii, * whoae birth lia-^ 
ditiop notes not,' onoe sl^pwed its lordly head above: 
aeven drdea (if I lemcoaber arightV of defensive 
bonndariea^ through which the fhendlygueat wac^ 
admitted, and at each ef which a euspicioaa peraon^ 
VM unquestionably put to hia anawsr. Adiaoipla. 
•of Kent had the cruelty to render thia aplendid old. 
manak>n (th^ more modem part of whiah wna the 
wo|^ of Inigo Jonea) more pomkiih, aa he waa 
pleased to call it) to rase all ifaoae ekierior defencesi 
and bring hia mei^n and paltry craveKwalk up to 
the Very door from whielu deuioed by the aamsb 
one might have imagined Lady Macbeth (with the 
foim and fiaaturea of Siddons) issuing forth to re* 
oeive King Dunean. It ia thirty yeara and upwaida 
since I have seen Glammisi b^t I have not vet feiv 
gotten or forgiven the atrocity which, under pr»> 
tence of improvement, defwiyedthat lordly place of 
iia appropriate aoeompammentsv 

* LesTins an soclent dome tad tomtn like tbsse 
Brggsr'a and oatrai^ed.' '" 

The night he spent at the yet unprofaned Glam- 
mis in 1798 was, as he elsewhere says, one of the 
*^pu>o periods, distant from each other," at which he 
ooidd recollect experiencing '* that degree of super- 
stitioDs awe which his countrymen call em«." 
"The heavy pile," he writea, *' contains much in its 
appearance, and in the traditions connected with 
it. impressive to the imagination. It waa the aoene 
or die murder of a Scottish King of great antiqui* 
' not indeed the gracious Duncan, with whom 



gatdens, tradition stillnoints out the tomb of. Qneenty, not indeed the gracious Duncan, with whom 
Chienever; and the whale diifrrt nlmrtrifls in o>>- ihe name naturally associates itself, but Malcolm 
jeefs of historical interest. Am -l(^t tin r^ rhtv spipnt U- It contains also a cunous monument of toe 
their wandering days, while ihtir ivtimnts uasiwd l^ril t>f feudal times, being a secret chanaber, the 
in the joyous festivity of a wc^UJiy yonnj^ Kacjie- , t-n trance of which, by the law or custom of the fa- 
lor*.s est^lishment, or sometim^^ iiodtr the roflf^M mily, lonst only be known to three persons at once, 
neighboura less refined than di nr host, the Bairns ] aanu lif, the.Earl of Strathmoro, his heir-apoarent, 
vkapplm of the Braes of Aiti^i^. From MeiffUi ^^^ any third person whom they may take into 
thaymade a trip to Dunottar Ca^do, rhp nime dW l^eiJ; canfidenoe. Theextreme antiquity of the build-, 
the huge old fortress of the Earld Mjirtschnll, andlf] inJ? ^»Tj -.^^Jr^- L _„®®? ?i T* ^"^^i?" 
vraa iir the churchyard of that i>l ai^r^ that SuD[ I ihfD 
aaw for the first and last time P^ior P^icr^orii th^ 
living (Hd Mrrtaiity* He ami Mr. WAlkl^^. the 
mimnter of the paiisn. found the pnor in on Tefrc^h- 
iiig theepitsphs on the tombs of ci?rt^ifi CEimcro- 
niana who had fallen under xhfi ovvrcs^Git^ of 



the YtM straggling arrangement of the accommo- 
dutHii within cioors. As me late earl seldom resid- 
ed nt Glammia, !t was when I was there but half 
furrti^^iied. and that wltMpfveables of great anti- 
qnitv, which, with the-^Mft of chivalne amonr 
haniringon the walliL gMljr contributed to thene- 
iieml eftect or the whole. After a very hospitable 



••*TfgTz?^^f^5fl9tegie 



M 



LIPK OF SIR WAL7RR SCOTT. 



rtespdon from tbe late P«ler Proctor, Bencschal of 
the otfitle, I WAi conducted to my apartnoent in a 
(fifltant part of the building. 1 must own that 
whea I neard door after door shut, after my con- 
ductor had retired, I began to consider myself as 
too far from the living, and somewhat too near iAte 
dead. We had passed through what is called the 
King's Roorn^ a vaulted apartnupt, garniahed with 
8tag^3 antlers and other trophiet of the chase, and 
said by tradition to bo the spot of Malcolm's mur- 
der, and I had an idea of the vicinity of the castle 
chapel. In t^ite of the truth of history, the whole 
night scene m Macbeth's Castle rusned at once 
upon me, and struck my mind more forcibly than 
eren when I have seen its terrors ifepresented by 
John Eemble and his inimitable sister. In a word, 
I experienced sensntions wlucn, though not remark- 
able for timidity or superstition, did not foil to af- 
fect me to the point of being disagreeable, wHile 
they were minsled at the same time with a strange 
ana indescribable sort of pleasure, the recollectioB 
of which affords me ratification at this moment."* 
He alludes here to Bie hospitable reception which 
had preceded the mingled sensatioiia of this eerie 
m^hti but one of his notes qn Waverley touches 
this not unimportant part of the story more dis- 
tinctly ; for we are tbeire informed, that the Mper 
hsar 0f Tully-Veolan^ *' thepoeulumpotatorium d 
the valiant Imvon,'' had its srototype at Glammis— 
a maaiive beaker of silver, double gilt, moulded into 
the form of a Hon, the name and bearing of the Earls 
oi Stratkmore, and containhng about an EUighsh pint 
of win& "The author." he says, " ought perhaps 
ta be asbamed of reoorohig that He had the honour 
of i«^allowing the contents of t^tfen, and the 
recollection of the font suggested the story of the 
Bnr of Bradwardine.*' ^ 

Fiom this plenaant Unt, to rich in its results, 
Seott returned in time to attend the October aaaixes 
St Jedburgh, on whidi occasion he made his firii 
appearance aa eoimsel in a crindnal oourti and 
had the amisfiiotion of helping a veteran poacher 
nod iheepflealer to escape through some of the 
meshes of the law. '* You're a licky sooundr^'^ 
Steou whispered to his client when the vermct 
was pronounced. ^I'midst o^ your mind," quoth 
thsMperado, ^*and rii send ye a roaukint the 
mom, Buia." I lUn not sure idiether it was «i 
these aseizet, or the next, in the same town, that he 
had lesa snooess in the case ef a tetttkk notorknis 
housebreaker. The tnan. however, was well awara- 
that no skill oonki have baffled the clear evidence 
a|$axnet him, and was, after Ms fashion, gratefol for 
such exertions as had been made in his behalf. He 
requested the yovuM advocate to visit him once 
more before he left the place^ Scott's curjosity in- 
duced him to accept this invitation, and his fnend, 
as soon as they wiere alone together in the tondemn- 
ed cell^ said, ^*I am very sorry, sir, that 1 have no 
fe^ to oflTer vou— so let me beg yom* acceptance of 
tWQ bits of advice, which may be useful perhaps 
wiicn yuu cuiiio tu tiave a house of your own. I 
em done ^ii h praouce, yon see, and here is my lega- 
ef. Nt^ver kenp n large watchdog out of doors— 
we can aiivays fi'nnce them cheaply—indeed if it 
be n doe\ *ii» eani- r than whislling^but tie a little 
within J and secondly, put no 
{imcrack locks— the only thing 
lUge old heavy one, no matter 
struction,— and the nider and 
rufltJCT tht ki'>p Jk! mueh the better for the house- 
heepf^r.' I rEmeimber hearing him tell this story 
' - - Jud^' dinner at Jed- 

ir^t, Bim "K oummcu ii liD with a rhvme— " Ay, 
-OT, my lord," tT t!)ink he adressed bis friend Lord 



Uf?ht ye] pin;:; N n- 
tmai irt nifN , 
thai boiJif r: 
ll<>w flimpb 



somi^tltiriy yturt after at a . 

hurgtt, arid !ifl summed it up with a rhyme 

" Yelpios terrier, rusty key» 

Was Walter Scott'a best Jeddart fee." 

Atihese^ or perhaps^^ext assizes, he wos also 
epuneel ia an appeal oMMiacb'tng a cow which his 
cbeni had sold as souodtft which the court below 

« t^ettcn on Oemonoloiy and Wttcberafl, p. 8B8. 
ti.caAe» 



(the Sheriff) had pronooneed to bavis «Mt ia edlilA 
the eliet^^B. disease anijogous to •^landeife in a 
horse. In opening his case before Svt David Bae» 
Lord Eskgrove, Scott stoutly maintained the heal- 
thiness of the cow, who, as he said^ had merely a 
cough. " SlOD ther^" quoth the judge, "I have bad 
plenty of healthy ky^ in my time, but I never heard 
of ane of them oouj^bing. A cous^in' Cow ! — that 
wiii never do— sustam the Siierifrs judgmint, and 
decern." 

A day or iwo after this Scott and his old compa- 
nion were again on their way into Liddesdale, and* 
"just," says the Bhortreed Memorandum. " as we 
were [passing by Singdon, we saw a grand faerdoT 
cattle a' feeding by the roadside, and a fine young 
buHock, the best in the whole lot, was in the midst 
of them, coughing lustily. " Ah," said Scot, " what 
a pity for my client that old Eskgrove had not lakea 
Smgdon on his way to the town. That bonny 
creature ^ould have saved us— 

' A Daniel come to Judgment, vea a Daniel ; 
O wise yoang judge, h^ I do nonour thee f *' 

The winter of 1793-4 appears to have been paaaed 
like the preceding one ; the Gterman class resttmed 
their sittings ; Scott spoke in his debating chih on 
the questions of Parliamentary Reform and the In*- 
vielabitity of the Person of the Ftrat Mafpstrate, 
which the drourastances of the time had mvesiea 
with extraordmary iij^ereaiv and in both of which h» 
no dooht to<^4he side adverse to the prindplea of 
the EiigUsh, and the practiee of the FVench Libe- 
rale, fiia love amir continued on exactly- the same 
footing as before— and for' (he rant. Uke did fotatg 
hckoes in Redgauntlet, he *'8vct>t the boards of tha 
Parliament House with the alurts of his gown^ 
langhed, afid madei others iough i drank daret at 
Beyle's. Poftune'a, and Walkers, and eat oysters 
in the Covenant Ctose.^' On his desk*' the near 
novel most in repute lay snugly intrenobed beneath 
Stair's Inatitnte, or an o^ Tohune ef Deoisionaf" 
and hiadrs^iing-table was htteied^* with M play- 
bills, lettera respecting a meeting of the Ftealty. 
Rttlea of Ihe Speeolative, Syllabus of Lectttrea— idt 
the miseeUaneOtts contents of a yonng advocate's 
pocket, which cdritaina every thing but brieft and 
baok-noAea." Hie own profoasumal occapaliaii» 
though gradually increasing, was stiU of the meat 
bumble sort ; but he took a lively interest in the 
proceedings of the criminal court, aiid more eepedal^ 
ly ia those arising out of the troaoled sute of thus 
public foehng as to politics. 

In the spring of 1794 I -find him writing to hie 
friends in Roxburghshire with ^[reat exultation 
about the " good spint" manifesting ttsdf among the 
upper classes of the dtizens of Edinburgh, and 
above all, the organisation of a togihient of volun- 
teers, in which hia brother Thomas, now a fine ao* 
tiveyouns man, equally hsndsome and high-spirited, 
wasemroiled as a grenadier; wfailoi as he remarks, 
his own " unfortunate infirtmtv" condemned him to 
be " a mere spectator of the cfrills.'' In the. course 
of the same year the plan of a corps of volunteer 
light horse was staned ; and, if the recollection of 
Bur. Skene be accurate, the soegeetion origini^lly 
proceeded from Soott himself, who certainly had a 
principal share in its subsequent success. He writes 
to his uncle at Rosebank, requesting him to be «n 
the look out for a *' strong gelding, such as would 
suit a stalwart dragoon ;" and inumating his mten- 
tioo to part with his ooUeetion of Scottish coins, 
er than not be mounted to his mind. The oon>s, 

_ ever, was not organised for some time f and in 
t]|e mean while he had an opportimity of di^^laying 
)m teal in a manner which Captain Soott by no 
Iheaoe considered as eo respectable. 

A party of Irish medical studente began, towards 
the end of April, to make themselves remarkable 
in the Edmhurgh Theatre^ where they moecsred in 
a particular comer of the pit, and lost no opportu- 
nity of insulting the loyalista of the boxes, bycall* 
ing for revolutionaiqr tunes, epplaudiag every speech 
that could bear a seditious tneaning. and drowning 
the national anthem in hdwmandlUKyimgi. The 
Digitized by VjOOQ It 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOIT. 



61 



hi 



young totiea of the Parllanient House resented j 
this license warmlv, and after a succession of mi- ! 
nor disturbances, theouarrel was put to the issue of 
a reffuhir trial by corooat Scott was^consptcuous 
amon/^ the juvenile advocates and solicitors who 
on this grand night assembbd in the front of the 
nit armed with stout cudgels, and determined to 
lave Opd save the King not only played without in- 
terruption, but sung in full chorus by both company 
and audience. The Irishmen were readj at the first 
note of the anthem. They rose, clapped on their 
hats, and brandiahed their shilelahs ; a stem battle 
ensued, and after many a head had been cracked, 
the loyalists at length found themselves in posses- 
sion of the field. pJext morning the more promi- 
nent rioters on both sides were bound over to keep 
the peace, and Scott was, of course, among the 
number. One of the party. Sir Alexander Wood, 
whose notes lie before ma says,—'' Walter was cer- 
tainly our Goriphasus, and signalized himself splen- 
didly in this desperate fray ; and nothing used af- 
terwards to afford him more delight than drama- 
tizing; its incidents. Some of the most efficient of 
our allies were persons previouslv unknown to him, 
and of several of these whom he nad particularly ob- 
served, he never lost sight afterwards./ There were, 
I believe, cases in which they owed piost valuable 
assistance in life to his recollection of the playhouft 
ro%D.** To this last part of Sir Alexander's testimo- 
ny I can also add mine; and I am sure my worthy 
friend, Mr. Donald M'Lean, W. S., will gratefully 
oottflrm it. When that gentleman became candi- 
date for some office in the Ezcheqoer, about 1898 or 
18218, and Sir Walter's interest was reqneated on his 
behalf;—" To be sure f said he, ** did not he sound 
the chaise upon Paddy t Can I ever forget Donald's 
• Sticks, bv G— tr "On the 9th May. 1T94, Charles 
Kerr oi Abbotrule writes to him,— "1 was last 
night at Roaebank, and your uncle told me he had 
been givmg you a very long and very sage lecture 
upon the occasbn of these Edinburgh smiabbles. 
I •htii happy to hear they are now at an and. They 
were rather of the serious cast, and thonch yoiisn- 
oountered them with sphit and oommendable reso- 
lution, I, with ^our uncle, should wish to see your 
abilities conspicuous on another theatre." The 
name gentleman, in his next letter. (June 3d,V con- 
sratulaies Scott on having " seen hit name m Ou 
ntw9paj9&rJ* vis. as eouosel for another Roxburgh^ 
■hire land, by designation i9<A^«/B. Such, no doubt, 
was Abbotmle's *^other theatre." 

Scott Bpent the long vacation of this year chiefly 
iti Roxburghshire, but again visited Keir, Ckmbus- 
more, ana others of his friends in Perthshire, and 
came to Edinburgh, early in September, to be pre- 
aent at the trials or Watt and Downie, on a charge 
of high treason. Watt seems to have tendered his 
services to government as a spy upon the Society 
of the Friends of the People in Edinburah, but ul- 
timately, considering himself as underpaid, to ha.ve 
embraced, to their wildest extent, the schemes he 
had become acquainted with in the course of this 
worthy occupation ; and he and one Downie, a me- 
chaoic, were now arraigned as having taken a pro- 
muieot part in the organizing of a plot for a general 
rising in ^nburgh, to seize the castle, the bank, 
the persons of the Judgeai and proclaim a provision* 

al Republican Government; all whie^i w- -p- 

pp^ to have been arranged in cone : le 

Hardies. Thelwalli^ Holcrofts, and so ii»r ix, vuio 
were a lew weeks later brought to trial in r^odtrn, 
for an all^iied conspiracy to ** summon iJL)ci;'ot4?s to 
a National Convention, with a view to i^ubvcri ilie 
Gove^rnment, and levy war upon theKitiiir /' Tje 
Engliah prisoners were acquitted, but Wzit ^id 
Downie were not so fortunate. Scott Mrrites as fol- 
lows to his aunt, Miss Christian Rutherfbfd, then 
at Ashesliel, in SeUdrkshinB r*-^ 

•• Advocates' Library, 5(b Sept. 1794. 



Ify dear Miu Chriity will perceive from the date 

L. ._., ^-^^ • ^\9ne accomplished 

— , , -J preaeot at the tri 

bargh trailers. I antved b«re on Monday eveaing from 



of this episUa, thst I have accomplish* 
coaunf to town lo be 



my purpose of 
tot at' the trial of the Edin- 



Kelso, and was present at Watt's trial on Wednesday, 



which displayed to th,e pubUc the most atrocious and 
deliberate plan of villanj which has occurred, perhaps, 
in the annals of Great Briuin. 1 refer vou for particu* 
Iar« to the papem, and shall only add, that the eqnivo< 
cations and perjury of the witnesses (most of them baing 
accomplices in wliat they called the great plan) set tkie 
abilities of Mr. Anstnitner, the King'js counsel, in the 
most striicing poio^of view. The patience and temper 
with which he tvM them on every side, and screwed 
out of theai the evidence they were so anaious to con- 
ceal, showed much Icnuwledge of human nature; and 
the art with which he arranged the information he receiv- 
ed, made the trial, upon the whole, the most interesting 1 
ever was present at. Downie's (rial is jost now going 
forwards over my head ; but as the evidence Is jast the 
same as formerly brought aggtost Watt, is not so inte- 
resting. You will easily believe that on Wedneadav my 
curiosity was too much excited ro retire at an early hour, 
and, indeed, I sat in the Court from seven in the morn- 
ing liU two the next morning : but as I had provided my- 
self with some cold meat and a bottle of wine, I contriv- 
ed to support the fatigue pretty well. It strikes me, upon 
the whole, thst the plan of these miscreants might, from 
its very diMperate and improbable nature, have had do 
snuJl chaiice of BucceedioA at least as (ar as concerned 
c-Qtting off the soldiersi ana obtaining iwssossioQ of the 
banks, besides shedding the blood or the most distin* 
guished inhabitants. There, I think, tlie evil must have 
stopped, unless they hod further support than has yet 
appsared, fltooka was the prime mover of the whole, 
aad the person who supplied the money, and our thea- 
trioal dlMttrbaaces are found to have formed one link of 
the chain. 80, 1 have no doubt, Messrs. fitooks, Burk, 
Ae^ would have found out a new way of paying old 
debts. The ptt^ are perfectly quiescent upon this 
grand occasion, and seem to interest themselves very 
Itotle In the fate of their soiditant friendt. The Edin- 
burgh vdontsers make a reapectable and formidable 
appearance already. They are exercised four hours 
aioioat every day, with all the rigoor of military disci- 
pliae. The grenadier company consists entirely of men 
above siz feet. * 80 much for public news. 

" As to home intelligence— anow that my mother and 
Anne had projected a jaunt to Inverleithing ; iiite, how- 
ever, has aeatined otherwise^ The Intended dav of de- 
parture was ushered in by a most complete deloge, to 
which, and the consequent disappolntmeni, onr pro p ose d 
travellers did not submit with that Chrisoan meekoeas 
which might have beseemed. In ebort, both wfthtai and 
without doors. It was a de«M of a day. The second wsa 
like unto it. The third day came a poet, a kiUli« dobI^ and 
in the shape of a lener flrom this fountain or health, 
informed us no lodgings were to be had there, so what^ 
ever be its virtues, or tne grandeur atieadteg a jonraey 
to its streamy we might as well have proposed to visit 
the river Jordan, or Uie waDs of JertehOb Not so our* 
heroic John ; he has been arrived here for some tinMut 
(much the same as when he went way/) and has formeA* 
the desperate resohition of riding om^wfch tsetoKelSit 
to-morow momitig. I have stayed a <day footer, waic^' 
ing for the arrival of a pair of new heels and truekskin 
4»;s.,^ in which the soldier is to be equipt. I vedturetf 
to hint the convenience of a roll ordkaoalum plaister,> 
and a box of the mostspproved horsemao-sahre, in which 
recommendation our doctor* warmly joined, ws impa- 
tience for the journey has, been somewhat cooled by some 
Incnnatfon yesterday displayed by his charger (a pony 
belonging to Anne) to lay his warlike rider in the dust 
—a purpose he had nearly effected. He next nfountel 
Queen Mab. who treated him with little more complai- 
aanee, and, m carters' phrase, would neither kap nor 
vyndf tiU she got rid of hinii Seriously, however, if 
Jack nas not returned covered with laurels, a crop which 
the Rockt no longer produces, he has brought back all 
his own good-nature, and a manner considerabty im- 
proved, so that he Is at times very agreeable company. 
Best love to Miss R., Jean, and Anne, (I hope they are 
improved at the -battledore,) and the boys, not forgottfng 
my friend Archy, though least not last In my remem- 
brance. Best compliments to the Cofoael.! I shall 
remember with pleasure Ashestiel hospitality, and not 
without a desire tojput it to the proof next year. Adieu, 
ma ch^re amie. When you write, direct to Roaebank, 
and I shall be a good boy, and write you another sheet 
of noiuiense soon. All friends here welL Bver yours 
affectionately, Waltib Sootv." 

The letter, of which the following is an extract, 



• Dr. RetheifonL 

t OaplaiB ioki fScaCt had been for • 



» time with fate NgfaMot 



"-" •'*t!^ed'^t5a§fe^ 



^ 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



miut h&ye been written in October or November- 
Scott haying been in Liddesdale, and again in 
Perthshire, oiinng the interval. It is worth quoting 
for the httle domestic allusions with which it con- 
cludes^ and which every one who has witnessed the 
disciplme of a Presbytepan family of the old school 
at the time of preparation for the Communion^ will 
perfectly nnderstand. Scott's father, thoagh on 
particular occasions he could permit himself, like 
Saunders Fairford. to play the part of a good Am- 
phytrion, was babituaUy ascetic in his nabiis. I 
have heard his son tell, that it was ciiminon with 
hiin, if any one observed that the soup was ||[ot>d, 
to taste it again, and say, *' Yes, h is too ^chkI, 
bairns," and dash a tumbler of coH waLef mio his 
plate. It is easy, therefore, to iiiia^in*? wjth what 
rigidity he must have enforced xht' ultra 'Catholic 
severities which marked, in those days, the yearly 
or half-yearly retreat of the descendants of J vim 
Knox. 

To Miat Ckrutian Rutherford^ AjthmtieL 
** Previous to my nmble, I stayed a sinf le day in 
town to witness the exit of the ei'-devonf Jacobin. Mr. 
WatL It ^nM a very solemn scene, bat the puilUani- 
mity of the unibrtunate victim was aStonishinff, consider- 
lOff the boldness of his nefkrioos plans. It is mstCer 
or general regret that his associate ikrwnie should hare 
received a reprieve, which, I understand, is now pro- 
longed for a second month, I suppose to wait the Issua 
of the I^ndon trials. Oor volunteers ore now com- 
pletely embodied, and notwithstanding the heaviness of 
cheir dress, hsve a martial and strildng appearance. 
Their accorocv in firing and manmuvring excites the 
surprise of railltarv gentlemen, who are the best judges 
of their merit in that way. Tom Is very proud of the 
grenadier company, to whieh lie belongs, which has 
fndispuubly carried off the palm upon all public ocea* 
sions. And now, give me leave to ask you wheUier the 
approaching winter does not remind you of your snvg 
parlour in OeorgeH Street 1 Do you not feel a little un- 
comfortable when you see 

* how bleak and bare 
ne wanders o'er thel^eights of Yair 7* 
Aoiidst all tlUs regard for your accommodation, don't sup- 
pose I am devoid of a little self-interest when I press your 
S|Medy reiuxn to Aukl Reeliie, lor J am really tiring ez- 
oaasively to see the said parlour again inhabited. Besides 
thai. I want the aasistanee of your eloquence to conrioce 
my honoured lather that nature did not mean me either 
rare vagabond or travtlUng msrcAaiil,wheb she honoured 
me with the wandering propensity lately so conspicuous- 
ly displayed. I saw Dr. yesterday, who is well. I did 
not chooae to intrude upon the little Isdv, this beiiv ser- 
OKm week ; for the same reason we are looking very reli- 
gloas and very aoor at home. HoweTcr, it istrith eome 
lUK aaton lea lUgles, that hi proportion as they ore pure 
thamselves, they are entiUed to render uncomfonable 
I whom theyeoasider as less perfect Best love to 
I IL, eoaabM, and friends In general and believe me 
ever moat ainoerely yoiir% WALTia Soott." 

In March, 1796, when the court rose, he proceeded 
mto Galloway, where he had not before been, in 
order to make himself aot^uainted with the persons 
and localities mixed up with the case of a certain 
Rav. Bfr. M'Naughu miniBter of Girthon, whose 
trisi on charges ofnaoitual drankenness, singing of 
lewd and profane songs, dancing and tovins; at a 
penny- wedding with a **8weetie wife," (that is, an 
Itinerant vender of gingerbread, dbe.,) and moreover 
of promoting irregular marriages as a justice of the 
peace, was about to take place before the General 
Assembly of the Kiik. 

As his "Case for M*Naught," dated May 22, 
179&, is the first of his legal papers that I have dia- 
covwed, and contains several characteristic enough 
roma, I make no apology for introducing a few 
•xtracta :— 

** At the head of the first class of offences stands the 
extrsordUiary assertioo, that, being a minister of the gos- 
pel, the respoadenC bed illegally undertaken the office of 
a justice of peace. It is, the reapeodent l>eUeves, the first 
time that ever the undertakittfW'OfllGeof such extensive 
utility was stated as a crime Hbr he humbly apprehends, 
that by conferring the office of a Justice of toe peace upon 
elenymea, their ioflaeoce n^ay, in the general caae, be 
rendered more extepsive among their parishioiieTS, and 
many trffiiog causes be settled by them, whieh inight 



lead the tttifants to enormous expenses, and become the 
subject of much contention before other courts. Tbm 
duty being only occasional, and not daily, cannot be aaid 
to interfere with those of their function ; and their edu- 
cation and presumed character, render them most proper 
for the office. It is indeed alleged, tiiai the act 15&1, chap. 
133, excludes clergy men lirom acting under ^ commisaioa 
of the peace. This act, 'howerer, was passed at a time 
when it was of the highest importance to the Crown to 
wrench from the iumds of the clergy the power of ad- 
mlDisterinc iusticc in civil cases, which had, from the Ig- 
norance or the laity, been enjoyed by them almost exclo- 
siveiy. During the whole reign of James VL, aa is well 
known to the Reverend Court, such a iealousj subsisted 
betwixt the Church and the State, that tiiose' who were sL 
the head of the latter endeavoured, by every meana ia 
their power, to diminish the influence oi the former. At 
present, when these dissentions happily no longer sub- 
sist, the law, as far as respects the office of justice of the 
peace, appears to have fallen into disuse ; and the re- 
spondent concetres, that any minister is capal>le of aetfang 
in that, or any other judicial capacity, provided it is of 
such a nature aa not'm withdraw much of his ttne-firma 
what the statute calls the comfort and edifieatlea of- the 
flock committed to him. Further, the act of 1581 is vir- 
tually repealed by the statute 6ih Anne, c. & sec 2, which 
piakes the Scots law on the subject of justices of the 
peace the some with that ef England, wher^ the office Is 
publicly exercised by the clergy of all descriptions. 

' ' * * **Another branch of the accusation aaainst the 
defender as a justice of the peace, is the ratlficatioo of 
irreguUr marriages. The defender must here also calt 
the attention of his reverend brethren and judges to th« 
expediency of his conduct The girls were usuaHy witb 
child at the Ume the appUcatlon was made to the defender 
In this siluadoa, the children born out of matrinsooy, 
though begot under promise of marriage, must havebeeo 
thrown upon ihe parish, or pertiape murdered in inlaucy, 
had not the men been persuaded to consent to a soleoui 
declaration of betrothm^ot, or private' marriage, emitted 
before the defender as a justice of peace. The defender 
himself commisserating the situation of such women, 
often endeavoured to persuade their sedoeersto dothem 
justice ; and men frequently acquiesced in this sort of 
marriage, when they could by no means have been^ire* 
vailed upon to go through the eeremoniea of proclamation 
of bannsL or the ejgtense and trouble of a puoUc weddii^ 
The deelaratioo of a previous marriage was sometimes 
literlily true ; sometimes a fiction voluntarily emitted by 
the parties themselves, under the belief that it waa th^ 
most aafe way of constituting a private marriage d$ pr^- 
eenti, IThe defender had been induced, flnom the prac- 
tice ofother justices, to consider the receiving these de- 
clarations, whether true or idsc, as a part of his duty 
which he could not declhie, even had he been vrilling to 
do so. Finally, the delisilder must remind the VenerMla 
Assembly that he acted upon these occasions as a justice 
of peace, wiiich briugs him back to the point from which 
he set odt, via., that the Reverend Court are utterly in- 
competent to take cognizance of his conduct in that char- 
acter, which no sentence that they can pronounce eoukt 
give or take away. 

"The second grand division of the libel asoinst the de- 
fender refers to bis conduct as a clergyman and a Chris- 
tian. He was charged in the libel vrith the most groea 
and vulgar behaviour, vrith drunkenness, blasphemy, and 
impiety : yet all the evidence which the appellants have 
been able to bring forward, tends only to convict him of 
three acts of drunkenness during the course of fourteen 

J ears f for even the Presbytery, severe as they have 
een, acquit him quoad ultra. But the attention of the 
Reverend Court is earnestly entreated to the situation of 
the defender at the time, the circumstances which con- . 
duced to his Imprudence, and the share which some ot 
those had in occairioninit his guilt, who have since been 
most active in persecuting and distreastaig him on ao- 
count of it. 

" The defender must premise, by observing, that the 
crime of dnmkenness consists not in a man's having 
been m that situation twice or thrice in his life, but in the 
constant and habitual practice of the vice ; the distinc- 
tion between ebriua and ebrioeua being founded in com- 
mon sense, and recognised by law. A thousand cases 
may be supposed, in which a man, vrithoot being aware 
of what he is about, may be idsensiblv led on to intoxi- 
cation, especially in a country where the vice is unfortu- 
nately so common, tliat upon some occasions a pian mtj 
go to excess from a lalse sense of modesty, or a fear of 
disobliging his entertainer. The defender will not den](. 
that after losing his senses upon the oecaaiona, and in the 
manner to be afterwards stated, he may have oommltted 
improprieties which fill him vrlth sorrow and regret ; boc 
he hopes, that in case he vhall be able to show eireum- 



UPE OP Sm WALTER SCOTT. ft 

ilMem wMch abridie and palliate the ram of Ms tm- 1 dopgbt shelter iq a natghbouriag tavern, where they 
sradMt •«««, Oie Venerattc Court wUTconrtdcr there j hoped he would join ihera. He complied with the 
faproprietiM aa the eflfecta of that excess only, and not \ invitation, but seemed for a long while incepable . 
Z^^^t^J'^U^^r^^ in Ills t^'gPer or diapo. ^^ enjoying- the merriment of his friends* " Come, 

WaaSd to be morally culpable, tn proportion to the im- fiil ^^°^*H™ » h aJ%? u jl ^°^*^ lo give 
pn»pTlety of the exceea he has cominlttcd, and not in ^0 The Taxlorr— Ah!' he *iswered, with a 
proportioa to the maanitude of its eril consequences. ! groan, the tailov was a better mou than me, sira: 
b a legal view, indeed, a man must be held as answer- | for he didna venture ben until he kenned Ou waf»" 
able and punishable for such a crimen 1)recisely as if he A certain comical old song, which had. perhaps, 
had Uem in a state of sobriety ; but his crime is, in a been a favourite with the Mmiatetof Girthon— 
moral light, comprised In the <trtfo mAb\ the drmilcen- „_. ^ , .. ^ . ^,^ .^ #rt„«« 

«- ~'y- Hi. «n«. Uii, on« ,.ne, Ke i. no mo« aIS wwY'he'Tlen'l^d'th^^Pi" *«- 

was, however, sung and chofftissed t and the even- 
ing ended in the full jolHty of High Jinks. 

Mr. M'Naught was deposed from the ministry, 
and hid young advocate has written out at the end 
of the printed papers on the case two of the wngM 
which had been alleged in the evidence. They are 
both grossly indecent It is to be observed, that 
the research he had made with a view to pleadinc 
this man's cause, carried him for the first, and I 
believe for the last time, into the scenery of his Qnf 
Mannering; and Fmay add, that Sevenl of the 
names of ifae minor characters of the novel, (that 
of MCeuffog^ for example), appear in the list of 
witnesses for and against his client. 

In the following July, a young lad, who had sery» 
ed for some time with ezcellent character on board 
a ship of war. and been dischMwed in ooBaequenpt 
of a wound wnich disabled one of hie hands, had the 
misfortune, in iring off a toy cannon in one of the 
narrow wynds of Edinburgh, to kill on the spot one 
of the doorkeepers of the Advocate's Library ; a 
button, or some other hard substance, having been 
accidentally inserted with his cartridge. Scott waa 
one of his counsel when he was arraigned for mur- 
der, and had occasion to draw up . a written am- 
meat or injomxaium for th^ prisoner, itom which 
also I shall make a short quotation. Considered 
as a whole, the production seems both erode and 
cluossi', but the following passages have, 1 think, 
seveml traces of the style of thought and language 
•which he afterwards made familiar to the world. 

"Murder," he writes,*" or the premeditated aknghter 
of a citizen, is a critnc of so deep and scarlet a dye, that 
there is scarce a nation lo be found in which it has no^ 
from the earliest period, been deemed worthy of a capi- 
tal punishment. ^ He who sheddeth man's blood, by man 
shall his blood be shed,' is a general maxim, which has 
received the assent of all times and countries. But it is 
equally certain, that even the rude lesislatprs of former 
days soon perceived, that (be death of one man may be 
occasioned by another, wHhoot the slayer himself being 
(he proper ooject of the Itx talionis. ISuch an accident 
may happen either by the carelessness of the killer, or 
through that excess and vehemence of passion to which 
humanity is incident In either case, though blameable, 
he ought not to be confounded with the cool and dellbe- 



thao a homaQ noachine, as insenaibTe 0/ misconduct. I 
speacb and action, aa a parrot or an automaton. This is 
Bore paiticolarly the case with respect to indecorums, 
anch as the defender is accused of; for a man can no 
more be held a common swearer, or a habitual talicer of 
obsceafcy, because he has been guihy of using such ex- 
pc eaaio ns when intoxicated, than he can be termed an 
iiSot, because, when intoxicated, he has spoken non- 
Mguu. H, tlierefore. the defender can extenuate the guilt 
«/ his Intoxication, lie hopes that its consequences will 
be aombered rather among his mislbriunes than feults ; 
and bia Reverend Brethren will consider him, while in 
Itaatetate, as acthig-from a mechanical impulse, and as 
lBcai|iable of distinguishing between right and wrong. 
For the scandal which his behaTiour may have occasion- 
ed, be feels the most heartfelt sorrow, and will snbmit 
widi peoitenee and contrition, to the severe rebuke 
wMeh the Presbvtery have decreed against him. But 
1m caniKrt think that his unfortunate misdemeanour, cir- 
eooMtMiced as he was, merits a severer puoishment 
Bm oaa show, thai pains were at these times taken to 
kftd him en, When bereft of his senses, to subjects which 
~ likely fe call forth improper or indecent expres- 
The defender must mrther urge, ihat not being 
" r educeted for the church, he may, before he 
tite sscred character, have occasionally por- 
. I himself freedoms of expression wlilch are reckon- 
ed leaa cohnble among the laity. Thus, he may, during 
thtf time, have learned the songs which he is accused 
of anmog, though rather inconsistent with his clerical 
ehara&er. what then was more natural than that, 
vrh«n thrown off his guard by the assumed conviviality 
and artful solicitations of those about him, former im- 
prof»er habits, though renounced during his thinking mo- 
nentfe^ mij^ht assume the reins of his imagination, when 
Ims situation rendered him utterly insensible of their 
kimroprfetv 1" 

^ • > • «xhe Venerable Court wiU nowconaider how 
tkr three instances of ebriety, and their consequences, 
should ruin at once the character and the peace of mind 
ef the unfortunate defeudei^ and reduce nim, at hia ad- 
vanced time of life, aiiout sixty years, together with his 
•fed parent, to a state of beegary. He hopes his severe 
wdEBrmcs may be considerea aa some atonement for the 
li^iropneties of which he may have l>een guilty ; and 
tbat ttie Venerable Court will, in their judgment, remem- 
bairmeFey. 

" Id respect whereof, dec. 

Waltsr Scott." 

This argument (for which he received five gui- 
neas) waa sustained by Scott in a speech of consi- 
derable length at the bar of the Assembly. It was 
fu the most important business in which any soli- 
citor had as yet employed him, and Tlu Club mas- 
tered strong in the gallery. He began m a low 
voice) but by degrees gathered more confidence ; 
and when it became necessary for him to analyze 
the evidence touching a certain a|nny- wedding, 
iMeated some very coarse specimc^of his client's 
alleged cooversauon in a tone so bold and free, 
that he was called to order with great austerity by 
one of the leading members of the Venerable Court. 
This seemed to confuse htm not a little ; so wlieii, 
bj and by. he had to recite a stanza of one of 
M'Naught B convivial ditties, he breathed it out in 
a faint and hesitating style: whereupon, thinksng 
he needed encouragement, the allies m the gallery 
aatounded the Assembly by cordial shouts of hear ! 
hear !— encore 1 encore! They were immediately 
torned out, and Scott got through the rest o( hia 
harangue very Iktle to his own satisfaction. 

He believed, \n a word, that he had made a ct)m- 
plete fiiilure, and issued fro'tn the Court in a melan- 
choly mood. At the door he found Adam Fer- 
gOMoo waiting to inform hkn that the brethren so 
oncoramoniously extruded from the gallery had 



rate assassin ; and the species of criminality attaching it- 
self to those acts has been distinguished by the term 
db/cis, in opposition to the milder term culpa. Again, 
there may Be a third species of homicide, in which the 
perpetrator being the innocent and unfortunate ^ause of 
casual misfortune, becomes rather an object of compas- 
sion titan punishment. ' ^ 

" Admitting there mav have been ai certain degree of 
culpability in the panel's conduct, still there is oue .cir- 
cumstance which pleads strongly in his favour, so as to 
preclude all presumption of dote. This is the frequent 
practice, whether proper or Improper, of usinff this amuse- 
ment in the streets. It is a matter of public notoriety, 
that boys of all agea and descriptions are, or, at least till 
tile late very proper proclamation of the magistrBte& 
were to be seen eyery evening in almost every corner 01 
this city amusing themselves vrith firearms and sinail 
cannuus. and tiiat without being checked or interfered 
with. When the panel, a poor Ignoraul raw lad, lately 
dlschargetl from a ship oi" war, certainly not the most 
proper scliool to ieara a prudent aversion to unlucky or 
mischievous practices, observed the sons of gentlemen 
of tite fi£St respectability engaged in such amusenient% 
unchecked by their parents or.by the magistrates, sure- 
ly it can hardly be expected that he should discover that 
in imitating Uiem.in ao common a practice, he was consti- 
tuting himself hoeli* humam geneHet aifreteb the peat 
and scourge of mankhuk 



UFB OF SIR WALTER SOOTT. 



le; 



"lliere is, no donbtf attached to evenr, even the most 
iBBoceot of cMQsl twif titer, a certain degree of blame, 
laasnuch as ahnost eivery thiof of the kind might have 
been avoided, bad the siaver exhibited the strictest de- 

:ee of diligence. A»well>knowo and anthentic story will 

iustiate the proposition. A voung gentleman just nuurried 
to a voung lady of wliich he was passionately fond, in 
aflTectiooate triflinppresented at tier a pistol, of which lie 
had drawn the charge some days before. The lady, en- 
tering into the joke, desired him to Hre : he did so, and 
allot her dead ; the pistol havlnf been a^n ctiarged by 
his servant wittiout ma knowledge. Cau anv one read 
this story, and feitl any emotion but that of sympathy 
towards the unliappy husband 7 Can they ever connect 
the case with an idea of punishment 1 Yet, divesting it 
of these Uiteresting circumstances which act upon tlie 
Imagination, it is jNTOciiely that of ttie panel at yom* Lord- 
atiips' bar : and tlioagb no one will pretend to say ttiat 
such a tiotnicide is other than casual, yet there is not the 
slightest question but it might tiave been avoided tiad the 
killer taken the precaution of examining tils piece. But 
tills is not the degree of culpa which can raise a mis- 
lilrtvoe to the pitch of a crime. It is only an instance 
ttiac no accident can take place without Its afterwards 
being discovered that the chief actor might have avoided 
conunitting it. tiad he tieen gifted with the spirit of pro- 
Bhecy, or jvith such an extreme dexree of prudence as is 
ilmost eqfially rare. ^ 

"In ttie instance of sliooting at butts, or at a bird, the 
person killed must tiave l>een somewtiat in the line pre- 
vious to the discharge of the shot, otherways it could 
never tiave come near him. The shooter must therefore 
have been guilty cumhs levis aeu leviMimae in firing while 
the deceased was in svch a aitoation. In like manner, 
It is dUBenittD eoneehre how death shoidd happen in con- 
Mqueuee of a lx>xh)g or wrestUng match, without some 
•xceas npou the part of tlie killer. Nay, In the exercise 
of tlie martial amusements of our fore&thers. even by 
rojal couimlsaion, sliould a ctiampion be alain in running 
his barriers, or peribrming his tournament, it couM 
scarcely tiappen without some culpa teu levta aeu levi- 
aima on the part of his antagonist Yet all these are 
enomersted m the BngBah law-t>ooks as instances of 
easoal tiomicMe only ; and we may therefore safelv con- 
elude, ttiat by the law of the sister country a stignt de* 
tree of blame will not subject the slayer per infartumaim 
to the penalties of culpable homicide. 

'* Gtult, as an object of punishment, has Its origin In the 
mind and intention of the actor ; and therefore, where 
that b wanting, there is no proper object of chastisement 
A madman, for example, can no more properly be said to 
be guilty 01 murder, than, the sword with which he com- 
fflits it both being equally incapable of intending iniury. 
In the present case, in hke manner, although it ought no 
doubt to be mauer of deep sorrow and contrition to the 
panel, ttut Ills folly slioula have occasioned the loss of 
life to a fellow-creature ; yet, as that foUy can neither be 
termed malice, nor yet dk>th amoimt to a gross nesligence, 
be ought rather to be piUcd than condemned. The lact 
done can never be recalled, and it rests with your Lord- 
ships to consider tlie case of this unfortunate young man, 
who lias served his countir in an humble thoujih useful 
station, — deserved such a character as is given bini in the 
letter of his officers,— and been disabled in that service. 
You will best jud^e how (considering he has suflfered a 
confinement of six monttis) he can in humaoity be the 
object of further or severer punistiment, for a deed of 
which his mind at least if not his hand, is guiltless. 
When a case is attended with some nicety, your Lord- 
ships will allow mercy to incline the balance of justice, 
well considering, with the legislator of ttie east, ' It is bet* 
ter ten guilty should escape, than that one innocent man 
should perish In his innocence.' " 

The young sailor was acquitted. 

To return for a moment to Scott's love-afiair. I 
find him writing as follows, in March, 1795, to his 
cousin, William Scott, now Laird of Riiebum, who 
was then in the East Indies: /'The lady you al- 
lude to has lieen in town all this winter^ and i?oinf? 
a good deal into public, which has not m the least 
altered the meekness of her manners: Matters, 
you sec, sund just as they did." 

To another friend he writes thus, from Rosebank, 
on the 23d of August, 1795 .— 

^'It gave me the highest sstlsfaction to find, by the 
reeeipt of your letter of the Wfa current that vou hsve 
formed precisely the same dpnion with mo, both with 

regard to the IntcrpretaMon of 'e leUcr as 

highly flattering and fiivourable, and, to the mode of 
ooQdnot 1 OQght to pursue— for, after all, wliat she has 
pointed oof is fikt most prudent line of conduct for us 



both, at least tUl better d^a, which 1 Chink WMtii nov 
entitled lo suppose, she, as well as I mysel£ will look, tat- 
ward to with pleasure. If you were aorprised at reading 
the important billet, yon may guess how agreeably I w»s 
so at receiving it ; for Ihad, to anticipate disuipoiJitinent. 
—struggled to suppress every rising gleam oi hope, — and 
it would be very difficult to describe the mixed faelingi 
her leuer occasioned, whicli, enlre nous, terminated la 
a very hearty fit of crying. 1 read over her epIstJe aboat 
ten times a-day, and always with new admiratioD of tier 
generosity and candour— and as often take sliaoe lo 
myself for the mean suspicions, whioti, after knowing 
her 80 long, I could listen to, wtiile endeavoarUig la 
guess how she would conduct herself. To tell you the 
truth, I cannot but confess, thai my amour vr&pre, which 
one would expect should have been exalted, lias suffered 
not a little upon this occasion, throuxh a sense of my 
own unttorthinegSt pretty similar to that whieh afflicted 
Linton upon sitting down at Keir's table. I ought per- 
haps to tell you, what, kideed, you will perceive firocn near 
letter, tiiat I was always attentive, wtiile consulting with 
vou upon the subject of my declaration, nuher to under 
ttian over-rate the extent of our intimacy. By the waj, 
I must not omit mentioning the respect in which I 
liold your knowledge of the (air sex, and yonr capaoi^ 
of advising in these matters, since it certainly Is to voor 
encoorsxement ttiat I owe the present situation or my 
affairs. I wish to God, that, since you tiave acted aa 
so useful an auxiliary during my attack, wtitoh tiaa aoc- 
ceedcd In bringing the enemy to teroMu you would naat 
sit down before some fortress yourseK and were it aa 
impregnable aa the rock of Gibraltar, I aliould, notwilih* 
standing, have the highest expectations of yonr final 
success. Not a line from poor Jack— WtuU can he be 
doing 7 Hoping. I auppose, about some watering'PlaoOy 
and delugink his guts with apecifica of every kind— or 
lowering' and snorting in one corner of a post-ctMdae, 
with Kennedy, as upright and cold aaa poker, stuck Into 
the other. As for Linton, and Cral>,* 1 anticipale witk 
pleasure their marvellous adventures, in the coorse of 
which Dr. lUack's »e\f'dtnying ordinance will run a 
shrewd chance of behig neglected. They will tie a source 
of fun for the winter evening conversations. Metbinks 
I see the pair upon the mountains of Tipnerary— John 
whh a beard of three Inches, united and blended witk 
his ahany black locks, an eUwand-looktng cane, with a 
gilt head, in his tiand, and a bundle In a tiandkereliief 
over his stioulder, exciting the cuplditv of every Irish 
rappareewho passes tUm, bv his resemblance to a Jew 
pedlar who tias sent forward his pack— Linton, tired of 
trailing his long legs, exalted in state upon an Irish garooni 
without stirrups, i^id a tialter on Its head, tempting every 
one to ask, 

' Wlio Is ttiat upon the pony, 

So long, 80 lean, so raw, so bony 7 1 

—calculating, as he moves sJong, the eniensea of the 
salt horse— and grinning a ghastly smile, when the hollow 
voice of his fellow-traveller observes, "God! Adam, If 
ye gang on at this rnte, the eight shillings and seven- 
pence halfpennv will never carry us forward to my ancle's 
at Li^burn." Enough of a thorough Irish expedition. 

" We tiave a great marriage towards here — Scott of 
Harden, and a daughter of Count Bruht, the fomoas' 
chosi^plsyer, a lady of sixteen quarters, half-sister to 
the WyndlNuns. I wish they may come down soon, as 
we shall have fine racketting, of which I wiH, nrobably, 
get my share. I think of being in town some time next 
month, but whether for good and all, or only for a vlslc, 
I am not certain. Q, for November ! Our meeting will 
be a little f>nibarrassing one. How will she look, Ac 
dec. dtc., are the important subjects of my present coe- 
jectures— how different from what tlioy were three weeks 
ago ! I give you|Mlve to laugh, when I tell you seriously, 
Ihad brfrun lo Vkvindle, peak, and pine,' upon the sub- 
ject—but now, alfer the charge I tiave received, it were 
a shatne to reeemble Pharaoh's loan kine. If good Uvf nf 
and plenty of exercise can avert that calamity. I am 
in little danger of disobedience, and so, to conclude das* 
sicaRy. 

Dicite lo paean, et lo bis dirlte p<Ban !— 
Jubeo te bene valere, 

GuALTsnvs Soon." 

I have had much hesitation about inserting th^ 
preceding letter, but could not make up my mind to 

* Crab was the nfckname of a friend win liad aeeompanM 
FpTfusvnn ttut sommor on an Irish tour. Dr. Blaok. oelebialed 
for bis discoveries in cticnnsriT, was Adam Foiviisson's 
and had, it seems, given die fOMnc tiareHera a strooff 
tion tooching the dangeis of friah Itospitality. 

f Tliese lines are port of a sons on the Parlium^itarr i 
Littleton. They are quoted hi Bosws|l's lift of Mmson* 
nalljr published mlWl. Digitized by 



« on the Pariiunentary 
ewsU's Lift of JqIuimc 
IbTCiOOgle 



UFB Q9t SIR W JLTKr SCKXTT. 



^nii mh9/L MMM to ID* % VIO0I 6X^««it4 reflation 
<^ the whole oharacter m Scott al tjbia oridcal po- 
nod |0f his history, both literary and peiaonal j— 
more especially of hia habitiial ^rt to auiipress, 
as far as words ware ooocemed. the more tender 
feelings, which were in no heart deeper tkan in his. 

It must, I think, have been, while he was indalK- 
ing his vag(^ondv^nt during the auUioin of irfM. 
that Miss Aikin (afterwarda Mra. Barbanld) paid 
her visit to Edinburgh, and entenained a parnr at 
Mr. DugahL Stewarra by reading Mr. William Tay- 
lor's then unpubhshed version of Burger's Lenore. 
In the fi^aay on Imitation^ of Popular Poetry the 
reader has a fall aecount of the interest with which 
Scott heard, some weeki afterwards, a friend's im- 
perfect recollection of this nerformance ; the anzie- 
•ty with which he sought after a copy of the origiiial 
German ; the delight with which he at length pe- 
rused ii ; and how. having juai been reading the 
apecimena of ballad poetry introduced into Lewis's 
romance of The Monk, he colled to mind the eariy 
facility of veraifioation which had Iain so long in 
abeyance, and ventured to peomiae hia friend a 
vhymed tranalation of " Lenore" from hia own pen. 
The friend in <]ueation waa Miss Cranstoun, after- 
nt^rda Oounteas of PnrgatalL the sister of his friend 
Oeoige Cranatoun, now Lord Corehouse. He 
began the task, he tells us, after supper, and did not 
xetire to bed until he had finished it, having by that 
^ time worked himself into a state of ezdtament 
which set sleep at defiance. 

Next mommg, before breakfrMt, be carried his 

as. to Miss Cranatoun, who was not only delight- 
bttt aatoniahed at it ; for I have aeea a letter of 

hera to a ^"♦■nl frifrirl ir ♦' ^■■TnTTy^in which ahe 

aaya— "Ui ■ •• , s-- .\'rr ."Scoit is kuuiu to 

turn out u ]:iJ,^tL— sjjujLlidiiju of a ^lons I Hurik 
between Buriif aud Gray." The same day hu r* Jid 
it also to luH friend Sir AWxiii rider Wixhit whoietaias 
a vivid re^'ollMcuuni^f the hiuh eiraiti uf utiibt^sia^m 
into which \\u hnd be*ii malted by dwelUrjp rm ihe 
wild uneart-hly imoittry it[%h& Clermnn bar^X " He 
read it ov&t to luc,^^ tasys Sir AlnatidcA '* i» .a 
very alow und soI<?ma Lon(\ and after we had uiiid 
a few words tihont lis nierii^ continued 10 look at 
the fire ail r[i[ nnd m nixing for (H>u)iti minutes, uniil be 
at length Imri^t out v^iiU 'J wish to Heavpp t ocild 

St a skill E and twu rrij«ss-!xui':i!^,' " Wood anid 
at if hf^ would accoinpany htm Id ihe hou.'^i^ of 
John Bell, tbd celebmLed aurgeoti, he hod no cEuLibt 
tkis wish might be easily gratified. They went 
thither accordingly on the instant ;— -Mr. Bell (who 
waa a great humourist) smiled on hearing the object 
of their visit, and pointing to a eioset, at the comer 
of Ilia library, bade Walter enter and choose. From 
a well-furniehed museum of mortality, he selected 
^rtbwith what seemed to him the handsomest 
aknll and pair of cross-bones it contained, and 
wrapprag them in his handkerchief carried the for- 
midable bundle home to George's Square. The 
trophies were immediately nwunted on th^ top of 
hia little bookcaaei and when Wood visited him, 
after many years of absence from this country, he 
found, them in possession of a similar position in 
hia dreaaingroom at AbbotsfonL 

All this occurred in the beginning of April, 1796. 
A few days afterwards, Scott went |0i pay a visit at 
a country house, where he expected to meet the 
*' lady of hia love." Jane Anne Cranatoun wsa in 
the aecret of his attachment, and knew, that how- 
ever doubtful might be Miss 's feeling on 

that suhieot she bad a high admiration of Scott's 
abihties, ana often corresponded mih him on litera- 
ry matters ; so, after he had left Bdinburgh, it oc- 
curred to her that ahe might perhapa forward his 
views in this quarter, by presenting him in the cha- 
racter of a pnnted author. William Erskine being 
called into her counaels, a few copies of the ballad 
were forthwith thrown offin the most elegant style, 
and one richly bound and blasoned followed Scott 
in the course of a few days to the country* The 
verses were read and approved of, and Miss Cran- 
atonn at least flattered herself that he had not 



made hia firat appaaranae in tvpaa Id no patponk^ 
I ought to have mentioned before, that in Jirte, 
1796, he wap appointed one of the curators of the 
Advooate^a Library, an office always reserved for 
those members of the faculty who have the reputa- 
tion of aoperior seal in literary affairs. He had for 
colleagues David Hume, the Professor of Scbta 
Law, and Malcolm Laing, the historian ; and hia 
diacharge of his functions roost have given satis- 
fsction, fori find him fUrther nominatMTin March, 
ir"" ^ • r with Mr. Robert Hodgson Cav, an 
ai i.i':^ . } gentleman, afterwards Judge of the 
A JhnruSry ( 'airt in Scotland, to '* put the Pacolty'B 
oiKiri' t -ft ni'^als in proper srranifement,** 

On (Ih< 4th of June. 1795, (thebirth-davof Geotge 
Ul,) rlu ri^ «eems to have been a formidable liot m 
Edjntiumh, ond Scott is found again in the front. 
On [fiv Tirht he writes as follows to his aunt, Cfiris- 
tinn HrHlifrford, who was then in the north df Scot- 
land, nrid hnd meant to visit, among other plao^ 
thr rt'?id<"nf't-of the "chdre adorable.^' 

" Edinburgh, 6ih Juaa, 1796^^ 
** tfa Chftre Amie, 

" Nothing doubting that your ourioeity will be upon the 
tenters to hear th« wolkderful •veotB of the loDf.«jipeeied 
4th of June, I take the pen to UUbrm you thst not obe 
worth mentJkiniDg haa takeo place. Were I ineliasdito 
probzity. I might, indeed, narrate at length hmp near a 
thousand gentlemen (myself among the aumbar) ofisrad 
their •emces to the magietrates to act as cotutabim f>r 
the preservation of the pesce^how thehr servipea were 
accepted— wliat fine tpaechcs were made upon the eooa- 
sioo— A<m> they were furnished with pretty painted bratvn 
batons— how they were aasembled In the aisle of tHe 
New Church, and treated with claret and sweetmssfsi 
how Sir John Whlteibrd was chased by the mobj sad 
how Tom, Sandy Wood and I, rescued bisn, and die-, 
parsed his tormentors a bemus otwps <U batm» M m 



tlie Juatice-Clerk's windows were broke by a few bo|«f 
and how a large body of eonstablas and a prsaa|gBnf or 
near two hundred men arrived, and were much dissp- 



pointed at Ending the coast eoclrely dear; with msiy 
other matters of equad importance, but of wlkieh yon 
must be conleotedto remaiq In igooran^e till you ralkitti 
to your castle. Berknialr^ every thing, with the axcep- 
tion of the very trifling cireumsiancea above memlonM], 
was perfectly quiet— much mors so than during aqj 
King's binh'day I can recollect That very stiflnesa, 
however, shows chat something ia brewinc among our 
frieode the IXemocrats, which they will take their own 
time of bringing forward. By the wise precautiona of the 
maglMtFotes, or rather of Uia provost, and the spirited 
conduct of the gentlemen, I hope their •designs will be 
frustrated. Our association meets to>nlgbt, wnen we are, 
to be divided into diitrictiH according to the place of oar 
abode, places of rendexvousv sod captains named ; mi 
that, upon the hoisting of a flag on the Tron^eqpls, 
and ringing out all the large bells; we can be on dtuy In 
less than five minutes. I am sorry to aay that the com* 
plfixioo of the town seems to justify all precautions of this 
Kind. T hope we fhall demean ourselves as quiet and 
peaceable ma^ietratea; and Intend, for the purpose of 
leamintf the duUes of my new office, to coo diligently tha 
lascnictiunB delivered to the watch by our brother DCf- 
berry, of facetious memory. So mnch for infonnalioi. 
By way of inoulry, nrsy let me taow^hat i^wben.7S« 
find any idle hour—now you s^comphshed tse perilous 
passage of her Majestie's Ferry without the assistance 
and escort of your preux-chevalisr, and whether you 
will receive them on your return— haw Miss R. and you 
are spending yonr lime, whether sta(Tt>narY or otherwise 
—above ali, whether jou have been at •*•••••, and all 
the Acs. decs, which the question involves. Having 
made out a pretty long scratch, which, as Win Jenkins 
says, will take you some time to decipher. I ahaH only in- 
form you fiuiher thst I shall tirs excessively UU you re- 
turn to your shop. I beg to be remembered to Miss 
Kerr, and in particular to La Belle Jeanne. Best love to 
Miss Butheriord ; and believe me ever, my dear Miss 
Christy, sincerely and aflfectlonately your 

WaLTBS flCOTT." 

During the autumn of 1798, he visited agfun hia 
favourite haunts in Perthahire and Forfarshire. It 
was in the course of this tour that he spent a day or 
two at Montrose with \m old tutor Mitchell, and 
astonished and grieved tiiat worthy Presbyienaa 

*T1ifaftQnrwastoldby tbeCounteaiof Parptanonberdestb • 
hed to Captain BaaaHajL See his i^o^ fisfn^bU^. SS3. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



UFR OF smwiiiTBR scxn*r. 



t by bi» *^a\ »bout witehetjt ind fairiet. The unlr let- 
. i«r of hia writieri during this ri petition, tKiii E nave 

J covered, wai^ nddreo?^ to anotlu'r of hij§ clerical 
ne net i^Kin e by na in eti pi » o f M i tch siir » e t o mi>— Mr. 
Walker, tht!^ mini^rt!^ of Dunfioiar, and it in chiefly 
0CCLiiMtid wiiih ui fliCLCKint of his rfeanrtrUee at a 
. vitnfied forij in Kiucaptiineshire^ coruxnonty called 
ZfVif Pin^Ua^* CiiJttU^ and,, nccordin;:; ti> trEidition, 
the94xtt|t; of die tviutder oi Kftinelh IL hy liii mis- 
Ues9. W^jiife in Lhi^ north, be visited nim tbe resi- 
^ODGO Qtf I be lady who hftd tiow* for ao many years, 
been Oie objeci of iiii atiAchjnent ,• nnd tba[ bis re- 

§ Lotion wAfi Dot adequate to hi« L'^xj^KcLaLionti may 
<? guiheK4il prt^uy L'ltsarly from sonic t^sproRhbnp in 
• lifUtxT nddreiiW to bim when at MniUrosf' by* hia 

n Walter Scott, £§q^ Pott-Qffiei, Montrot. 
•* Dear Bcott,— 

" Far be it from roe to afflrm that there are no dirioera 
In the land. Hie voice of the people and the voice of 
God are loud in their tesUoioay. Two years afo, when I 
was in the neighbourhood of Montrose, we had recourse 
te* ammeuient one evening to cblrooiancy, or^ as 
the vulgar say, having our fortunes read : and read mine 
ivare in such a sort, that efiher my letters must have been 
teapeeted, or the devil was by in nit own proper person. 
I never mentioned the chreumstance since, for obvious 
Taaaons ; bm now that yon are on the spo^ I feel it my 
bounden duty to conjure you not to put your shoes rash- 
ly iW>m off yonr feet, for yoo are not standing on holy 
fround. 

■ ■ **! bless the gods for condacting your poor dear soul 
■al^ly to Perth. When I conaider the wilds, the forests, 

( the lakes, the rocks— and the ^irlts In which yoo must 
have whliq>ered to their startled echoes, it aroazeth me 
bow you escaped. Had you but dismissed your little 
■quire and Earwig,* and spent a few days as Orlando 
^•ottki iiave dones aD posterity might have profited by it ; 
bm to trot qofetly away wlthoot so mach as one stanza to 

, despair— never talk lo me of love again— never, never, 
neveri 1 am dying for your collection of ejqtioits. When 
Witt yon return 1 In the ntean time, Heaven speed you f 
Be aober, and hope to the end. 

" William Taylor^ translation ^f your ballad is pub- 
llsbed, and so inferior, that I wonder we could tolerate it. 
Dufald Stewart read yours to •••••••••• the other day. 

When he came to the fetter dancct he looked up, and 

Kor ••«♦♦••••* was altting with his hands nailed to hU 
ees, and the big tears rolling down his innocent nose 
iO'SO piteous a manner, that Mr. Stewart could not help 
borating out a laoghing. An ansry man was •*•**•— ^. 
I have seen another edition too. but it is bek>w contempt. 
60 many copies make the ballad fiimous, so that every 
dav adda to your renown. 

^This here place is very, very dull. Ersklne Is In 
London : ny dear Thomson at Dally ; Macfarlan hatching 
Kapt— and Geoigel Foutitainliall.f I have nothing more 
to tell you, but that I am most affectionately yours. Many 
an anxkras thought I have about you. Farewell. 

J. A. C.»' 

The affair in which thb romantic creature took so 
Hvely an interest, was now approaching its end. It 
WBA known, before this autumn closed, that the 
lady of his vows had finally promised her hand to 
his amiable rival ; and, when the fact was announ- 
ced, aoma of thase who knew Scott the best, appear 
10 have totertained very serious apprehensions as 

• A Sffrmat twj' and pmijr. 
t •• * D«l fturt i^Ht Ik'HT^—Thp mr^jo aliinea dear ;— 
I>ntt ftflr trt f^rt^ mth im 1 
Burmli r ^niTnli f ih>^ ilend wui ridii'"— 

' Oh, WdUnflk let thpB) \f^r 
** * Stv tKrf*? . ti^ tiif tt: * Wlim ( yonder iwbgi 

CiblhEi nifA *ff<i-l 1>K' Bfpjinod Ti*^!; 

A murd iw in ima dwn. 
'* • Halloo t thoa lekm. follow hero. 

lb bridal bed we rkle; 
And thou ^halt prance a fetter dance 

Before me and my bride.' 
" And huny, Itiirry I clash, clanh, clash I 

The waited fonn deacendf ; 
And (laK as wind, throaeh hazle-boah, 

The wild career ^tteedi. 
" Trnmn. trnroD I along the land they, rsds s 

fiplavb. tplacb l along t|» tea ; 
The looerse is rvd. the utter drops blood. 

Tiie aiuihinf pebbln flee." 
t Qaorfe Cramtoon, Lord Oorohoose. * 
I Dednoaa bj» Lord FeuntainhalL 



to the afiect which the diaappohitment inighf hi^ 
upon his feelikias. For etample, one of those br^ 
tners of the Jmuntain wrote as follows to another • 

of them, on the 12th October, 1796:— **». 

marries Miss . This is not «ood newa. I 

always dreaded there was some self-deception on 
the part of our romantic friend, and I now shudder 
at the violence of his most irritable and ungovern- 
able mind. Who is it that says, * Men have died, 
and worms have eaten them, but not for lovb V 1 
hope aincerely it may be verined on this occasion." • 
Scott had, however^ in all likelihood, digested hia 
daipag the sohtary nde in the Hiffhlaads^ 



lo 



agonv c , _ , 

which Miss Granstoun's last letter alludes. 

Talking of this story with Lord Kinedder, I once 
asked him whether Scott nev«r made it the su^aet 
of verses at the period. His own confeseion. that, 
even during the time when he had laid iLside the 
habit of versifieation. be did sometimes commit ** a 
sonnet on a raistresrs eyebrow/' had not then ap- 
peared. Lord Kinedder answered, **Oye&hemaae 
many Uttle stantas about the lady, and be some- 
times showed them to Cranstotm, Clerk, and my- 
self—but we really thought them in general very 
poor. Two thinga of the kind, however, have been 
preserved— and one of them was done just afler the 
conclusion of the business." He then took a voluma 
of the English Minstrelsy^ and pointed out fo me ' 
some lines on a vieUt, which had' not at that time 
been included in Scott's collected works. Loni 
Kinedder read them over in his usual iropreseivei 
though not quite unaflected, manner, and said, " I 
remember well that, when 1 first saw these, 1 teld 
him they were his best ; but he had touched thena 
up afterwards." 

" The violet in iur greenwood bower, 
Where birchen boughs with hazels mingle, 

May boast itself tl)e fairest flower 
In glen or copso or forest dingle. 

" Though fair her gems of azure hue 
Beneath the dcwdrop's weight reciluing, 

I've seen an eye of loveMer blue 
Bfore sweet through watery lustre shfnlog. 

" The summer sun that dew shall dry, 

Ere yet the sun be past its morrow, 
Nor longer in my false love's eye 

ilemamed the tear of pSrthig aorrow !" 

In turning over a volume of MS. papers, I have 
found a copy of verses, which, from the hand, SeoU 
had evidently written down within the last ten 
years of hie life. They are headed. " To Time-^by 
a Lady'*— but certain initials on the back satiai^ 
me. that the authoress was no other than the objecc 
of his first passion. I think 1 must be pardoned for 
transcribing the lines which had dwelt so long ob 
his memory— leaving it to the reader's, fancy to 
picture the mood of mind in which the fingers of a 
gray-haired man may have traced such a relic of hia- 
youthful dreams. 

•* Filend of the wretch oppreas*d with grfei; 

Whose lenient hand, though slow, aappUea 
The balm that leads to care relief, 

Tbal wipes her teaia— that chscks her sigbs J 

" »Tls thine the wounded sool to heal 
That hopeless bleeds for sorrow's smart, 

Frr>m sterdniBfortune's shaft to steal 
The barblhat rankles tai the heart. 

•• What though with thee the roses fly. 

And iocund youth's gay reign is o'er ; 
Though dimm'd the lustre of the eye, 

And hope's vain dreams enchant no more : 
** Yet in thy train come soft eyed peace, 

Indifference with her heart of snow ; 
At her cold touch, lo ! . sorrows cease. 

No thorns beneath her roses grow. 
" O haste to grant the suppliant's prayer, 

Tb me thy torpid calm impart ; 
Rend from my brow youth's garland fiUr, 

But Uke the thorn that's in my heart. 
" Ah, why do fabling poets tell, 

That thy fleet wlnir< ootmrln tho wlodl 
Why feign thy cpurse of joy tne knei^ 



iinc'OrsiR yfAUTsit^oom. 



.»!¥« 



Cbam IvHti wftb Um veighior year* ; 
WHb ^h9 1 vkw morn's bliwbiog laccL 
▲ad Aail mUU evemnc with my lean." 



CHAPTER VIII. 

mUCATION or ballads AfTKR BfthOBS-- SCOTT 
4I9ABTBB-MA8TZB OP THB BMlfBUBOH LIOTIT-ilOBSS 
— CaCCUBSmr TO COMBBBLA2n>— CriLBLAND WBLLS— 
MISS CABFBirrBfh—BfABBIAOE.— 1796-1 79T. 

Rebbujng, aa usuaU against circumstances, Scott 
seems to have turned with renewed ardour to his 
literary pursuits ; and in that same October, 1796, 
he was prevailed on," as hepkyfully expresses it, 
by the requ^cst o/frunds, to indulge his own va- 
nity, bv puotishintc the translation of Lenore, with 
that of Ine Wild Huntsman, also from B'ureer, in a 
thin quarto." The Uttle volume, which has no 
Author's nanue on the titleDage. was printed for 
Manners and Millrr of Edinburgh. The first nam- 
ed of these respectable publishers had been a fellow- 
student in the German class of Dr. Willich; and 
this circumstance orobably suggested the negotia- 
tion. It was condocted by William Erskine, as 
appears from his postscript to a letter addressed to 
3bott by his sister, who, oefbre it ivwhed its deso- 
satiofi, had become the wife of Mr. Campbell (Ool- 
oahouh) of Clathick (and KelIermont)--in after- 
€11^ Lord*Advocate of Scotland, This was ano- 
ther of Scott's dearest female friends— the hmnble 
home which she shared with her brother during his 
early struggles at the bar, had been'the scene of ma- 
s ny of his nappiest hours ; and her letter affords 
■uch a j;>leasiDg idea of the warm affeciionateness 
of th« mtie oircle, that 1 eannot forbear inserting it. 

To Walter Scott^ Etq. Rottbank^ KeUo. 

'< AbDday Brsning. 
*'ir it were not that stiquvtiCe and I were constantly 
at war, T should think myself very blameable in thus tres- 



psssivg agalBst one of its law* ; bat as it Is loof smee I 
mreswore its dominion, I have aequlred a presorlpilve 
Tight to act as ,1 wiU— «nd I shall accordlnf ly anticipate 



the station of a matron in addresshig a young man. 

**I eaii axpress bat a very, verv little, of what I feel, 
ao4 stiaU ever feel, for your bnintermitcing friendship 
and attention. I have ever odnsidered you as a brother, 
and ahall now thinic myself entitled to make even larj^er 
elalma on your ccmfldenee. WeH do I remember the 
dmh conference vre huety held together ! The tntendon 
of imfbldiJiff my own future ftte was often at ray tips. 

**lcaiHiot t«llyon my distress at leaving this house, 
wherein I have oojoyed so much real happiness, and 
ilvlBf up the service of so gentle a owster, whose yoke 
vits Indeed easy. 1 will therefore only commend him 
to your care as the last bequest of Mary Anne Erskine. 
and conjure yon to continue to each other throngh all 
vour jpllgrimage as you have oommenoed it. May every 
m^piBess attend yon. Adieu i 

** Your most ^ncere friend and sisrer, 

M. A. E." 

Mr. Erskine writes on the other page*-" The 
pqemj m« gorgeous, but I have made no bargain 
with any bookseller. I have told M. and M. that 
I won't be Baiisfied with ^ndemnit^, but an ofier 
ranst be made. They will be out before the end of 
tbe week.V On what terms the publiition raally 
took place, I know not. 

It hms alrendy been mentioned, that Scott owed 
his copy of Biurger's works to the young lady of 
Harden, whose marriage occurred in the autumn of 
17M. She WBS daughter of Count Brtkhl of Mart- 
kirchen, long Salon ambassador at the court of 
St. James's, by his second wi£9 the Countess-Dow- 
ager of Egremont i and though I believe she had 
ntyer at this time been out 'of England, spoke her 
father's language perfectly, corresponded regularly 
with mi^ny of her relations on the Cohtinent, nnd 
was Very fond of the rising literature of the Grer- 
mauB. The youn^ kinsman was introduced to her 
soon after her arrival at Mertonn. and his attach- 
ment to Grerman studies excited ner attention and 
interest Mrs. Scott supplied him with many 
standard Grerman books, besides BUrgerf and the 
8 



, nA of an AMwig's dioti^iwry ktim his oM allf, 
^George Constable, (Jonathan Otdblick.) enabled 
I him to master their contents sufficiently for the 

furpoeea of translation. The ballad of the Wild 
[untsman appears to have been executed, under 
Mrs. Scott's eye, during the month that preceded 
his flrst publication ; and he was thenceforth en- 
gajB^d m a succession of versions from the dramas 
of Meier and Il8end, several of which are still ex- 
tant in his MS., marked 1796 and 1797. These are 
all in prose like their originals ; but be also versified 
«t the same time some Ivrical fragmenu of Goethf , 
as, for examplci the Moriachtan Ballad, 

" What yonder gKmmers so white on ihemountalB*" 

and the song from Claudina von Villa Bella. He 
consulted his friend at Mertoun on all these essays ; 
and 1 have often heard him say. that among those 
many " obligations of a distant dBte which remain- 
ed impressed on his memory, after a life spent in a 
constant interchange of frieudship and kmdness," 
he counted not as the least the lady's frankness 
in correcting his Scotticisms, ai^ more eapecially^ 
his Scottish rhymea. 

His obligations to this lady were indeed various*- 
but I doubt, after all, whether these were the moat 
importuAt. He used to say, that she was the first 
^poman of real fashion that took him up ; th^t she 
used the privileges of her sex aiid station in the 
truest spint of kmdness ; set him right as to a thou- 
sand little trifles, which no one else would have 
ventured to nouce; and, in short, did for him what 
no one but an elegant woman can do for a yotujg 
man, whose early days have been spent in narrow 
and provioical circles. "When I first saw Sir 
Walter," she writes to nae, "he waa about four or 
fivie-and-twanty, but looked nauch younger. He 
seemed bashful and awkward ; hut there were from 
the first such gleams of superior sense and spirit la 
his conversation, that I was hardly surprised when, 
after our acquaintance had ripened a Httle, I felt 
myself to be talking with a man of genius. He 
was most modest about himBelf, and showed his 
little pieces apparently without any consciomnesB 
that they^MMild possess any claim on particular at- 
tention. Nothing so easy and good-humoured bb 
the way in which he received any l^nls I might 
oflferr when he seemed to be tampenng with the 
King's English. I remember particularly how he 
laughed at himself when I maide him take notice 
that ' the little two dogs,' in some of his lines, did 
not please an Enghsh ear accustomed to * the two 
Uttle dogs.' " 

Nor was this the onlyr person at Mertoon who 
took a hvdy interest in ms porsuita. Harden ente^* 
ed into all the foelings of his beautiful bride on this 
subject; and his mother, the Lady Diana Scott* 
daughter of the last Earl of Marchmont, did so jno 
leas. She had conversedi in her early daya. with 
the brightest ornaments of the cycle of Queen 
Ann& and preserved rich stores of anecdote, well 
calculated to gratify the curiosity and excite tha 
ambition of a young enthustast in literature. Lady 
Diana soon appreaated the min8tr|Lof the dan i 
and, surviving to a remarkable BfMphe had the 
satisfactipn oi ^ing him at the hei|nt of his emi- 
nence — the sohtary person who could give the 
autnor of Marmion personal reminisconces of Pope.* 

On turning to James Ballaiuyne's Memorandum^ 
(already quoted,) I find an account of Scott's jour- 
ney fi-om Rosebank to Edinburgh, in the November 
after the Ballade firom, Biirger were published, 
which gives an interesting notion of his literary 
zeal ana openingambition at this remarkable epoch 
of his life. Mr. Ballantyne had settled in Kelso as 
a solicitor in 1795; but not immediately obtainiM 
much professional prsctice, time hung heavy on hia 
handSk add he willingly listened, in the summer of 
1796, to a proposal of somp of the neighbouring 
nobility ana gtntry respecting the establiahmenl 



« Mr. Scottof Hargep'fl ligfat to tho , 
representing, through hia nujther, the line 
lowed by the House of Locd* to issp^ized by 



Polwarth, i 



LIF& OF SIR WAI.TER SCOTir. 



of a weeklf newipapeK^ in oppOMdon to one of a 
democratic tendency, then widelf circulated in 
Roxburghshire and the o iher Border countiea. He 
undertook the printing and editing of this new jour- 
nal, and proceieded to London, m order to engage 
correspondents and make other necessary prepa- 
rations. While thus for the first time in the metro- 
poiis, he happened to meet with two authors, whose 
reputations were then in full bloom-^namely, Tho- 
mas Holcroft and William Godwin— the former a 
popular dramatist and novelist ; the latter, a novel- 
ist of far greater merit, but *' still more important- 
Iv distinguished," says the Memorandum before me, 

by those moral, legal, poliiical. and religious hete- 
fodoxies, which his talents enabled him to present 
to the world in a very captivating manner. His 
Caleb Williams had then just come out, and occupi- 
ed as much public attent^n as any work has done 
before or since." " Both these eminent persons," 
Baltantyne continues, "I saw pretty frequently: 
and being anxious to hear whatever I could tell 
about the literary men in Scotland, they both treat- 
ed me with remarkable freedom of communication. 
They were both distinguished by the clearness of 
their elocution, and very full of triumphant confi- 
dence in the truth of their systems. They were as 
willing to speak, therefore, as I could be to hear; 
and as I put my questions with all the fearlessness 
of a very yroung man^ the result was, that I carried 
away copious and mteresting stores of thought 
and mformation ; that the greater part of what I 
hoard was fiill of error, never entered into my con- 
templation. Holcroft at this time was a fine-look- 
ing, lively man, of green old age, somewhere about 
sixty, (iodwin, some twenty years younger, was 
more shy and reserved. As to me, my delight and 
enthusiasm were boundless." 

After retttffitng bomci Beillantync mado another 
journey :o Gtasfffm^ for the pufcha^ of iyiiGsi tind 
on tjisiering ihn Kebo ounck for this purpoae — " It 
wouhl not be eaaif," aaya he, " lo express my joy on 
fiwiing ih^it Mr Scott wise lo be one of my pnrt- 
nersii) the tamas^s the onljr c>tliK»r paflson^fr being 
a finc^ stout, ntiiBcular old QuakiT. A very faw 
TDJlei roL^stahEisfied na on our anrienl foatinj^. 
TVavellmi? not imfi^ hatf ao apped^ then us ii is 
now, ihcri^ wn*? plenty of l^i^or^ for talk, aotl Mr. 
ctl] ' 



8<>ott Mas vx^ctly what is called [lie old man. 
atM>urtdi^,a^in thE^ drivs of boyhoodi in !tsf 



He 



of life; but, wearied •• til iush iMdm bad Iml._ 
with that succession of feeble, flimsy, lackadaincal 
trash which followed the appearance of the Re- 
liques by Bishop Percy, the opening o( soch a new 
vein of popular poetrv as these verses revealed 
would have been enougn to produce lenient critics 
for far inferior translations. Many, aa we haw 
seen, sent forth copies of the Lenore about tii« 
aame time ; and some of these might be thounfat 
better than Scott's in particular paaaagiea ; but, on 
the whole, itaeems to nave been ielt and acknow- 
ledged by those best entitled to judge, that he de- 
served the palm. Meantime, we inust not forget 
that Scotland had lost that very year the great poet 
Bums, her glory and her shame. It b at least to 
be hoped that a general sentiment of self-reproaofa, 
as well as of sorrow, had been excited by the pr^ 
mature extinction of such a light; and, at all eveota 
it is agreeable to know that they who had watched 
his career with the most afiectionate concern, were 
among the first to hail the promise of a more for- 
tunate successor. Scott found on his table, when 
he reached Edinburgh, the following letters &om 
two of Burns's kindest and wisest friends :— 

To Walter Scgtl^ B*q. Advpcate^ Oeorg^t Sqitare, 
«MyI>ear8ir, 

" I beg yoQ wiO accept of my bea tbaiUcs for the 1k^ 
vour you have done me by sendinx me four copies of 
your beautiful translations. I shall retain two ot thesm, 
aa Mrs. Stewajrt and I both aet a high vaJue on them aa 
giAs from the author. The other two I shall take tba 
earliest opportunity of transmitting to a friend in Eng- 
land, who, 1 hope, may bo instrumental in making their 
merits more generally known at the time of their first 
appearance. In a few weeks, I am ftilly persuaded, tihey 
will engage pabKc attention to the utmost extent of y 



wisher wraiout the aid of any 



lorp, and had ntiw added to tlio stock, as \m r^ci- 
tat40f^s iihowed^ trnniny of tho^e fine ballsda which 
afiisrwardu cortipoeml thv Minstrelsy. Indfrix^ I 
was more delishipd with hiiti thnn ever; nnd, by 
way of rcijrisal, I oppncd on hini rnv London bud- 
l^t vo\hcied frfjm Holcrofl and Ooawio t doubt 
if Boswrlj rvrr j'li »w: d hjnt^iif ti tiiorc b-kdfid /dc- 
parttr ilij... I did oil liiis ouca^joo. Hour ofier huur 
passed away, and found my borrowed eloquence 
still flowing, and my companion still hanging on 
my lipa with unwearied interest. It was customa- 
ry in those days to break the journey (only forty 
miles) by^ dining on the road, the consequence of 
which was that we both became rather oblivious ; 
and after we had re-entered the coach, the worthy 
Quaker felt q/ke vexed and disconcerted with the 
silence whicMbd succeeded so much conversation. 
* I wish,* sanrhe, * nriy young friends, that you 
would cheer up, and go on with your- pleaiant 
songs and tales as before : they entertamad me 
much/ And so," says Ballantyne, "it went on 
again until the evening found us in Edinbur^ ; 
and from that day, until within a verv short time 
of his death— apenod of not less than nve-and- thir- 
ty years— I may venture to say that our intercourse 
never flagged." 

The reception of the two ballads had, in the mean 
timei, been favourable, in his own circle at least. The | 
manv inaccuracies and awkwardnesses of rhyme 
and diction to which he alludes in republishing them 
towards the close of his life, did not prevent real 
loTsrs of poetry from seeing that no one but a poet 
could have transfused the daring imagery of the 
<lerinan in a style so fi^e, bold, masculine, and full 
• The Kebo Mail 



Dffcmr 

Trtiata 
ver. i ever am, Dear Sir, yours most truly, 

** DOOALD STSWAKT. 

" Canongate» Wednesday evening.*' 
To tht BhuM. 
" Dear Sir, 

" On my return from Gardross, where I had been lor 
a week, I found yours of the 14th, which had surely loi- 
tered by the way. I thank you most cordiaHy for yonr 
present. I meet with little poetry now*a-dajs that toochac 
my heart ; but your translations ezehe mingled emotkMis 
or pity and terror, insomuch, that 1 would not wish an|r 
person of weaker nerves to read TfiZlt'ofn and Beteia 
before going to bed. Great must be the original, if it 
equals the translation in enercy and pathos. One wonJil 
almost suspect you have used as mnch liberty wMh B&r- 

5;er as Macpherson was suspected of doing with Oasis n 
t is, however, easier to btukapeir you. Sober reastm 
rejects the machinery as unnatural; it reminds ma» 
iiowever, of the magic of Shakspcare. Nothing has a, 
finer effect than the repetition of certain words, that am 
echoes to the sense, aa much as the celebrated lines in 
Homer about the rolling up and &lling down of the 
stone i—Trampf tramp^ eplas/t, sptosA, is to me perfectly 
new;— and much of the imagery is nature. I abould 
consider this same muse of yours (if you carry the in> 
trigue fiur) more likely to steal your heart from the law 
than even a wife. I am, Deaf Sir, your most obedient, 
humble servant, 

" Jo. RaasAT. 
" Ochtertyre, 30th Nov. 1796." 

Among other Uterary persons at a distance^ I 
may mention George uhalmera, the odebrated an* 
tiquary, witit whom he had been in correspondenoa 
from the beginning of this year, supplying hhn wkh 
Border ballads for the illustration of bis researches 
into Scotch history. This gentleman had been 
made acquainted with Scott's large collections in 
that way, by a mutual friend, Dr. Somerville, ra^ 
nister of Jedburgh, au^or of the History of Qiieen 
Anne,* and the numerous MS. copies commnni- 

• Some extracts from this vfnenible penon's ufinobliilied Me- 
moire of bis own Life, have btmi kindly sent tome by his son, the 
weH-koown phrsician of Cbeliea CoUcfe; from which it aposm 
thai the reverend doctor, and more particularly itjll hb \nh, a 
\ndj of remarliable talmt and humour, had Ibrmed a Idch nottpa 
of Scott's futore'enrinence at a my early period of hunre. vr. 
8. suiriyed to aitreat old age. prasenrinir his faculties quite en* 
tire, and 1 have ipeot manypleasant holm under his boapitiMa 
roof in company with 8|r waiter Scott We beard him praadb 
an exceflont circuit ■ermon when he was upwarrh of ninety-two. 
and at the Judses' dinner afterwsnb, he wsa amooff the fsyest of 
theoooipaDf. 



Digitized by V^OOQlC 



UFE OF SIR WALTBR SCOTT. 



I to him in ooaaequ6n6e» were recdldd in the 
le of 1799, when the plan of the *' BlinetrelBy'* 



cited 

course ^ - 

began lo uke ihape. Chalmers writes in great 
transports about Scott's versionB: but weightier 
encouragement came from Mr. Taylor of Norwich, 
himself the first translator of the LenoriB. 

** I need oat teU yon, sir," (he writes,) " with how much 
esffemeas I opened jour volume— with how tnneh glow I 
followed the Cheue— or with how oiach alarm 1 came to 
Witiiam and Helen. Of the latter I will nj nothing ; 
praise might seem hypocrisy — criticism envy. The ghost 
nowhere makes his appearance so well as with yoa, or 
his exit so well as with Mr. Spenser. 1 like very much 
the recurrence of 

* The scourge is red, the spar dxops Uood, 
The flashing pebbles Hee ;' 

but of Wiliiam and Helen 1 had resolved to say nothing. 
Let me retom to the CAottf, of which the metric stanxa 
atyle pleases me entirety— yet I think a few paiwages 
written in too elevated a atratai for the seneral spirit of 
the poeoL This age leans too much to the Darwin style. 
Mr. PercT'e Lenore owes its cokbiess to the adoption of 
this ,* and it seems peculiarly incongruous in the ballad— 
where habit has tought ns to expect simolicitT. Among 
the passages too stately and pompous, I ahoala reckon- 

* The mountain echoes startling vrake— 
And for devotion's choral swell 
Bzetiange the rude discordant noise — 
Fen fiunine marks the maddening throng 
With cold Despair's averted eye'— 

and perhaps one or two more. In the twenty-first stanza I 
prefer Burger's trampling the com into eiu^and duet, to 
your more metaphorical, and therefore less picturesque, 
* destructive sweep the field along.' In the thirtietli, 
'On whhrlwind's pinions swiftly borne,' to me seems 
less striking than the still dlsapparition of the tumult and 
bustle — the earth has opened, and he is sinking with his 
evil genius to the nether worla— as he approaches, dump/ 
rauaeht ee teie ein/emermeer— it should be rendered, 
therefore, not by *8ave what a distant torrent gave/ 
but by some somids which shall necessarily excite the 
idea of being h^leprunr—Oxe sound of simmeriiur seas 
of fire — ^pinings or gohlins damned— or some analogous 
noise. The forty-seventh sumza is a very great im- 
provement of the original. The proianest blasphemous 
speeches need not have been softened down, as in pro- 
portion to the impiety of the provocation increases the 
poetical probability of the final punishment. I should 
not have ventured upon these oriucisms, if did not think 
it required a microscopic eye to make any, and if I did 
not on the whole consider the Chase as a most spirited 
and beautiful translation. I remain (to borrow in an- 
other sense a concluding phrase from the Spectator,) 
your consiant admirer, 

"W. Taylor, Jew. 
« Norwich, 14fh Dec. 1796. " 

The anticipations of these gentlemen, that Scott's 
versionB would attract general attention in the 
south, were not fulfilled. He himself attributes 
this to the contemporaneous appearance of so many 
other translations from Lenore. " In a word," he 
says, " my adventure, where so many pushed oflT to 
sea, proved a dead loss, and a great part of the edi- 
tion was condemned to the service of the trunk- 
maker. This failure did not operate in any unplea- 
sant degree either on my feelings or spirits. I was 
eotdly received by strangers, but my reputation 
bogrni rather to increase among my own friends, 
and on the whole I was more bent to show the 
world that it had neglected something worth notice, 
• than to be affronted by its indiflTerence ; or rather, 
to speak candidly, I found pleasure in the literary 
labours in which I had almost by accident become 
engaged, and laboured less in the hope of pleasing 
others, though certainly without despair of doing 
so, than in a pursuit of a new and agreeable amuse- 
ment to myself."* 

On the 1 2th of Decemben Scott had the curiosity 
to witness the trial of one James Mackean, a shoe- 
inaker, for the murder of Buchanan, a carrier, em- 
ployed to convey money weeklv from the Glasgow 
bank to a manufacturing establishment auLanark. 
Mackean invited the carrier to Q>end the evening in 
his house ; conducted family worship in a style of 
mncli seeming fervour ; and then, while his friend 

• ReatsriuonPopolarPoetiT. 1830. 



was occopied, came behind hifUt and aknoatMvarad 
his head from his body by one stroke, of a raxor. 
I have heard Scoft describe the sanctimonious air 
which the murderer maintained during his trial- 
preserving ihroughout the aspect of a devout person^' 
who believed himself to have been hurried into his 
accumulation of crime by an uncontrollable exertion 
of diabolical influence; and on his copy of the 
" Life of James Mackean, executed 26th January, 
1797," I find the following marginal note':— 

^'T \icx\\ \Q ^•t^ LhJH wrtLched ninn when under 
seuk:aoe of di^ath, aluDg with my frirntj, Mr. ^Vil- 
liam CU'rJi, stlvucat^. Hi*f great anjEteiy wm lo 
conviiieo U!!i liiHl hja dialjol^cal murder was com mk- 
lg J ^-. r . i "iiddyri iinpulsL of fevcni^fsful and violent 
pi : IfOin dtljbirateiksigoof plundoT. But 

til \ vi%& \i\Hm{'^^i fram thf accurate pi^e'tta- 

rai; II ijt i\w. dc'adjy in!4trum«ni, a r»^r strongly 
larsi'H <j to a» iron U<ilu and al*u Uom ibe evuitnce 
Oh [lir trial, from which U soemflhu had invited his 
vi< Lim to drink Ihr wiih Liim on the A^y he pt^rpulra' 
te I ili"j nuirdcrt and ^hat rhis was a reirtrated in vi- 
ta u<<n. Macktfui was n Rood -look in ji^, elderly man, 
hiiviii!^ a dim fa^je and clear i^ay eyt; ; sm.b a man 
ail iLfeiiy be ordiftarily eieen bffidea collfic;Li£in-pliie 
at u si'e(>iiinR rai'^iing-hrtuEj^^ a post which the said 
MiM kL'SJin had oe^cuptd ni lu^ day. All Mackt^an's 
at I - M] ri t of ihe murder Js apnorrtibjil, Hui h^nan wos 
a i'jwyrfui [uaM,Hnd Macki,ar! sbodtr. It appear- 
ed ilmL ihe [atUT had euKii^ti^ Biichaiiafi m writing. 
thi II til kid c lily clftppeil noti liand on hi* f^ycs, and 
Btrt.!<.k die rnEoi blow with tUt^otW. Thc) throat of 
tb'^ 'lix'tflHod was cut through hie handkerchief to 
thu back brtnc «il the neck, aisainut which ihc mror 
Was hacked in Severn] places/' 

1(» bi« purf'iiil of hisGcrriiaii studies Scoti acquired, 
al ' ' time* a very important aasia tan t m Blr. 
Si : M )ji«(a w^ in Aberdeen shirts i a gentkntan 

cc V his junitrr, who had just retkirncd lo 

Si Jil jjid Iroiii a rcaideiicc of several years in Sajt- 
011 y, whiTi3 hi^ had obtamt.^ a thorough kuowhidge 
oi ilu' inii^in^i^ and accumulated a better eollec^ 
tiou 4>f CVrma^k hook$ than any to which Scult bad, 
af' yri, ffMiiKl Qcet'ss. Shortly iifter Mr Skene's ar- 
rivw! m Edinburgh^ Scott rc<)Ue*ncd to be in Produced 
lohim bf a rriutualfriuod, Mr, Edmonsione of New- 
tor*^ puif thti^irfondiu'ss for the aame hterature, with 
S' i-imefts to profit by his new acquaint- 

ai i\m nitainnLent m it, thus op^tiod art in- 

t€ V bich ^(iKTal ^miilflrity of taateai and I 

vrntiitv bj add, in mftny of iht; moat impoilant fea- 
XxitQs of t Siaracter^ soon ripened iMo the fami lianty 

sa^s, lo a paper beiorc uiu, " of ^vhiLli 1 ^l^Al ever 
thmk with so much pride— a friendship so oure and 
cordial as to have been able to withstand all the vi- 
cissitudes of nearly forty years, without ever having 
sustained even a casual chill from unkind thought 
or word." Mr. Skene adds : '* Duiin^ the whole 
progress of his varied Ufe, to that emment station 
which he could not but feel he at length held in the 
estimation, not of his countrymen alone, but of the 
whole world^ I never could perceive the aUghtest 
st^ade of vanance from that simplicity of character 
with which he impressed me on tne fiiit hour of our 
meeting." \ 

Among the common tastes which served to knit 
these friends together, was their love of horseman- 
ship, in whwh, as in all other manly exercises, Skene 
highly excelled ; and the fears of a French invasion 
becoming every day more serious, their thoug^hts 
were turned with corresponding zeal to the project 
of organizing a force of mounted volunteers in Scot- 
land* " TheXondon Light-horse had set the exam- 
ple"— (says Mr. Skene)—" but in truth it was Xo 
Scott's ardour that this force in the North owed its 
origin. Unable, by reason of his lameness, to serve 
amongst his friends on foot, he had nothing for it but 
to rouse the ^irit of the moss-trooper, with which 
he readily inspired all who possessed the means of 
substitutmg the sabre for the musket." 

On the 14th February, 1797, these friends and 
many more met, and drew up an oner to serve as a 
body of volunteer cavalry in Scotland ; which ofiert 



eo 



LIFE OP Sm WALTER 900TT. 



bans transmicted through th« Duke of ^ccleach, 
Lora-Lieuten)int of Mid-Lothian, wan accepted by 
government. The organization of the corps proceed- 
ofi rapidly ; they extended their offer to perve in any 
part of the island in case of actual invasion ; and 
this also being accepted, the whole arrangement 
was shortly completed ; when Charles Maitland, 
Esq. ofRankeillor, was elected Major-Comman- 
dant ; (Sir) William Rae of St. Catharine's, Cap- 
tain ; panics Grordon of Craig, and Oeorge Robinson 
. of Clermiston, Lieutenants ; (Sir) Wilham Forbes 
^ of Pitsligo, and James Skene of Rubislaw, Cornets : 
Walter Scoit, Paymaster, Quartermaster, and Sec- 
retary ; John Adams, Adjutant. But the treble duties 
thus devolved on Scott were found to interfere too 
severely with his other avocations, and Colin Mac- 
kenzie of Portmore relieved him soon afterwards 
from those of paymaster. 

"The part of quartermaster," says Mr. Skene, 
"was properly selected for him, that he might be spa- 
red the rou|<h usage of the ranks ; but, notwithstand- 
ing his innrmity, he had a remarkably firm seat on 
horseback, and in all situations a fearless one : no 
fatigue ever seemed too much for him, and his zeal 
ana animation served to sustain the enthusiasm of 
the whole corps, while his ready * mot irire,* kept 
up, in all, a degree of good humour and relish for the 
service, without which, the toil and privations of 
long cfat/y drills would not easily have been submit^ 
led to by such a body of gentlemen. At every inter- 
val of exercise, the order, sii at ease^ was the signal 
for the quartermaster to lead the squadron to merri- 
ment ; everv eye was intuitively turned on * Earl 
Walter,' as he was. familiarly called by his associ- 
ates of that date, and his ready joke seldom failed to 
raise the ready laugh. He took his full t^hare in 
all the labours and duties of the corps, had the 
highest pride in its progress and prohciency, and 
was such a trooper hmiself| as only a very powerful 
frdme of body and the warmest zeal in the cause 
eould have enabled any one to be. But his h^>bit- 
ual good humour was the great charm : and a' the 
daily mess ^for we all dined together when in quar- 
ters) that reigned supreme." 

Earl Walter's first charger, by the way, was a tall 
and powerful animal named Lenore. These daily 
drills appear to have been persisted in during the 
spring and summer of 1797; the corps spending 
moreover some weeks in quarters at Musselburgh. 
The majority of the troop having professional duties 
to attend to, the ordinaiy hour for drill was five in 
the morning : and when we reflect, that after some 
hours of hard work in this way. Scoli had to pro- 
duce himself regularly in the Parliament House with 
gown and wig, for the space of four or five hours at 
least, while his chamber practice, though still hum- 
ble, was on the increase — and that he had found a 
plentiful source of new social engagements in his 
troop connexions— it certainly' could have excited 
no surprise had his literary studies been found suffer- 
ing total intermission during this busy period. That 
such was not the case, however, his correspondence 
and note-books aflbrd ample evidence. 

He had no turn, at this time of his life, for early 
rising; ^^^^ ^^® regular attendance at the morn- 
ing dnlU inw of itself' a strong evidence of his mili- 
tary zeal ; but he must have, in spite of them, and of 
all other circumstances, persisted in what was the 
usual custom of all his earlier life, namely, thtf devo- 
tion of the best hours of the night to solitary study. 
In general, both as a young man, and in moreadvon- 
ced age, his constitution required a good allowance 
of sleep, and ho, on principle, indulged in it. saying, 
**he was but half a man if he had not full seven 
hours of litter unconsciousness ;" but his whole 
mind nnd t em jy»jr anient were, at this period, in a 
state of most fervent exaltation, ond spirit tri- 
nmphed over matter. His translation of Steinberg's 
Oiho of Witteliihach, is marked " 1796-7;" from 
which, I conclude^ it was finished in the latter year. 
The volume containing that of Meier's " Wolfred of 
Dromberg, a drama or chivalry," is dated 1797 j and 
I think the reader will preseniry see cause to suspect 
that though not alliidea to in his imperfect note-book 



these tasks mwH have been acoonplirfiMl in Am 

very season of the daily drille. 



The letters addressed to him in March. AprQ, and 

ine, bv Kerr of Abbotrule^ Oeorge Chalmers, and 

his uncle at Rosebank, indicate his unabated inter^ 



est in the collection of coins and ballads ; sikI I 
shall now make a few extiactefrom his private aote> 
book, some of which will at all events amuae the 
survivors of the Edinburgh Light-Horse : 

" March 15, 1797.-<Read Btaufielcf s trial and the coo- 
victiou appears very doubtful indeed. Surely no one 
could seriously believe, in 1688, that the body of the mur- 
dered bleeds at the touch of the murderer, and I aee little 
else that directly touches Philip Suiifield. He was a 
very bad chtiracter, however; and tradition says, thM 
having insulted Welsh, the wild preacher, one day in hi* 
early Ufs, the saint called from the palpit that God ImuI 
revealed to hitn that thia bia^hemous youth would dm in 
the aif ht of aa many as were then assembled, h was be- 
lieved, at the time, that Lady Scanfiekl had a hand in the 
assassinattoo, or was at least privy to her son's pfauaa; 
but I see nothing inconsistent with the oU gentleawii'is 
having committed suicide.' The ordeal of toochlng tbe 
corpse was observed in Crermany. They call it tamek$. 
"^ March 21. — 

•The friers of FaU 
Gat never owre hard eggs, or owre thin kale ; 
For they ouule their eggs thin wi' buUer, 
And their kale thick wF bread. 
And the friers of Fail they made gode kale 
On Fridays when they fasted ; 
They never i^ante.d £ear enough 
As lang as their neighboars' lasted' 
"Fairy-rings.^N. B. Delriussaya, the same a|)pearaoc« 
occurs wherever the witches have held tlieir dabbaih. 
** For the ballad of ' Willie's La<rly,' compare ApuleinsL 

Ub. i.p.a? ,~ r- — * 

" Ajtril 20.— The portmanteau to contain the followlQf 
articles: 2 shiru; 1 black handkerchief; 1 ni|(ht-c«pt 
woollen ; 1 pair pantaloons, blue ; 1 flannel shut with 
sleeves; 1 pair flannel drawers; 1 waistcoat; 1 pair 
worsted stockings or socks. 

" In the slip, in cover of portmanteau, a case with 
shaving-things, combs, and a knife, fork, and spoon: a 
German pipe and tobarco-bag, flint, and steel; pipe-clay 
and oil, with brush for laying it on ; a shoe-brusli ; a pair 
of shoes or hussar boots ; a hor^e-picker, and other looee 
articles. 

" Delt with the flap and portmanteau, curry coml>^ brosl^ 
and manecomb, with s|N)ngc. 

**Ovnr the portmanteau iho blue overalls, and a spare 
jacket for stable ; a small horse- sheet, to cover the 
horse's back with, and a spare girth or two. 

"In the cartouche- box, screwdriver and picker for 
pistol, with three or four spare flints. 

"The horse-sheet may be conveniently folded bek>w 
the saddle, and will save the back in a long march or bad 
weather. Beside the holster, two fore-feel shoes, t 

" May 22.— Apulelus, lib. il Anthony-e^ 

Wood Mr. Jenkinson's name (now Lord Uve^ 

pool) beinf[ proposed aa a difficuUjme to rhyme to, a lady 
present hK off* this verse extempore. N. H. Both father 
and son (Lord Hawkesburv) have a peculiarity of vision. 
* Happy Mr. Jenkinson, 
Happy Mr. Jenkinson, 
, I'm sure to you 

Your lady's true. 
For you have got a winking son.' 
"23.-Dehrlua. . . . 

"IM.^' I, John Bell, of Brackenbrig,*Uea ander this alaiie { 
Four of my sons laid it on my wame. 
I was man of my meat, and master of my wife, 
And lived in my ain house without meikle strife. 

' -^■- 1..:;. -.. : ... L I :.*irtM'» 

Gli'1 J^4i4J->iL ,\4^lv-i>4' -S^i-Jiili»h My^i**, vbh^'iiin, f^Uietl bf §Ht 



:i: 



bv n,. 

5 ■■'■■ 

»'M|I 

hi - ri 

d 



ftf ficnu-f rm^-t iiittniritf rrt^'wtf «t Uii. liar, imrilf^m 

,. . '■ . 'iii,. ». ti3(ji>i4'M»q Mf inMftJip;r t'ltflt utin 

<: "i.< In -r ^ ,11 fi iltw cii'TriUfTttrntl^ m 

■ . HI. ;i ■■ initi ir[ Li^ftf^^r llwLt ciri-r vtm.* 






I ' 



d,,, 

tK, .3 i 

L- I'll ^^ 



> Lruil in ti hjiy |ni\. ffpt r 
,,J 1.Fi fifv ilnr hdi tfiA «n HllwlnnMaaMi 
111' Uvd Cawiky— * drtLW 
if tTiKtii— bi Ibi Wll irL_^ 
' iri< atRiiM \rhN'U updotttiiii 
1 1, urthe ICin^ nf felewMofi 
ihri.ii^»: 111! Hi liiiyt' iiuin. I saw thf'm fiMlit (A 
n r n .'in* nfo, EtfMl J f^u anfeFT fuu tt«ii#n| | ~ 
■ ' TEi-rh ,iA^ 1 arn c>ntimral><f '" ' 



..i: Ik i 



■nixiifvmiirr 'ti:<*A\ltim in iih\t 



1. viXir 



I, lit.i<io^e(ltj 



£.t!^ltelri^: 



'4j|it>d? 



LIFE OP am WALTER SCOTT. 



61 



Gf Oiou bc'st % b«tter nMn Iq thy Ume than 1 was 

In oifo^, 
T»k cbia aune offmjr wamo, and laj H apon thhM.* 
*SL~Merie €3aa«oboa on Hpiilts. .... 
^X.— ^Tbere n«r we learned Blaroe's foldea tombe ; 
The vmj he cat an Eoxlish mile in length 
TlM»row a rock of lOooe in one nifht'a apace.' 
" QiriMopber Marlowe'a Traxieall History of Dr. Fans- 
vexy remarkable ibiog. Grand subject— md 



fra^ 
Oerk'ft MS 



Copied ' Prophecy of Merlin,' firom Mr. 



•*2r.— Read Evervbody's Business is Nobody's Busl- 
B«o, tnr Andrew Moreton. This was one or Defoe's 

aaay ofloaee— like his pen, in parts 

'76 Cuthbert, Car, and Collingwood, to Shafto and to Ilall ; 
IV ererr ^Bant generous heart that (br King James did 

•38.— AnthooT-a Wood. ..... Plain Proof 

sTthe Tra« Father and Mother of the Pretended Prince 
fffWale^ by W. Fan«r. This follow waa pilloried for a 
farvery some yean later Began Nathan dtr 



*Jm»e 99.— Read lotrodQctfon lo a Compendiam on 
ihtf r.Taminarinn, by W. B.— ris. William Btaflbrd— 
tbMi^ to was Ibr a ome given to no less a W. 8. than 
WUbam Shakspeare. A eorlous treatlae— the F>Utical 
l ewsumy of the EUabaihan Day— worth reprinting 

•"JtOf 1.— Read Dteeoorae of MlUtary Diacipline, by 
Gkpialo Barry—a tmt carious account of the lunona Low 
QsoDtrlea' armiea— full of mtUtary hinti worth note. 
Jwrtswy llWdagste. 

**ay— jrfjgw dar WtiM. .... Dtkim 

**&— Geotenberf'a Braut begun. 

«&^11ie Bride again. Dehrius." 

*ni0 note-book from wbicfa I have beep Copying is 
^le^y filled with extracts from Apuleuis aiid An- 
tkoBf-a- Wood—most of them beariDg, in some way, 
•Q the subject of popular superstitions. It is a pity 
\ mamy leaves hare been torn out; for if unmu- 
* , tlie record would probably hare enabled one 
•sgDCHi whether he had already planned his ^'Es- 
iav on Paines." 

1 hare mentioned hie bnsineas at the bar as in- 
dcasiog at the same time. His ft^hook is now 
before me, and it shows that he made by bis first 
Ten's inractice .£24, 3s. ; by the second, j557, 15b. ; 
If the third, £H^ 4s. : by the fourth, £Vi\ and in 
ha fifth year at the oar— that is. from November, 
17M, to July, 1797— .£l44t lOe. \ of which X50 were 
fea firom his father's chamber. 

Hk friaod, C^iarles Kerr of Abbotnile, had been 
readu a good deal about this time tn Cumberland : 
isdeedThe wae so enraptured with the scenery of the 
takes, as to take a house in Keswick, with the inten- 
tion of spendinK half of all future years there. His 
ktters to Scott (March, April, 1797) abound in ex- 
(ffessbns of wonder that he should continue to de- 
voie so much of his vacations to the Highlands of 
Seotbod* ** with every crag and precipice of which," 
nyaiia* '*I should imagine you woiyd be famitiar 
bv this time ; nay, that the goats themselves might 
aiiMm claim you pt an acquaintance $" while an- 
•diCTfhctrict lav so near him, at least as well qualified 
"to give a swell to the fancy." 

After the rismg of the Court of Session in July, 
Scott accordingly set out on a tour to the Knglish 
iakes, accompanied bv his brother John, and Adam 
FergDsson. Their first stage was Halyards, in 
Tweeddale, then inhabited by his friend's father, the 
philosopher and historian; and they staid therefor 
a day or two, in the course of which Scott had his 
first and oahr interview with David Ritchie» the ori- 

Kal of his Black Dwarf.* Proceeding southwards, 
tourists visited Carlisle, Penrith,— ^he vale of the 
^mont, includhig Maybnigh and Brougham Cas- 
tle,— Ulswater and Windermere, and at length 
filed their headquarters at the theiipeaceful and se- 
fMenred little watering place of Ghlsland, making 
ooiraions from theiice to the various scenes of ro- 
■aatie interest which are eommemorated in The 
Bridal of Trierraain, and otherwise leading very 
mch tbe sort of life depicted among the loungers of 
9t. Ronan's Well. Scott was, on his first arrival 
ii Oasland, not a little engaged with the beauty of 
«t of die young ladies lodged uuder the same roof 

* an tbs loiiDdMftion to tWs Novel in the editkNi ofusb. 



I with him ; and it was on occasion of a visit in \ux 
; comply to some part of the Roman Wall, that ne 
I indited his Unes— 

I 

I " Take these flowers, which, purple wsvin;, 

On the ruined rampart ^ew," ^bc* 

\ But this was only a passing glimpse of flirtation. A * 
week or so afterwards commenced a more serious 
affair. 

Riding one day with Fergusson, they met, some 
miles from Gilsland, a young lady taking the air on 
, horseback, whom neither of them had previoual v 
' remarked, and whose appearance instantly struck 
both so much, that they ka>i her in view until they 
j had satisfied themselves that she also was one of 
' the Dsrty at Giilslan^. The same evening there was 
' a ball, at which Captain Scott produced himself in 
his regimentals, and Fergusson also thought proper 
to be equipped in the uniform of the Edinburgh 
! Volunteers. There was no little rivalry amons the 
yoimg travellers as to who should first get pr ea on ted 
to the unknown beauty of the morning's ride ; but 
though both the gentlemen in scarlet had the ad- 
vantage of bdn/( dancing partners, their fiieml suc- 
ceeded in handing the fair stranger to siipper— and 
such was his first introduction to Charlotte Mar- 
garet Carpenter. 

Without the features of a regular beauty, she was 
rich in personal attractions: **a form that waa 
fashioned aa ligiit as a fay's ;'' a oomplenon of the 
clearest and lightest oUve; eyes larger deep-set, and 
dazzUng. of the finest Italian brown ; and a pro- 
fiision of silken tresse^ black as the raven's wing— 
her address hovering between the reserve of a pretty « 
young Englishwoman who has not mingled largely 
in seneral society, and a certain natural archness 
ana gayety that suited well with the accompaniment 
of a French accent. A lovelier visionu as all who 
remember her in the bloom of her daya have assured- 
me, could hafdly have been imagined; and Axmi 
that hour the fate of the youii^ poet was fixed. 

She was the daughter orjcan Charpcntier, of 
Lyons, a devoted royolist, who held on onice under 
government.t and Charlotte Volere, his wife. She 
and her only brother, Charles Charpentier. had 
been educated in the Protestant religion of their 
mother ; and when their father died^ which ooeur- 
red in the beginning of the Revolution,. Madame 
Charpentier made her escape with her childreti, first 
to Paris, and then to England, where they found 
a warm friend and protector in the late Marquis of 
Downshire, who had, in the course of his travels 
jn France, ibri^jed an intimate acquaintance with 
the family, and, mdeed, spent some time under their 
roof. M. Charpentier had, in his first alarm as to 
the coming Revolution, invested £4000 in EngUsh 
securities— part in A mortgage upon Lord Down- 
shire's estates. On the mother's death, which oc- 
curred soon after her arrival in London, this noble- 
man took on himself the character of sole guardian 
to her children ; and Charles Charpentier received 
in due time, through bis interest, an appointment in 
the service of the East India Company, in which he 
had by this time risen to the lucrative sitBatioiK of 
xximmercial resident at Salem. His sist* was now 
making a little excursion, under the oare of the la- 
dy who had superintended her education, Miss Jane 
Nicolson, a daiighter of Dr. Nicolson, Dean of Ex- 
eter, and granddauffhter of William Nicolson, Bi- 
shop of Carlisle, well known as the editor of " The 
English Historical Library." To some connexions 
which the learned prelate's family had ever since 
his time kept up in the diocese of Carlisle, Miss 
Carpenter owed the direction of her summer tour. 

Scott's father was now in a very feeble state of 
health, which accounts for his first announcement 
of this affah* being made in a letter to his mother: 
it is undated ;— but by this time the y^g lady had 

• I owe tliis cjietreutance to the reooUectian of Mr. Clavde 
Ruswl, aocoontant in Edinborffa. who Kras one of the iiartr. 
Pievioaslr 1 had always supposed these vsrses to have bean in* 
spirea br Miss Carpeolsr. 

t In several deedi %rMekI bare seen, M. Cbaipentieris desin- 
ed " Ecnyw da roi." Whatthepost hebsldwaslnsver bsara- 



C4 



UFB OF SIR W^OiTER 8C0TT. 



lived in good repvte aad io very good otjfle. I had the 
miiilbrtuoe of loaiog taj AUher Sefbre I could know the 
▼alne of such a parent At his death we were left to the 
care of Lord D., who waa his very irreat friend, and 
▼ery soon after I had the aflllotfon ,of losiof my mother. 
Onr taking the name of Carpenter was on ray brother's 

King to India, to prevent any little difficulties that might 
ve occurred. I hope now you are pleased. Lord D. 
could have given you every informatioo, as he has been 
, acquainted with all my ftunily. You say you almost love 
Afffi, but until your almoot comes to a quUt^ I cannot love 
you. Before I conclude this fajnous epistle, I will give 
vou a little hint — that is^ not to- put so many nmot in your 
letters— it Is begittningralAer <^toon ; and another tninx 
is, that I take the liberty not to mind them much, but I 
expect you to mind me. You muMt take care of yonrvelf ; 
you muot think of me, and believe me yours sincerely. 

C. C." 
To the Same. 

*' CarMale, Oct S6. 
**^ 1 have only a minute before the post goes, to assure 
ymi, my dear sir, of the welcoipe reception oi the atnn- 
ger.* The very great Ukeness to a friend of mine will en- 
dear him to me ; he shall be my constant companion, bat 
I wtidi he could ghre me an answer to a thousand ques- 
dons I have to make— one in particular, what reason nave 
you for so many fears as you express t Have your friends 
changed 1 Pray let me know tlie truth— <ney perhaps 
don't like ma being fVench. Do write immediately— let 
It be In better apirits. Bt croyez-moi toi^urs voure 
staeere 

C. C." 
To the Same. 

•« October 3tst 
**..., AXi your apprehensions about yoar friends 
make me very uneasy. At your flaher's age, prejudices 
are not easily overcome— old people have, you know, so 
much more wisdom and experience, that we must be 
guided bv them. If he has an objection on my being 
rVench, I excuse him with all my heart, as I don't love 
them myself. O how all these things plague me— when 
¥rill it end 1 And to complete the matter, you talk of 
going to the West Indies. I am certain your (ather 
and uncle aay you are a hot hecufy young man, quite 
mad, and 1 assure you T Join with them ; and I must 
believe, that, when you have such an ldea» yoo have 
then determined to think no more of me. f begin to 
repent of having accepted tour picture. I wiU send it 
back again, if yoo ever think again about the West In- 
dies. Your fkintly then would lots me very much— to 
forsake them lor a s(r<tn^er. a person who does not 
1 half the charma and good qualities that yoa 
e. I think I hear yonr uode calMng yoa a hot 
man. I am certain of It, and I am gemoraUf 
conjectur«s. What does your nster aay 



yoa not to think for aome time of a hoaae. 1 1 

can convince you of tl»e propriety and pmdeoce of i 

Ing until your father will aettle things more to yoar a 

fiu^Uon. and until I have heard from my brotner. limm 
mutt be of mv way -of ttiinJcing.— Adleo. 

* C C** 

Scott obeyed this sammpns, and I suppose re* 
mained in Carlielo until the Court of Sestion met, 
which is always on the t2th of November. 

To W. Scott^ Eog.t Advocate, Edinburgh. 

"Carlisle^ Nov. UOk. 
** Tour letter never could hare come in a more fovoor- 
able moment Any thine you could have said would bare 
been well received. You surprise roe much at the re^rec 

Sou express ynu had of leaving Carlisle. Indeed I c«n^ 
elieve it was on my account, I Was so uneommoolj 
stupid. I don't know what could be the matter with otie, 
I was 80 very low, and felt really ill : it was even a trouble 
to speak. The setfling of our little plans^-aJl looked so 
much in earnest— that I began reflecting more serfooftlj 
than 1 feoeraUy do, or approve of. 1 don't think duk 
very thougbtftii people ever can be happy. As thl« is 
m^ maxim, adieu to all thoughts. I have made a deCer* 
nunation of being pleased wim every thing, aad with ere- 
ry bodr in Edinburgh ; a wise system for happhieaa, is le 
not t I enclose the lock. I have had almost all my hmir 
cut off. Mias NIcoIson has taken some, which ahe sends 
to London to be made to something, bat this you are noC 
to know o( aa she Intoitds to present it to you. • • • • i 
am happy to hear of your fatner's being better sle« 



aa to OMoer matters ; It will come at m ; don't let ttall 
trifle df Btorb you. Adieu, Monsieur, J'ai I'bonneor d'etre 
votre trtehomble et trfts 

ObeSetmnte 

C. C.w 

"Csffisle, Nor. Snh. 
"You have made me very triote all day. Praf n^/rtr 
more complain of being poor. Are yoa not ten tloKs 
richer than I am t Depend on youieelf aad yoar pro- 
fesaion. I have no doubt yoa will rise very nigh, sod 
be a great rich man, bat we should look down to oe cmi- 
tented with our let, and banish all disagreeable tboogtata. 
We shaU do very vaeO. I am very sorry to hear yxm. 
have aaeh a baa head. I hope 1 shall narse owsr sA 
your aebea. I think you write too mooh. Whes I am 
ffitercse, 1 ahall not allow it Hqw very angry I shoirid 



be with yoa if you were to part with 



l>o 



possess 
tmoMine. 



hea^ young man. I am certain of It, and I am gemeraUf 
right in my conjectures. What does your nster aay 
about it 1 I suspect that she thinks on the matter as 



I should do. with fears and anxieties for the happiness 
of her broiher. If it be proper, and yoa think it would 
be aeceptabU, present my l>est compliments to yoar 
mother; and to my old avequaintance Captain Scoli I 
beg to be remembered. This evening is tne first ball— 
don't you wish to be of our party 1 I guees your answer 
— 4t would give me infinite pleasure. En attendant le 
plaisir de voas revoiri je sule fiM^urs votre eonsiante 

« Cbablorb.'* 

TbCAs Amm. 

"The Castle, Hartford, October 2^ 1797. 
"Or, 

" J received the favour of your letter. It was so 
manly, honourable, cancHd, and ao ftill of good sense, 
that I think Miss Carpenter^ (Viends cannot In any way 
object to the union you propose. Its taking place, v^en 
or where, win depend upon hersel( as I ahall write to 
her by this night's post Any provision that may be 
given to her by her brother, you will have settled upon 
her and her children ; and I hope, with all my heart 
that everv earthly happlaesa may attend you DOlb. I 
shall be always hapny to hear it, and to subscribe myself 
yoar fiUthflil ftiend and obedient humble servant, 



COmtheeameokeeL) 

" Carlisle, Nor. 4. 

**La8t night I received the enclosed for you from 

I/>rd Downriiire. If It has your approbation, I shaU be 

very ^lad to see yoa as soon as wul be convenlenL I 

have a flMtoaand thlnga to tell you; but 1st me bsf of 

• A 



really beneve I sboold think it an«sw <cs s > ary e r psiie s , 
where yoar health aad pleasure can be oonoerned 1 I 
have a better opinio* of you, and I am v«ry jglad you dont 
1^ up the eavalry, aa I lovv asy tMog that is efyJML 
Don't foiget to find a stand for the oU earriaffe, as l stmR 
nke Io keep it, la ease we should have to go any ioaney : 
it is so OMich more convenient than the post chalaeS|Soa 
1 do very well UU we can keep our carriage. What 
idea of yoors was that to mentioa where yoo vrMi Io 
have yoar 6snes Mdf If yoa were marrlal, I eboold 
think yoa were tired of me. A very pretty eompHiBsat 
btfore marriage. I hope sinoerely that I shall not Jive 
to see that day. If you al%vays have thoee ehaexM 
thoughts, bow very pleasant and uy you must be. 

" Adieu, my dearest friend, take care of yooraelf If 
yoa love me, as I have no leieh that yoa shook! vioU 
that beautiful and romantic scene, the bunrlng-pteoe. 
Adieu, once more, and believe that you are loved very 
sincerely by C. C* 

" Dec. 10th. 
" If I could but really believe that my letter gave yoa 
only half thepleasore yoa exnress, I should almost thmk, 
my dou-est Scott, that I ahould get very food of writiDg, 
merely for the pleasure to indulge you— that is saying 
a great deal I nope you are sensible of the compliment 
I pay you, and donH expect I shall aboajfo be so prettr 
behaved. You may depend ea me, my deareat meB(\ 
forfixtasaaearfy aday aslposalbly can; and if it hap- 
pens to be not qalte so soon as yoa vriah, yoa moat not 
be angry with me. It is very unlucky you are sooh s 
bad houaekeeper— as I sm no oetter. I shall try. I hope 
to have very soon the pleasure of seeing you, cad to tefl 
you how much I tove you ; but I virish the first fortnkbt 
was over. With^ my love, and those sort of pretty 
things— adieo. 

Chabmtm. 

"P. 8. Studies votre fYaneaie. Remember yoa are 
to teach me Italian in return, but I ahall be b«t astopid 
scholar. Aimex Charlotte." 

*«Carilsle,I>ee«I4tb. 

*<Ibaard lasiaiihtfinBiB my ftiends IbLba- 



LIFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



66 



dm, And 1 •baU e^rtalnlj hare tbe d«ed this week. I 
iHD MQd it to Ton direefly ; but not to loie so much time, 
•a jroQ hare been reekoninf, I will prevent any lii;^e 
delay tbafc mif ht hai>pen by tbo poat, by fizina already 
next Wednesday for your comlnf bore^ and on Thursday 
the 21st, Ob, my dear 8cotb«-on that day I shall be yours 
for ever. ' 

C. C. 
" P, A— Arrance it so that we sball see none of your 
family the nif ht of our arriral. I shall ce so tired, and 
such a fright, I should not be seen to adrantage." 

To theaeeitracis I may add the following from tbe 
firet leaf of an old black-letter Bible at Abbotsford : 

" Secundttm morent majorum hoc de famiUA GuaJUeri 
Stott^ JurUcQHtuUi Edinentitf in Ubrum hunc aacrum 
manu tuA eoH$cripta 9unt. 

*' GualteruB Scottt fiUtu Oudlttri Scott €t Antut Ru- 
ikerford.nalu9 erat apud Edkuun l^mo dU Augusti, 

" Socius Faeultatia JuridtuB Edinnma reeeptu* erat 
llmo dUB Julii, A. D. 1792 

" In menam Saneta Maria apud Carlisle^ usorem 
dmxit MargaretafA Ckartottam Carpenter, fiiiam quom- 
dam Joannie Charpentier et Ckarlotta Vwere, Lugdu' 
neneem^ ^Uto die Decembrie, 1797." 



CHAPTER IX. ' 

SA«LT MABRIXD LIFS— LAfiSWADS COTTAaS— XONK 
LXWI8— TKAySLATlON OF GO£T% VON BXRUCHIICOXN, 
PUVaiSHXD— Vfart* TO LONDON— house OrABFBW— 
DKAtH OP SCOTT^S rATHXS— PI18T OEIOIITAL BAL- 
LADt—OLBimNLAB, Ac.— UKPUBLISHSD PXAOMSSm 
— APPOIirrMSNT TO THX SRIUfTfRIP OP 8XLKIBK- 

'»Rimx-rl798-1799. 

9cOTT carried hia bride to a LoclmnR: m George 
Street, Edinburgh i a hou^ which no had taken iq 
South Castles tree t not beina quite prcjifl red fur tier 
reoeption. The frst fortnight, to which she hsd 
looked wiib auch anxiety, waa, 1 believe, more than 
fluAciaDt to convince htr husbatid^s family that, 
however rn^hfy he had lbnni?d the connection, fvbe 
had the tc^^rlin^ qm^litiet of a £0od wJe. Not with- 
•Unding tNe littlt^ li^nniim to the pomp* and vaniLies 
of me wurtd. which her let ten hive not cfinct^ii-jd, 
she bad mnde up hor mlad w find her hapv as 
in better thiDss \ and so U^dr aa their circum^ n- 
ceacontinuecf narrow^ no woman cotild havi ■ n- 
fonnea herseif to them with mc>fe of jE^ood f<.> ng 
and gopcj ^tmse* Somt^ habil«i new in the , let 
domestic circlea of E<Jinbur^h citi^t^na^ did nor js- 
cape critic neim j and in puriicTiiar, I have heord hur- 
seUI in htr inaet pro^^i^rous dny^i trtugh henrtdy at 
the remon St ranees of her Offorae Street 1 find In dy, 
when it wna diaooverni that the t&utkr&n lodger 
chbse t9 sit u»l^ally, eind not on hi^h oecmj^ions 
merely, in her dra winp-fooni,— oo whsch subject the 
mother-in-law was djspoeied to take the tbnfty utd- 
faahioned dame's side. 

I cannot fancy that Lady Scott's manners or 
ideas oould evpr have amalgamated very wall with 
those of her hasband's parents i but the feeble state 
of the old gentleman's health prevented her from 
seeing them constantly : and without any aifecta- 
tion of strict intimacy, they soon were, and always 
continued to be, very good friends. Anne Scott, 
the delicate sister to whom the Ashestiel Memoir 
alhides so tenderly, speedily formed a warm and 
. sincere attachment for the stranger; but death, in 
a abort time, carried off that interesting creature, 
who seems to have had much of her brother's ima- 
ginative and romantic temperament, without his 
power of controUing it. 

Mrs. Scott's arrival was welcomed wiih nnming- 
led delist bv the brothers of the MouiUain* The 
two ladies who had formerlj raven life and grace to 
their aociety were both reMntly ittarried. We hive 
seen Bliss Erskine'p letter of farewell ; and I have 
Wore me another not less afTectioqate, written 
when Miss Cranstoun gave her hand (a few months 
later) to Godfrey Wenceilaus, Count of Purgstall, 
a nobleman of large possessions in Styria, who 
had been spending some time in Edinburgh. Scott's 
*^ I in So^th Castle treet«--(soon after ezchang- 



ed for one of thasame sort in North Castle Street, 
which be purchased, and inhabited down to 1820— 
became now to (he Mountain what Cranstotth's 
and Erskine's had been while their accomplished 
sisters remained with them. The officers of ihe 
Light Horse, too, established a club among them- 
selves, suppinjz once a-week at each other's houses 
in rotation. The young lady thus found tyvo some- 



what different, but boln highly agreeable, circles 
ready to receive her with cordial kindness ; aid the 
evening hours passed in a round of innocent gayetVj 
all the arrangements being conducted in a simple 
and inexpensive fashion, suitable to voung people 
who^ days were mostly laborious, and very few of 
their purses heavy. Scott and Erskine had always 
been fond of the theatre ; the pretty bride was pas- 
sionately so— and I doubt if they ever spent a week 
in Edinburgh without indulpng themselves in this 
amusement. But regular dinners and crowded as- 
semblies were in those years quite unthought o£ 
Perhaps nowhere could have been found a society 
on so small a scale, including more of vigoroup in- 
tellect, varied information, degant tastes, and real 
virtue, affection, and mutual confidence. How often 
have I heard ita members^ in the midst of the wealth 
and honours which most of them in due season 
attained, sigh over the recollection of those humbler 
days, when love and ambition were young and bnoy- 
ant— and .no difference of opinion was able to 
bring even a momentary chill over the warmth of 
friendship. 

'^ Yoti vrUt ^miflQC^" wrltei the C(>imU«« Purgitid) W 
8cr>it. frfiin ttnv of h^r fityrfftjQ eastlcK, " how mj bemt 
bi : 1] Hie, iiijr^l^i'ii fi*^^ rn^fl'^i wM!f I read jrmr 

th •m^ |i?ucr- Had ill tlic^ ccd« amS ^oddf'^'sc^ 

fr ii to IjtLibifsrt^, laid (heir h^'flfls tn^^pther, tlle^r 

C01L:L1 rinr nave ^retepl.cd ia« witti any tliJD^ IhAt «o tc- 
cordnl with my f^indpvl wiphei. T'j ha^c k coQTlcLiua 
that Uioie I love art happy, «nd dbnU itirg»t mo— I liara 
DO way re expf efti wf re«]in|t«^lh«| cotn« In a ftuod afid 
destroy me. Ojuld my G&orgc hut litfhi on anoUier Cb»r- 
lone, theft? would be but one eroolc left io piy lot— to wit, 
thrd Rtf^crshurf dnca aol ««2TD oa a ^iita for tbe FarUa^ 
iDMiit ^tiare.* Would ■nrnp ^attlLquakr? anf ulf tbe t|:1« 
tnn't t^etw^eot nr tbe trpirll of our #ock loiMduce mt to 
Jh '"^ tlijo GbDl Qo*."Uer'ii Bho^tttatt^T: I^rd, Ijord, how 
de LfUl ^ Coultl I cliooae^ I xbrnilil Jujiv for thrpr e«f!iU 
pt llLt<^ thfi shoeroaicPT, and then Ihe tii^mritit I got yotl 
■I iii< h) thia ofd halt Meal tho ahoFK and Uk k tlifrn> away 
til ■ iU'lijfnalkin of tise Ijard pmbm bt f*or OM Eoif. 
hi Earl Walter would ptay ths dirvil vrKh ro€, but 

bl I liarbtti^'a trnilra tvould 4pea)c tbankn ineOable, and 
the arifrp clouda pail* nn before the accu \n bla Btrtofftbi' 
Httw litv'in^lj yortr aftecLre a«eoea would «oraiP tn bcre^ 
Sijf'.-fy Ihrfi? in uo vanity In aajiof thai tiirtb baa oo 
OiiHintyiia like ourri- f\ bow deiklstfiil to see ihe lady 
tb.ii ifl l>lo9soct wiih Ear) ^ Volte r'ff Io?c,aod that barl mii^d 
eii'iMJiflj tft 6\K^Yf!T Tbff b|pBa|Tig. Somn Itihd jtDRt, 1 iltipe, 
win soon tell uie thftt yo'ir hrippin^^s. i?* cxdant^di 
in iLc only w»y it caa be entufedt for you hxvc ao 
chance now I think of taking Buonsparte prisoner. 
Wbatiort of afrenius will be be it a very anxioua tpeea- 
ladoD Indeed ; whether tbe philoaopber, tbe lawyer, tbe 
antiquary, tbe poet, or tbe bero, will prevail— the spirit 
wbiM>er8 unto me a bappy melange or tbe two last^he 
win usp in numbers and kick at la Nourrice. On his ar- . 
rival present my fondest wishes to bis honour, and don't, 
pray, give him a name out of your Ust of round-table , 
knights, but some simple Christian appellation from t>e 
House of Harden. And is it then true, my Ood, that 
Earl Walter Is a Benedick, and that 1 am in Styria 1 Well, 
bless tts all, prays the separated from her brethren. 

J. A. P." 

'*Hainfeld,JaIy20,17%.» 

Another extract from the Family Bible may 
cloM this letter— "M. C. Scott puerum edidtt 18to 
die Dctobris, 1778, qni postero die obiit apud Edinam." 

In the summer of this yesr Soott had hired a pret« 

g' cottage at Lasswade, on the Esk, about six miles 
om Edinburgh, and there, as the back of Madame 



* The ancient castls of Rej 

trusted, one of tb« most masni^ — ^,., - — 

■eatof thie Purntalk. In. situation and extent it aeenu tore: 



..,.-««. (if engraringt naajr te 
loent in Oeraiany) was the duer 



aembie the castle of BtirKnr. Tbe Countaaa writea thui, about 
the aame Ume, to another of l*< Jf«mii/««i» .—"As fcr Scott an* 
his tweet little wile, I oooaider tbom as a sort of Mpa and mam- 
isa to you all, and am bappy the gods have oid«ed it so." 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOW. 



dflP/s letter *1iowa, lit necdvedit frutti uio hands 
of ^ofi?99or StewarL It is a amall house, bm wjtli 
ono room of good diiuonBionsSi which Mrii, Scolt^s 
tftflt^ «;t oflT to ad If an rage at TEry Uumble cost— n 
paddoL^it or two— ar^d a garden i com manning a 
Bjoftt LeAUtifut view) m which Scott delighted tu 
Irftin his flow era add creepers* N^iveA I hnvc? beard 
htm say, ' was he prouder of hi a hand^'wurk than 
when he bdd compktcd the fash Icimn^ of a ruettc 
archil Ft now ov*?rKtt)wn with hoary ivy^ by wav 
of ornnment to the entrance from lhi3 Edinmirgli 
roisd. In this retreat ihcy apent some happy sutn- 
mere, receiving the Ttbits of their few ch<)S©ii ftiengB 
frora the neiKl^houring city, Eiiid w^tindering aC will 
amidst sonie of the moet romantic Hcenery; Ih^t 
SeotlfLitd can boast— Scoit'a de Eire at haunt m the 
days of hia boyiah rambhnss* They had ni^ighf 
hiitiT^t too> who wer^ nf>t alow lo cuUivare tfieir 
•acqu ain lance. With the Clerkg of Pen ny cuickt wi th 
Mackenzie, the Man of Ferhng, who then occupied 
the charmiriR vU!a of Auchendinnyi and wnih Lord 
"Wowdhou^tltje, Scott had from an eariier dale been 
fttiailnir 1 ond it yvaa while m Laaswade that he 
formtid intimacioSj even more important in iheir 
resuiifii, With the noble fnmilieB of Melville ar^d 
Bucdeucb, both of whom have cavtlea in the aatnc 

" gweBt we ih t p»lha, O paanlni qw«etf 

By l^tt^a fair itrcaQis tria; run, 
0>r ftiry *iieep, ihro' copse wood deep, 

Ijupervtgiua to iiiA Aon \ 

" froDi ihai Mr domB whsrs stitt ^i piid 

By biKJt of boglo free,' 
To AucheHdina/"a lu^cl ^hade, 

Anil bauoted >Voodhou5ke- ' 

« Who fcutfflfff not Melvitlfi'fl bti^chy Sfw^ 

And Roatiu'S rocky gl^n ; 
DoJtcith, wtdnh hII the tiitaet lore, 

Aad clatnic Hawthomdcn 1" 

Another verso remindi U9 that 

* There, thfl rapt, poet's rtep (ttay re^ i" 

and it wsfi amidst lirae d^licioua swlitudea 'Hal ho 
did produce the pieces which laid the impen^hablo 
foundations of nil hia fame. It was here that when 
W Wftfin heAri was ben ting with yotiftR and happy 
love, andbia whole nttnd and BpiriL were nerved by 
new tmottTca for exertion ; it wafl h«re, that m tho 
ripened glow of manhood he seems to have ftret 
felt Bomei-hincof hiP rc-al strengih, andiMiurtid him- 
Hcif out in tboae apktidid original ballada whjcn 
were at once to fbt ni:* nanit*^ . , 

1 moatr however- approach theie more leisiareiy. 
When VViUlam ET»kine was^ in London in the wpnm 
of this year, Iw happened to nuei in society vn,ih 
Matthew Grrporr Lewis, M. P. for *^"^on, who^ 
romance of " 'VUa Monk," with the ballEids which 
it ioi*h»iled: Imd made for bim, in thoR^ barren day*, 
» brilliant reputation. This , good-natured fopling, 
ihe pet and pUything of ocrtain fiifbiontihle circleB, 
wa*^ then biiay with thai misceliany- which at englh 
^amc out m ISOI, tinder the name of Talea of 
Wonder,'' and wna betiting up m all qtiGrtera lor 
eonlfibntions. Erpkine febowtd Lewis Scott » ver- 
sions of 'Xenore^' and ibe '* Wild Huntsman; 
and when he niffnlioned that thiN fnend had other 
Bp430ii1iena of th^!? Gcn\inndmbterie in hiaporlfolha, 
the collect or anxionaly r emus led that Scott nughi 
be enliated in hia cjinae. Tm brushwood aplendour 
ijf *' The Monk' a" fame, 

" Tlic falie onrl fooliBh fire thai',* vrhlikt ah^mt 
Bj popular tit, and jcl*toii Jinil ttiesi^ftest <»nt,''i 

had a dafiling influence among the unknown aspi- 
rant 8 of Edinbursih : and Sc^tt, who wtis perhnpa 
at all times raiher diBpo^^ed to hold popular favour 
as theatirttst r*'^i of tjttrary rnenr, and who ceriain- 
\y continued through life to tjTer-cRUmalu all t went a 
except hIa own, cop»id«rod thiB invitation ae a very 
flAtteiiniC eottipUjncnu Ha iintiiedmtely wrote to 
Lewis, placing whatever pi&cea ho bad tranalatcd 



arid ntinatiii iroTo the German " VoUmH<d^r'\ »t 
liisdispoaaL The following ia the first of LeiA^i* a 
letters to bim that has been preaervcd— it U withaui 
date, but markodby Scott*' iTftS." 



'*Slr, 

'* 1 cannot deby cjtpreftfiini to toil how moch t fe«l 
obl3ff>rt to yo«, ixrfh Uit the periBiialoa to fubwh Cha 
t*AUnd« I rcquesied, and Tot tUe h6jjil*fliiis maoncr Iti 
«<hl(Ji llsnt pqrmtt«l&ti wa* pnotedr Tlin plan 1 bana 
propntsd to ntyscJij ie to coUett all the marreSaum bal" 
fftfuli wlJkti 1 C4in Jay Juinda Dpon. Anc3*-m a» well aj 
tmpdcro wtJi bft c*niprlaed in mf dp^ipft ; and 1 a^aU 
etnn jilkjw tL place to^iir Gn^june's Foul Ladj^e^ and two 
(^Ik^fat ihat cfttae to Mitrffarer* diwrmif! [tdpcl at the pin. 
Out ait aj^hoat or a witch le m. wine qua thiw fnpcrt^enl m 
all the disli'-s uf which I ifieati to compose my ItobgofeBn 
repiu{, I sti^ iifralci ttitj ' Lied voo TVeue* dooa aec ^isa 
wttfiin tlje plan. With reic«rd to (he romuicetii *CTBa- 
cllna TOfi vflta DeUa.' if I aiu not mtitalien. It !■ OOffj a 
frasuHfiitin the original ; but, ihooH you havr? flnlMied 
It, you will obUce rae mnc)i bt l*triri^ mfr tiave a eopj of 
it,B^ ««]l aa of ihe other jnarvellmtM irndlLkmary b^lk^ 
yoq wtre eo|[ood f^ (o offtr mft. 

" Should you b<? in EtUnburjth when I arrif e tbar^ I 
vhaU request Ereltibe to contrtve an oppgrtuoity Scir my 
reiuroin^ myperBao4i thanki. Mpfulwmlet 1 beg; yoix la 
belicvp cne your moet obedieut andobltged 

M. a, la wfA** 

Wken Lewis reached EdinbumK he niei Scott 
accordingly, and the latter told Allan Cannrnghmini 
thirty years after worda, that he thought ha h«4 .ne- 
ver 4ll fluch elation aa whce the '* Monr mTiU*i 
him to dine with him for the first ttm« at hia ham* 
Since he gazed on Burna in his ?«;veniecnih year,^©^ 
had seen no one enioyinff^ by general cOfkAent^ ttio 
fameof apoetj and Lewis, whatever Scott mjRht, 
on maturer conaideration, ibink of hia title to auch 
fame, bad certainly done him no email ftervlc* ; 
for the balladB of *' Alopao the Brave and tb« Fair 
Iraogine^" and " Thirandarte^*' hfld tekmdiea fnee- 
tunlfy in his bre^aai the spark of poetical ambiti^Q' 
Lady Charlotte Campb+?Tf/(now Bur^,) always -"^ 
tinguiabcd by berpasfioti for elf^ganl lettara, ' 
ready, '' in prtdo of rank, in beauty's bloom/' I 
rhehonouraof Scodnndto ihft "Lion of Mayfairr 
and I believe Scott*t firat introduction to Lewi* 
took place at one of her Lndyihip'a pfiXilm^ Biit 
ibeyniet frequenilyi and, amonp^ other plaoee^ At 
Disfkcith— as witness one of ticolt'a rnArglntl 
notes, written in isafi, on Lord Byion*a Dtafy. — 
"Poor fellow," »ay« Byron, /he di<?d a martyr li? 
hia new riches--^ f a at'cond visit to Jamaica 

' Vt\ dve the Lan^Jfi ot DelorftinA 
D«rk^MieriLve wer« altve o^iiln / 






*'Uiatja, 

' I would fi*-* many a auffir-cMi* 
Monk U;wia #ef « aJlve a|aiiL^ ^' 

To which Scott adds:— "1 wotild pay my sttatv.f 
how few fnend* one has whoie fault a are otily n- 
diculour?. His viait was one of bumaniiy to ame- 
liorate (he condition of his slavea. Ho did much 
good by steal tb, and was a most generoua ereatiiro 
. . , , Lewis waa fonder of ^reat people than bo 
oTi^ht to have been, either as a man of talent or as 
a ma n of faahio n. He h ad al w a y s duk ea and dudif^ 
espfis in his mouth, and w^aa pa then cm I y fawi of 
any one that had a title. You would have (Wpfii 
ho bad been a parr mu of yesterday, yet he had 
lived all his life in good soorety . , , Mat had 
quecrieh eyeti^— they projected like those of aotiie in- 
tecte, and w^rc flattis^h on ihe orbit. Hb p*r»on 
wa* citremely am all and boyish -he w»b indeed the 
leas I man I ever aaw, w be strict] v well and wr 
made. I rememhfcr a rtf lure of him by Sauii 
being handed routid at Ualkeiib Houpe, The i_ .. 
had ingfniou|ly rtung n dark folding^mantle arocnil 
ihc form, under which was half-nid a daggisr, n 
dark lanlcTn, or some pich cut- throat appurtenance; 
with all this the features were prpaerved and enno- 
bletl It pasBod from hand to hand mto that of 
Henry, Duka ofc^s*s^^(h«*m8 ib« r'" 



leoQinQ 

tuii^H 
le sraii 



LIFB OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



ftl yt>we Mnn tbtt it was very lOie, »aid aloud, 
Xike M»t Lewis I Why that picture'* like a Mam !' 
Ha looked* and lo, Mat Lewi;** a head waa at hin 
elbow, Tiiis hoyjihnesa went throtigh [ife with 
hjni, H<^ waj a childi md n spoiled ehiJd| but a 
cbifdol bjgh uuaRHiati'jn ; and so h& w&sted him«etf 
ca g^lMb^tOffleff find G^riufln roitianc^. He had 
tEiA inetl ear for rhythm ! ev^r rat-t with— fintr 
than Bymti'B." 

During Lewis's i|ay in Scotland thfa ymti he 
irp^fEti a tlay or two with Seott at Mu^velbmi^hi 
whefe tbeyHomanry cori.^9 wore in tiuartora* Seott 
received him in hid Mginaa. under the roof of nn 
AUdent datnts who jlITI ji-dfia him mut^h amuBematit 
bv her dedly colWuitfS with the fishwomen-^Uie 
mtickht.ukds of the place Hi* dth^hl in study- 
ing ihtj dialect of tKcs^ p^plo is well remembered 
by the suntvor* of thu cavalry, and niusL have aa-- 
loiiished the stranger dandy. White walking about 
before dinner on one of these dny% Mr. Skene's f«- 
citnti^^n of ibtj Germari firic^iiitd, '* Der Abachi- 
i^'9 Tag i^t dft|^' ^tbe <Jar nf departure is coine,) de^ 
Ulted Both LtiWLH and Scott ; and the latter pm- 
dnofld nett moraLnR that (rpiriieil little pieces tn tba 
lame tn^awarti, wnieh^ embodying tm voJunteor 
ardour of the timd« was fi^nhwith adopted m the 
tfoap*song of tbe Edinburgh Li^ht Hurae. 

^ JftQumry, 17^1, Mr. Lewiii Appears negoiiadng 
VM^ boofa««lleri natn^d Bell, for the publicatt<iii of 
Seott^i Tarsioii of Goetbe^s Tragedy. '* froeti Ton 
B^riichingeti of the I ma Hand**' Bi^jil aeemi tin al- 
ly to have purchased the copyright for tii-enty^fife 
ipjjutEaA, and t won ty -live more to be paid in case 
^4 a. second edition— whieh waa never called for 
until long after the copyright bad eipired, Lew^ 
^7rit<t9, ^' I have mode biru diAttactly undetatandt 
Uiftt, if y<ira a<:capt mi email a aum, it will bo 0|ilr 
ItiecauAe ihia ia your firsi pLLbiicaticm." The editkui 
of '^L^ooie^' and the "Yieer," ifi 179^. had bwn 
completely forgotten ; and L^^wia thouKiit of thoae 
batl«4i euctly a^ if ihey had been M8. contribu^ 
MOfia to hia own ''* Tnlea nf Wonder," itill lingering 
tJii the threBhoI[i of tho ptrca^. The Gi^niz fi^ipeared 
accordingly J with Scott s aame t>n ihe utlepage, in 
ibe following Februarjr* 

In March, I7§9t he carried hia wife to London^ 
thia baiHA the &r«t time ihal he had aeen tht^ metro- 
poXiB ainc^ the days of bia infancy* The aoquar tit- 
an ce of Lewis served to introduce him lo some Ute- 
Tfixy nnd fashionable society, with which be was 
iiiiuch amused; hui hi?* great nn^tieiy was to ei- 
;l mine the antiquiiiefl c>f th^ Tower and Wi^flirninH^r 
Abb^t and to make Eionie re^^nrchei amon^ the 
MSSC of ihe Briiiah Museum, He fonnd bis Goetjt 
tipoketi ol favourablyT on the wbolp, by ihe entsca 
I'C the tjuK> ; but it doea not appear to have attract- 
I d ^en^al attention. The tnith i& that^ to have 
(jiven (ioethe any thing like a fair chance with the 
Kt^Kltab public, biN Urat drama ought m have been 
: ran slated at Ictit ten yeara before. The fmiiatora 
had been more fortunate than the maRters, and this 
-work, wliich eonatiiiitea one of the most importatjt 
jaodmnrkiiiu the history of German litfraEurer had 
mot came even into Scott's haiuJ9> until he had 
jVimiUanxed himMf with the nlvas winch it firSJt 
opened, in the feebJe and pntiy rtiimicries of writtira 
slread y forgot te n. He raaoiiy diai^ ver ed ih f vn? t teiAf 
which separated Goethe from the German drama- 
tiete on whom he had heretofore bean employing 
hifuself ; but the pub he in genera} drew no auch aiti' 
tint^tionB, and the Engh^h Goeti was eoon after - 
wartla condemned to obhvion through tb^ up^par^ 
iOK ridicale abowenrd on whatevtT bore the namr- of 
G^r-rnan p/oy, by the tniinitahle caricature of The 
Hovers. , . , 

The tragedy of Goetba however, has in truth no- 
tbtn^ in coinrztoa with the wild abaurditloa againi^t 
whicli Canning and EUia bad iGVellkl the airow^ 
of their wit n ia a broad> bold, free, and moat pK- 
tUJ^sqiie delineotion of real characters, mannera, 
and ©vent9 ^ the first fruits^ in a word, of that pae- 
noiante Admiration for dhakapeare, to which all that 
ie excellent in the rectnt imaginative Uterature of 
Oenn^nymtiat be traced, With what delight must 



Scott have found i^ie scope and manner of onr Eli- 
zabethan drama revived on a fortigo ataj^ at thji 
call of a real maater t with what double dtjlu^t 
mnat he have aeen Goethe ?eii;ina, for the Qobleat 
purposes of art, men and (nodes of life, acene>a^ inci- 
dents, and transaction A. all claiming near kiridreo 
w i t h tho pp th a t bad fro ni boy h ood formed t he cho- 
seti themf.' of his own sympathy and rtiHectioD. I a 
the baronial robbers of the Rbine, ai'-^rn, bbody, i 
and rap ac to Lift, but frank, gen erou*, and, nftcr thtir 
fashion, couriocpufi ; in thtir foray** ripon each other's 
fJomainsj the besieged castky!!, me plimdered hard a. 
ibe captivp.^ knighr^, the browbi alen bishop, and 
the baOled liege- lord, who vainly strovti to qnell all 
theae ttii|»ti]«icet, Scott had before him a vivid 
imaj^ of the Hfe of hja own and th<? rival Bordar 
ctaD% fatpiliarizt^d to hitn by a hundred namcle&a 
minstrels. If it be douiitful whether, hut for ^* Fer- 
ey^e Reliqiics,^' he wouJd ever have thought of ctlit- 
ing their ball ada. 1 thick it not U'.^^ so wlicther, but 
for the Ironhanatd Gottsf, it would ever have de^h- 
ed upon his miud, that in the wiJd traditions which 
these recorded,, he had been uncodsciously asaem- 
bling materials for more work a of high art than the 
longeat life cdufd serve him to elaborate, 

A* the veraion of lh« Qamt hn« at length beea 
included in Scott' a poeCit;nl works^ 1 need not mak^ 
it the eubject of more detait^ observation here. 
The reader who turns to il for the first cime wdl h& 
no lePB struck than 1 ^as under Himilar circtim- . 
stances a dozen years ago^ with the mat) y points of 
reaemblanco between tbe tone and spirit of Goethe' a 
delineation, and that afterwards adopted by the 
translator in s^m^ of the moet remarkable of bat 
origin a! works* One ei ample, ho we vert may bo 
forgiven, 

"Al&vd aH&rm^ wiih th^U awl Jtring-^^ijn&^ it titmt ' 

StihUt. L«ttT« me hare, and h^Bfen ta 6oet& 

]tt TVaopgf. Let tia slay^ytju nevd ottr ^. 

Stl Get one of you on ttie WKtehrtowari, ud tall ma 



thfl rtilue^l pan. 



Ui Traifp. Hew atuU I gel nnP 



2d Tftifp. 



r i joa caa (b«a itac^h 



Sst, what ifeeifE tUtm ^ 

Troop. Y!>ut ca^ro-llcra (Ij to the hill. 

^l BetliAh cownrflrtE I wnuld Ibnf thi!;' ■tnod^ aatt 
thm^I hat) ^ b«U ihroti|h my tieaA ! Elde doe of you at 
fiilJ ipeCLl--(!^uriQ nod tbcmdeir Ltieoi back to the flaldf 
Bee 'M thou Goet£l 

TVcjcjf/. 1 s€e tlie three black 1o9thKi% in tha mfdat oft 
I2ie ri.uui]l£. 

Sel gttiiu, bra^e Hwinmier— I Zie Imt^- 

7\o<^. A whUe fituuie I WlioH Jb tliit t 

S*L Tb« Cafilalti. 

yVw£7>. Ooctu paUop* E»pon hiffl— Craab^-itowiihegoea. 

^tL Tlae C'npiaiii I 

TVtiop. Yp(L 

Stl Btnvti ^_br*to ? 

Trnap, Aliia \ sUb \ I flee 0<oetz no aiotO- 

Set ThflQ die, iSeUiiiP ! 

TV AMU A 4lie«[lful iuuiult wliore he fto»d. Georfe'a 
blue phixiio vatii^Liea too. / 

Sd. Cittj lb Jiitfb ef — 9*e'sl tJiou Le fm I 

7Voo|j» No— <rvery thloffJa im ^onfuiJofl. 

StL So tfurther^ctjm* down— tcU uw no JJKtfe- 
I Troop. I camiot— brmfffl ! I see Goat*. 

Stt. On honti^back 1 

TViJi^. Ay, ajf— tiigh on hontfbRek— vktory I— (hey 
dy t 

S^, Tli e 1 inp6riali*l» ^ 

Tro&p: eiandard ojid til— Oo&iat behind iham— lie haa 
tt— he tiJ^ilV 

The first hint of thia Us of what not in p<»etry T> 
may be (bund in the iHad— where Helen pomts out 
the peraona of ihe Grei-k heroes in the fight jM^Jig 
below, to old Priam seated on the walla of Trijm^ j,. 
Find Suakapeare makes some nee of the same mea ■ 
in hia Julius Coiiar, But who does not recognise 
m Goethe* In dratna the true original of the doath- 
acene of Marn^ion* and the storm in Ivatiho« 7 

Scott executed about the same time hia '* House 
of Aspen,^* rather a ri/airimmt^ tbari a trttoalttioa 
from one of the minor diraSrtiiit* thst had erowdr 



f8 

ed to partake the popolarity of Goetz of the Iron- 
band. It also was sent to Lewi^ in London, where, 
having first been read and much recommended by 
the celebrated actress, Mrs. Easton, it was taken 
np by Kemble, and I believe actually put in rehear- 
sal for the stage. K so. the trial did not encouragje 
further preparation, and the notion was abandoned. 
Discovering the play thirty years after among his 
papers, Scott sent u ,to one of the hterary alma- 
nacks (the Keepsake of 1829.) In the advertise- 
ment, he says, " ne had lately chanced to look over 
these scenes with feelings very different from those 
of the adventurous period of his Uterary life during 
which they were written, and yet with such, per- 
kaps, as a reformed liberune might regard the ille- 
gitimate production of an^arty amour." He adds, 
there is something to be ashamed of certainly: 
but,lifter all, paternal vanity whispers that the chud 
has some resemblance to the father." This piece 
being also now included in the general edition of his 
works, I shall not dwell upon it here. It owes its 
most effective scenes to the Seerei Tribunal, which 
fountain of terror had first been disclosed by 
Qoethe, and had by this time lost much of its effect 
through the ** clumsy alacrity" of a hundred follow- 
era. Scott's scenes are interspersed with some 
lyrics, the numbers of which, at least, are worthy 
of attention. One has the metre— and not a little 
of the spirit—of the boat-song of Roderick Dhu and 
Clan Alpin. 

*' Joy ta the victors, the sons of old Aspen, 
Joy to the nee of the battle and scar ; 
Glory's proud garland triumpbaaUy firaspinf, 
Generooa lo peace, and victorkuia In war. 

Honour acaotrinf , 

^aloor ioapiring, 
Borstiuir reaistleat throi^b foemen they go, 
^ar axes wielding, ^ 

Broken ranks yielding, 
TQl firom the batde proud Roderick retiriag, 
Yields in wild rout tbe fidr palm to bis foeJ' 

Another is the first^raft of ** the Maid of Toro ;" 
and perhaps he had^gotttfo Ae more perfect copy 
of that aong when he sent the original to the Keep- 

I incline to believe that the ** House of Aspen" 
was written after Scott's return from London : but 
it haa been mentioned in the same page with the 

Goetz," |o avoki any recorrence to either the Ger- 
man or the Germanised dramas. His return was 
apcelerated by the domestic oalamity which forms 
tte anbjeot of the following letter ^- 

2> Jf^ Oom, Oeorge^9 ^Stptare, Edinburgh. 

"London, 1901 April, 1799. 
''Vy dear Mother, 

** I cannot express the feelings with which I alt down 
to the discharge of my present melancholy daty, nor 
how much I regret the accident which has removed me 
from Edinbungh. at a time, of all others, when I should 
have wished lo administer tojronr distress all the consola- 
tion which sympathy and affection could have afforded. 
Your own principles of virtue and rel^on will however, 
1 well know, be your best support in this heaviest of hu- 
man aflUctions. The removal of my regretted parent 
from this earthly scene, Is to him, donbtless, the happiest 
change, if the firmest integrity and the best spent life 
can entitle us to judge of the state of our departed friends. 
¥rheB we reflect upon this, we ought almost to suppress 
the selfish feelings of regret that he was not spared to us 
a tittle longer, especially when we consider that it was 
not the will of Heaven that he should ahare the most in- 
estimable of its earthly blessings—such a portion of health 
as misht have enabled him to enjoy his family. To my 
dear athen then, the putting off this mortal mask was hap- 
piness, and to us who remain, a lesson so to live that we 
akM DMv have hope in our latter end ; and with you, my 
dearest Mother, remain many blessings and some duties, 
agratefiil recollection of which will lam sore, coatri- 
bole to calm the eurreoc of your affliction. The affec- 
. tion and attention which you have a right to expect from 
your children, 4md which I consider as the best tribute 
we can pay to the memory of the parent we have lost, 
wni also, lam sure, contribute iu fyH share to the alle- 



LIFE OF SOL WALTER SCffTT. 



viation of your (fiatress. The situation of Charlotte's 
health, in its present delicate state, prevented me from 
setting off directly for Scotland, when I heard that imme* 
diate danger was apprehended. I am now dad I did not iJo 
so, as I could not with the utmost expediuon have reach 
ed Edinburgh before the lamented event had taken place. 
The ^tuation of my affidra must detain me here for a few 
days more ; the instant 1 can, I will set off for Bcotkuul. 
I need not tell you not even to attempt to answer tbto 
letter— such an exertion woold be both unneeeasary aod 
imoroper. John or Tom will let me know how my sister 
and you do. I am, ever, dear Mother, your dutiful and 
afl^ctlonate son, 

W. 8." 
" P. S.— Permit me, my dear Madam, to a^ a line to 
8cott*s letter, to express to you how sincerely I feel for 
your loss, and how much I regret that I am not near yoa, 
totrjjfj the most tender care to soften the pain that so 
great a misfortune must inflict on you, and on all thoee 
who ^lad the happiness of being coimected with him. I 
hope soon to have the pleasure of returning to you. aod 
to convince you of the sincere affection of your danpiter, 

M. cTb." 

The death of thia worthy man, in his roih year, 
after a long series of feeble health and suffering, was 
an event which could only be regarded as a jcreac 
dehverance to himaeUl He had had a aocCiesBioB of 
paralytic attacks, under which, mind as well as body 
had by degrees been laid quite prostrate. When th« 
first Chronicles of the Canongate appeared, a near 
relation of the family said to me-^'* I had been out 
of Scotland for some time, and did not know of my 
good friend's illness^ until I reached Edinbotgh, a 
tew months before his death. Walter carried me to 
visit him, and warned roe that I ahould see a ^reac 
change. I saw the Tery scene that is here pamted 
of the elder Crofrangrys sickroom— not a feature 
difierent— poor Anne Scott, the gentlest of ^Teatureai, 
was treated by the fretful patient precisely hke thi^ 
niece." ♦ ^ 

I hare Uved to see the curtain rise and fall once 
more on a like scene. 

Mr. Thomas Scott continued to manage his fa- 
ther's business. ' He married early t he was in hie 
circle, of society extremely popular ; and iofi proe- 
1)ects seemed (air in all thmgs. The property left br 
the old gentleman was less than had been expected, 
but snflScient to make ample provision for hits wid- 
ow, and a not inconsiderable addition to the resour- 
ces of those among whom the remainder was divi- 
ded. 

Scott's mother and sister, both mnch exhausted 
vrith their attendance on a protracted eickbed, and 
the latter already in the firat stage of the malady 
which in two yeara more carried her also to her 
grave, spent the greater part of the foltowing siun- 
mer ana autumn m his cottage at Lasswade. 

There he was now again labouring asaidnooslyin 
the service of Lewis's " hobgobUn repast,", and the 
q>ecimens of his friend's letten on his contributions, 
as they were successively forwarded to London, 
which wereprinted by way of appeadix to his Essay 
on Popular Poetry, in 1830, may perhaps be sufficient 
for the reader's curiosity. The versions from BQr- 
ger were, in consequence of Lewis's remarks, some- 
what corrected : and indeed, althongh^eott speaks 
of himself as having paid no attention, "at the time," 
to the lectures of his " martinet in rhymes and nnm- 
bers"—(" lectures which were." he adds, "severe 
enough, but useful eventually/' as " forcing on a 
young and careless versifier criticisms absolutely ne* 
cessary to his future succes8")~it is certain that his 
memory had in some degree deceived him when he 
used this language, for, of all the false rhymes and 
Scotticisms which Lewis had pointed out in these 
"lectures," hardly one appears in the printed co- 
pies of the ballads contributed by Scott to the Tales 
of Wonder. 

As to his imperfect rhymu of this period, I have 
no doubt he owed them to his recimt seal abon^ 
collecting the ballads of the Border. He had, in hia 
familiarity with compositions so remarkable for 
merits of a higher order, ceased to be offemkd, as in 
the days of his devotion to Langhome and Meikle 

• 8ee Cfaraoiciei, Wavcriey Novili«ieL aliip. l& 



LIPROP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



2m would probtUy have been, with theb loose tod 
TagQO asMoancesf which are often, in fact, not 
rfajmea at all ; a hcenae pardonable enough in real 
mmatrelsy, meant to be chanted to mosa-troopcra 
with the accompanyinjf; tones of the warpipe, but 
eertainly not worthy of imitation in verses written 
for the eye of a polished age. Of this carelessness 
as to rhjrroe, we see Uttle or nothing in our few spe- 
cimens of his borish verse ; and it does not occvT; to 
any extent that has ever been thought worth notice, 
in his great works. 

Bat Lewis's collection did n^Lengross the leisure 
<^thi8 sammer. It prodncefl uso w^at Scott just- 
ly calls his " first senous attempts in verse -" and of 
thefe the earliest appears to have been the Glenfin- , 
las.. Here the scene is laid m the most favourite 
dtstrict of his favourite Perthshire Highlands ; and 
the Gaelic trmdition on which it is founded was far 
more likely to draw out the secret strength of his ge- 
nms, as well as to arrest the feelings of nis eountry- 
men* than any subject with which the stores of Ger- 
man ditUderie ^uld have supplied him . It has been 
alleged, however, thatthepoet makes a German use 
of hiB Scottish materials: that the legend, as briefly 
told in the simple proseof his preface, is more qfecting 
than the lofty and sonorous sunzas themselves that 
the va^ne t^ror of the original dream loses, instead 
of gaining by the expanded elaboration of the detail. 
Ttoe may oe something in these objections : but 
DO man can pretend to be, an impartial critic of the 
piece which first awoke his own childish ear to the 
power of poetry and the melody of verse. 

Tlie nextof tnese compositions was, 1 believe, the 
^Eveof St. John, in which Scott repeoples the tower 
of Smailholm, the awe-inspiring haunt of his in- 
£uicy; and here he touches, for the first time, the 
one superstition which can still be appealed to with 
ftill and perfect effect ; the only one which Ungers 
in minds long since weaned from all sympathy with 
the machinery o^ witches and goblins. And surely 
this mystery was never toudied with more thriHin^ 
riiill than in that noble ballad. It is the first of his 
original pieces, too, in which he uses the measure of 
lus own favourite Minstfels ; a measure whidi the 
monotony of mediocrity had lonj^ and successful- 
ly l^en labouring to degrade, but in itself adequate 
to the expression of the highest thoughts as well 
as the gentlest emotions, and capable, m fit hands, 
oi as nch a variety of music as any other of mo- 
dem times. This was written at Mertoun-house in 
the autumn of 1799. Some dilapidations had taken 
place in the tower of Smailholm, and Harden, he- 
rnia informed of the fact, and entreated with need- 
less earnestness by his kinsman to arrest the hand 
(k the spoiler, reauested playfully a ballad, of which 
SmaOholm should be the scene, as the price of his 
assent. The stanza in which the groves of Mer- 
toon are alluded to has been quoted m a preceding 

Then came The Gray Brother, founded on ano- 
ther snj>erstition, which seems to have been almost 
as ancient as the belief in ghosts ; namely, that the 
holiest service of tha altar cannot go on in the prei- 
aence of an unclean person—a hemons sinner un- 
confessed and unabsolved. The fragmentary form 
of this poem greatly heightens the awfulness of its 
impression: and m construction and metre, the 
verses which really belong to the storv apoear to me 
the happiest that have ever been prooucea expressly 
in imitation of the ballad of the middle age. In the 
stanzas, previously quoted, on the scenery of the 
Esk, however beautiful in themselves, and how- 
ever mteresting now as marking the locality of the 
eompontion, he must be allowed to have lapsed in- 
to another strain, and produced nvannus purpureus 
which interferes with and mars the general texture. 

He wrote at the same period the fine chivalrous 
ballad, entitled The Fit^-King, in which there is 
more than enough to make us forgive the machine- 
ry. It was also m the course of this autumn that 
be first visited Bothwell Castle, the seat of Archi- 
bald Lord Douglas, who had married the. Lady 
Frances Scott, sister to Henry. Duke of Buccleuch ; 
a woman whose many amiable virtues were com- 



bined with extraordinary stieng^th of mind* and who 
had. from the fhat rotrodnction of the young poet at 
Dalkeith, formed high anticipations of his future 
career. Lady Douglas was one of his dearest frien^Ji 
through life ; and now, under her roof, he mM with 
one whose abiUties and accomplishments not less 
quaUfied her to estimate him, and who still survives 
to lament the only event that could have intemit)!- 
ed their cordial confidence— the Lady Louisa Stuart, 
daughter of the celebrated John, Earl of Bute. 
These ladies, who were sisters in mind, feeling, and 
affection, he visited among scenes the nobles and 
most interesting that all Scotland can show— alike 
famqus in history and romance ; and he was not 
unwilling to make Bothwell and Blantyre the sub- 
ject of another balled. His purpoae was nevter 
completed. 1 think, however, the reader wtU not 
complaih of my introducing, the fragment whiah I 
have foun(J among his pajjers. 

** When firuHlh] Clydeidsle's apple-bowers 
Are menowin; in the noon ; r 

HVhen aifbs round Pembroke's minM towers 
The sultry breath of June ; 

" When Clyde, despite his sheltering woo<l^ 

Most leave his channel dnr ; 
And vainly o'er the limpid ffood ( 

The angler guides his fly ; 

V I%chaiiee, by Bothwell's lovely braes i 

A wanderer thoa hast been, 
Or bid thee from the summer's blaze 

In Bbntyre's bowers of green, 

. " Full where the eopsewood opens wild 
Thy pilgrim step bath staid, 
Where Bothwell's towers in ruin piled • ' 

O'erlook the verdaht glade ; '. 

" And many a tale of lote and fear 

Hath mingled iHth the seene^ 
Of BothwelTs banks thst bloom'd so deaz^ 

And Bothwell's bonny Jean. 

" a if with rugged mbistrel lays , ' 

unsated be thy ear. 

And thou of deeds or other 4ajs . 

Another tale wilt hear, ^ ' 

" Then all beneath the spreading beech 

Flung careless on the lea. 
The Gottiic muse the tale shall teach ,^J^ 

Of Bothwell's sisters three. -^ 

*< Wight Wallace stood on Deckmont head, 

He blew his bugle round. 
Till the wild bull in Cadyow wood 

Has started at the aound. 

" 8t George's cross, o'er Bothwell hung^ 

Was waving fur and wide, 
And from the lofty turret flung 

Its crimsoD blaze on Clyde ; 

** And risfaig at the bogle blast 
- That mark'd thtf^cottish foe, 
Old England's yeomen muster'd hat, 
And bent the Norman bow. 

" Tall in #e midst Sir Aylmerrose, ^ 

Proud Pembroke's Barl was he- 
While" 

One morning, during his visit to Bothwell, waa 

S«nt on an excursion to the ruins of Craignethan 
astle, the seat, in former day^ of the great Evan- 
dale branch of the house or Hamilton, but now 
the property of Lord Douglas ; and the poet ez- 

Rressed such rapture with the scenery, that his 
osts urged nim to accept, for his lifetime, the use of 
a small habitable house, enclosed within the circuit 
of the ancient walls. This ofler was not at once 
declined ; but circumstances occurred before the 
end of the year, which rendered it impossible for 
him to establish his summer residence in Lanark- . 
shire. The castle uf Craignethan is the original of * 
his " Tillietudlem." 

Another imperfect ballad, in which he had meant 
to blend together two legends familiar to every 
reader of Scottish historv and romance, has been 
found in the same portfolio, and the handwriting 
proves it to be of the same e^ly date. Thougn 



UFEiWSm, WAIfTBR SCOTT. 



loBC md very iinfinwiM, it oofUains to auutf 
foiiches of his oeet manner that I cannot withfaoUT 

THE SHEPHBRD^ TALK. 

And ne'er bat once, mj son, he atji, 
Was jron sed cavern trod, 
I In persecution's iron days, 

When the land was left bj God. 

Fk^n BewU4 bof, wkh slaaghter red, 

A wanderer hither drew. 
And oft he stopc and turned his head, 

As'b7 fiu the night wind blew ; 

For trampling: round by Cheviot edge 

Were beard the troopers keen, 
And frequent from the Whitelaw ridge 

~ edSathr ^ ^ 



Thee 



I'Shot Hashed betweeiL 



Hie moonbeams through the misty shower 

On you dark caTem rail ; 
Through the doody night, the snow gleamed white, . 

Which sunbeam ne'er could quefl. 

*f Ten efttem dark is rough and rudt, 

And cold its jaws of snow ; 
Bnt more rough andvude are the men of blood, 

That hdhc my life below ; 

*t Yon spell'bound den, as the sged tell, 

Was hewn by demon's hands ,- 
Bnt I had kxira* melle with the fiends of he^ 

Than with Oarers and his band." 

He heard the deep-mouthed bloodhound bark, 

He heard the horses neigh, 
Be plunged him in the ca»em dark, 

And down%vard sped his way. 

How faintly down the winding path 

Came the cry of the faulting hound, 
And the muttered oath of baiuked wrath 

Was lost in hoUow sound. 

He threw him on the flinted floor, 

And held his breath for fear : 
He rose, and bitter cursed his n>es, 

AS the sounds died on his ear. 

"O bare thine arm, thou battling Lord, 

For Scotland's wandering band ; 
Dash from the oppresaor's grasp the sword, 

And sweep him from the laod 1 

** Forget not thou (hy people's groaas 

Frwn dark Dunnotter's tower, 
Mix'd with the seefowl's shriDy moans, 

And ocean's bursting roar I 

** O in fell Clavers' hour of pride. 

Even in his mightiest day, 
As bold he strides throuth conquest's tide, 

•O stretch him on the day 1 

*< His widow and his little ones, 

O may their toweiwf trust 
Remove its strong foundation stones, 

And crush themi in the dust \"^ 

" Sweet prayers to me," a voice replied, 
** Thrice welcome, Kjjen of mine !"— 

And glimmering on the cavern side ^ 
Alight was seen to shine. 

An sged man, in amice brown. 

Stood by the wanderer's side, 
ByjpowerAil charm, a dead man's arm 

Tne torch's light supplied. 

From each stiflT finger stretched upright, 

Arose a ghastly name. 
That waved not m the blast of night 

Which through the cavern came. 

O deadly blue was that taper's hue. 

That flamed the cavern o'er. 
But more deadly blue was the ghastly hue 

Of his eyes who the taper bore. 

. He laid on his head a band Uke lead, 
As heavy, pale, and cold :— 
"Vengeance be thine, thou guest of mine. 
If thy heart be firm and bold. 

'But if Unt thy heart, and caitUT fe&r 
Thy Rcreant sinews know, 

• Lowrct; i. •., iJeftr-ratlNr. 



The mooataln erne th9 oeart ahdl taii^ 
Thy nerves the hooded crow." 

The wanderer raised him hndlsnity'd : 

" Mv soul, by dangers steeled. 
Is stubborn as my border blad^ 

Which never knew to yidd. 

« And If thy power can speed the hour 
Of vengeance on my foes, i 

Theirs be the fote, from bridge and gtce 
To feed the hooded crows." 

The Brownie looked him In the &ce, 

And his colour^ed irith speed— 
"I fear me," quOth he, **uneath it wUl be' 

To match thy word and deed. 

" In ancient days when English bands 

Sore ravaged Scotland fair. 
The sword and shield of Scottish land 

Was valiant Halbert Kerr. 

" A wark>ck loved tlie warrior wellj 

Sir Michael Scott by name. 
And he sought for his sake a spell to make, 

Should the Southern fpefnen tan\ji^ 

« < Look thou,' he said) ' from Oestfordbewl, 

As the July sua sinks low. 
And when ghmmeiing white on Oheviot'a h«%hft 

Thou Shalt spy a wresth of snow, 

^ 'The spell is complete which shall briiig to thy iMt 

The haughty Saxon foe.' 
For many a year wrought the wiiardhere, 

In Cheviot's bosom low, 

(* Till the spell was complete, and in Joly'a haet 
Appeared December's snow ; « 

But Cessford's Halbert never came 
The wondrous cause to know. 

<' For years before in Bowden tiale 

The warrior's booes had lain. 
And after short while, by female guile, 

Sir Michael Scott was slain. 

" But me and my brethren tat this cell 

His mighty charms retain,— 
And he that can quell the powerful speU 

.Shall o'er broad Scotlaaa reign." 

He led him through an froadoor 

And up a winding stair, ^ 

And in wild amaze did the wanderer gnse 

On the sight which opened there. 

Through the gloomy night flashed ruddy Bgllt— 

A thousand torches' glow ; 
mie cave rose high, like the vaulted sky, 

O'er stalls in <£rable row. 

In every stall of that endless hall 

Stood a steed id barbing bright ; 
At the foot of each steed, all armed save thahead^ 

Lay stretched a stalwart knight 

In each mailed hand was a naked branch . 

. As they lay on the black bull's hide ; 
Each visage stem did upwards turn. 
With eyeballs fixed and wide. 

A launcegay Strong, full twelve eUs long^ , 

By every warrior huns ; • 
At each pommel there, for battle yare, 

A Jedwood axe was slnng. 

The casque hung near each cavalier; 

The plumes waved mournfully 
At every tread which the wanderer made 

Through the hall of Oramarye ; 

. The ruddy beam of the torches' gleam 

That glared the warriors on, 
Reflected light from armour bright, 

In noontide splendour shone. 

And onward seen In lustre sheen, 

Still lenstheiifng on the sight, 
Through the boundless ball, stood steeds la stall, 

Andby each lay a aable knight 

Still OS the dead lay each horseman dreed, 

And moved nor limb nor tongue ; 
Each steed stood stiff as an earthfaSt dU^ ^ 

Nor hoof nor bridle rung. 

No sounds through all the apedotis taO 
The d«dl7 %d|rtdjby ^^OOglC 



UFKOF Sm WALTBR SCOTT. 



♦^ To Ao mndefer^i amp r*pU CcL 

On AAlTDb f'llUlfiJl iKHTtlr, 

App<r*r'i3 a «wr>Ttl snd barn. 

** £fov cboo^A thee here.'' qui:itb jyi leatler, 
^ "Thjf tfi^iititruiii rortumt uy ; 
^fihy WD tnil wvil, (hj Ircrut utd IhH 
Iq jdp bnjid And bugle lt«/* 

^ Ttttbe fkttJ brand ho moi^Qted ^f » h&Qi^ 
Bgt hi* «oi&ld)d quiver Mid guiUl; 
The lift bki^l dkl dtHrt to His tfliudd^rlnf h^flrt^ 
A^iid leii hlTD wvi ind p&k- 

Th4 brtod lie jorpoc^lc* udd thi? tiofu h6 tei^ 

To 'Af K l^fnlit! ROtUKl - 

But ID ttUd s blA«4 Dtqui the bu£l« brut, 
Thju the Clief k^ tock'd ^rtnuud. 

Pmcn Forth to Test, Ik>m eem to hs% 

Tbc iwful bu0« ra&c « 
On €44*11 Alio w&U, mnd Btrrwick «)Ulil| 

To uiiOAtlie wvdera aprujac^ 

^ WUi etukand crimf tlwe«v«mTmiE, 

Tb A lUQdB Jdid flCUDp Bttd ttftlgh ; 

And kn>d «ui thi^ f «ll m tnch mrrk^r iali 
Stett4 Oft wllh tlwp find cry, 

" Wo. wn," thfij trierlj ""tlioii ceiiUT eowur^ 

Ttiii eTfT thou wfrrt Nirn ! 
Why df^w f? RfJt the kniflttif vwntd 

BoFore jf t bkw thr Jaorti T' 

Thfl nKam liii ori Lbo moiijilain ibonc, 

And Bti thf. hiooiiy froruid 
Bailed fr<iiti the C4^e with ih)<ftr^d boii«i 

Tbi^ !uifi|led wrote h wu founds 

AnJitiU b*E).FBlh the ctverti drewlt 

Ajnou tbe f Udt^eifi £I'bj^ 
A sbapelfiH vtonr. wiihlirhei 

Mftfke where iht' wmdertrkj^ 

Th« reader may b^ jnttteated bjr comoAhng with 
ilik bdJad tiib KuLhoT^« proeti v«raion 01 p^ri of iift 
Lpead, b# giveii in one of thcla^L workc of bia pen- 
Hi i&jA, in the |jette<T« on Demotiology and Witcb- 
•or«^ 1630:—'* Tl^omas of ErfJildownej daring hia 
fetir^meat, bfts bwn fupoowxl, from time t^ limf, 
t<j be levying forcGB to takii the field in some crisis 
of hifl countrf'fl fnte. Th*^ story hai* often Wn loid, 
til n darmg horae jockey having auld a black borsc 



rtii.^ir. u eiL'|#u^r» to mc the bolter eoyrtu tOOputOO' 
tbini? by wiiu:h it ia m my |>aw«Lr Lo tlm)W HgKl Oil 
tbia exporimi^ntd penod. 

^' Go iji old CberLod cr««( bc^kw, * 

And pensiTe mark the liuK^^tif «fiow ' 

1b bI] hU af anre tUld^, 
And alo* dlsxilviii^ froifi thif bfit 
Id lUAtiy A i^tf httf'iui SFimidtiiag rtUr 

Ft«d apatklini fiavnioat'a tld«« 

" Fidr Rhii>#R tb4< f tTfWD Vf tltHk and |H« 

Ajwiniplhut to the «r«COT« •«* 

ibva««&kTiU'i frulleti b^di 
f ade^litf drsp th« taUl plaJiFi^ 
WbinS^otknd'a iif]i blent. htMt In vaI^ 

Armiod lh<ir rftonitx^h blod. 
" Afi^i ^evlwmrd btlbi no liMtf yoy M^i 
JEt en MA ftld Oceania DOiif htlAit ««a 

[|e4Tnitht(!U h?r wsvpiof twn, 
UuEk JUiil annjn-ridced HhMn Caft«uM*a wflld 



To tJift pfijgd fcKjC of Cheviot r^U 



FiirdT 

* • • * * « I 

Notwiihstonduif all the«e VAri^ ^Mayji, tnd! tlife 
charms oT ihtj ili^^tinf^uiBk^d eociiUy iDlo whiab bia 
rflputntj^jn bad already m troduL'Ml him. Scott*» 
Ihcttds do not tipiK^or to Lave at yet enlrrtaincd ihe 
aligUteat notion that litter atiare waa 10 be Lh» mam 
bUflio^Ka of hJ€ Ur«~ A ktict of Ken of Abbotmle 
congnttvilaiaa him on bin banng bad more to do at tXe 
aulumrial a^ttizo^ uf Jedburgh this year than on out 
former j^iccai^ion, which mt^lligimcebe seemibtniMiIf 
to ha 90 oon^Enttnicfttod with no f em: hie expresdoni ^ 
of sattilftctLon. '^ I ir«atly <^rijoy this" »^y* ^^1 
^' RO on : and whh your sitronK aenae and hotirliy 
riponing kfmwlfd^ty ibat yan muet riu* to the top ik 
the tree iii the Parhamenl Housv m due ee&aon, I 
bold oeof!rtain aa ibai Murray cik?d Lord ManabekL 
But don't kt many an Ovid, 'or miber many a 
Burns, {which la betterj be lost in you. I rather 
think men of btieinesa hav« produced as Kood poetry 
in their by- hours aa the profuesffd regiilara ; and I 
d^n't M^e ftny aulEcient roa»oa why a Lord Praei^ 
dcirit ScotC should not bd a ramotta po«t^ (in l]t« Wr 
cation time,) when we have Men a President M^n* 
tesctuieu Atep 10 nobly beyond the trammcU in tbf 
Etprit dt^ Lftix. I ttHipoct Drydtin would have 
been a happier man bad ht? b^d your proft^rasion. 
The reaaunm^? mkntft visibU in hia vertfess asEur^ 
VI u ur»»>M» iM/*=rL; ji^,.«.^j .jun,,,^^^ — » ..„^„ „......- me that htf w>tuld have mleJ bi Weatminater HalJ 

to a man of Vf^norabk and antique oppc-arance, who as easily u^hi' did at Button'?, and he might have 
appoiiilcd the remarkable billoi^k upon Kil^ioa hjiK | found time tmiu^li b^^sidea for eyerjMJiine thal_ one 
cau^ the Luckon-bare. ai* the placo whtre, at " ' ' i- .. ^^ .- . 

twelve o'clock £it nij^bt^ m should n^ceivu th« price 
He eamej hia motley wa« paid in ancient coin^ and 
he was mvited by his cuatomer to view hie resi- 
dence- The trader in hordes followed hit^ guide in 
the deepest nan/niibmeni through aeveral lonif 
rani^es of itaUs, in each of which a horee aiood mo- 
tionlees, whik on armed warrior lav e<yiaUy huU at 
the cbarscr^sfefrt. ' All ibeat? men. eaid the wisard 
in a whimper, * wiU awaktn nt tho battle of Shenff- 
tvuif.' At the eiitemiiy of this fLXiraordinary dep*Tft 
hung a sword and a bom^ whkh the prophet point- 
ed out to t\\^ boFwi-deskr us containmg the me ana 
of diflaoWinc the fiK?ll The man in confusion took 
the horn and attempiKsd to wind it. The horse.? in- 
stantly ptnrtod m their stBlls^ Rtamp^d. and ihook 
%heir bridlea, the men arose and clashed their ar- 
mour, and tht^ mortal* terrified at tin' tumult he bad 
ei<:aed, dropr*d the horn from hia hand A voioe 
like that of a giant, louder ev^n than tbe tumult 
aiound, pronounced theac worda :— 



* 'W'&io the coward thai e^tjr be wa* bo^l^ 

T\wi. did not draw tbe iword before lie blew the horn.' 

A whirlwind expelled th*i horafr-dcaleT from tbe c?i- 
vctOt the entrance to which he could never again 
find . A mo ral miah t be perh up s fx tra c ted fro m the 
leK«^Tid, namely, that it is bs^K to be armed afioinst 
dunger before hiddinR it defiance.'* 

One mon^ fraement, in anotb^T style, and I almll 
have exbauftte<r tbiis budeet, I ani wtiii awanf* lb at 
ibe 10 trod uet ton of ftucti thin^^ ^iU be conaid^red 
by many aa of i^ticationabb propriety ^ but on tbe 



K-J 



really hoTioura his niemoiy for/' This fhend ap- 
pear* in have enttrlained, in October* U69, tb<f very 
opmsoD 05 to thti ptoftasion qf iiUralure on which 
Scott acted tlirou^b life. 
Havmu^ a^ain givrn a week to Liddiadale, ineotn^^ 
ny wim Mr/Shortreed* be apeni aftiwdaya at 
..oaebank, and was preparing to r«ium lo Editi^ 
burgh f'jr the winter, when James Eallaniyne called 
on hjm one morning, and be*a?<?d hini 10 auoply a 
few ^jftraffraphi* on aome kgal qeesiion of tbe day 
for bis newwiapcr^ Stoti cinn plied ^ ond carry inc 
his article nfiuaeU to thp printinR-ofiice, loiik with 
luni nleo some of hia recent pifcct^, designed to np- 
peor in Lcwia'« collection. With tbeBe* eaptnialfy, 
as bis Mi^morandmn aayzji, the " MorEacbian fraji?- 
ment after Goethe/^ Ballaniyoc was diArmeii, and 
he expressed hia recret that Ltwii's book wof hq 
long in appearing. Scott talked of I^ewia with rajo^ 
mre ; and aftor red ling some of bia stanJtaa, 8aid| 
**lou^ht to BpoloRiai] to you for bavins troypJed 
you wiib any thing of my own, when ] bad thinafl 
like tbia for your ear."— I felt at once/' aays Bal- 
lantytie, " that his own versea were far above what 
LewiB could ever do, and ihoiigh, when 1 said ll*J^ be 
di»aented, yet he scouted pi eas^>d with the wamub of 
my approbmion" AtparlioB, Scott threw mt a ca- 
sual ooaervationt that lie wondered hiftold fnend did 
not try to ^et mme little booksellers' work, * t6 keep 
hia types m play dunnK ihe rest of the week/' Bal* 
lantynE an a wi^ red, that iueh an idea bad not heforo 
occtirred to him— that hu bad no acquaio lance with 



* Uvw martT BQ OtiiLwai in 

Digitized 



:pe-5c^c 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



^e Edinbur^ '* trade ;" bat, if he had, his types 
were good, and he thought he could afford to work 
more cheaply than town-printers. Scott, ^with 
his good-humoured smile," said, " You had better 
try what you can do. You haye been praising my 
little ballads ; suppose Tou print off a dozen copies 
or so of as many as will make a pamphlet, sufficient 
to let my Edinhiirgh acQuaintances judge of your 
skill for (hcnisf ives." Ballantyne assented ; and I 
believe exactly iwelye copiea of William and EUlen, 
The Fire- Ki IK, The Chase, and a few more of those 
pieces, were tlirowri niV accordin^y, with the title 
(alludmg to th(* lon;^ cltlay of Lewis's collection) of 
" Apology for Tales of Terroi— 1799." This first spe- 
eimen of a press, afterwards so celebrated, pleased 
Scott ; and he said to Ballantvne, " I have been for 
years coUeciingold^rderballads,andI think I could 
with little trouble put together such a selection from 
them as'might make i neat little volume, to sell for 
four or five shillings. I will talk to some of the 
booksellers about it when I get to Edinburgh, and 
if the thinjs goes on. you shall be the printer." Bal- 
lantyne higmy relisned the proposal ; and the result 
of tnis littk CTperiment changed wholly the course 
of his worldly fortunes, as well as of his friend's. 

Shortly after the commencement of the Winter 
Seasitn, the office off* Sberifi'-depute of Selkirkshire 
became vacant bv the death of an early ally of 
Scott^s^ Andrew Plummer of Middlestead, a scholar 
«Bd antiquary, who had entered with zeal into his 
ballad-researches, and whose name occurs accord- 
ingly more than once in thi notes to the Border 
Minstrelsy. Perl^aps the community of their tastes 
may have had some part in suggesting to the Duke 
of Bncclench. that Scott might fitly succeed Mr. 
Plummer in tne msgistrature. Be that as it might. 
his Grace's influence was used with the late Lord 
Melville, who, in those days, had the general con- 
I trol of the crown patronage in Scotland, and his 
Lordship was prepared to look favourably on Scott's 
pretensions to some office of this description. 
Though nether the Duke nor this able minister were 
at all addicted to hterature, they bad both seen Scott 
fiequently under their own roois^ and been pleased 
witn his manners -and conversation ; and henad by 
thistimecome to be on terms of aflfectionate intima- 
cy with some of the vounger members of either fami- 
ly. The Earl of Dalkeith, (afterwards Duke Charles 
of Buccleuch,) and his brother Lord /ames Scott, 

inow Lord Montagu,) had been participating, with 
[indred ardour, in the military patriotism of the pe- 
riod, and had been thrown into Scott's society uu: 
der circumstances well qualified to ripen acquaint- 
ance into confidence. The Honourable Robert 
Dundas, eldest son of the statesman whose title he 
has inherited*, had been one of Scott's companions 
in the High school ; and, he, too, had been of late 
a lively partaker in the business of the yeomanry 
eavalry } and, last, not least, Scott always remem- 
bered with gratitude the strong interccssirm on this 
occasion of Lord Melville's nephew, the Right Hon- 
ourable William Dundas, then Secstary to the 
Board of Control, and now Lord Clerk Register for 
Scotland. 

His appointment to the ShtriJJ^kip bears date 
Itfth December, 1799. It secured him an annual 
salary of iS300 ; an addition to his resources which 
at once relieved his mind from whatever degree of 
anxiety he might have felt in considering the pros- 
pect of an increa^ng family, along with the ever 
precarious chances of a profession, in the daily 
drudgery of which it is impoefsible to suppose that he 
ever could have found much pleasure.* The duties 
of the office were far from heavy ; the district, small, 
peaceful, and pastoral, was in great part the proper- 
ty of the Duke of Buccleuch ; and he turned with 
redoubled zeal to his project of editing the ballads, 
many of the best of which belonged to this very 

* " Mr profetuan and I came to itand nearly xspaa tbe footioc 
wUcbhooett Slender conaqled himself on bavmf 'established 



district of his favouriU Bordei^those 
which, as the dedication of the Mmstrelsy ezpreaMS 
it had " in elder times celebrated the prowess and 
cheered the halls" of his noble patron's anceaKna. 

CHAPT.ERX. 

THB BOBOSa MINSTBELST Uf PBKPABATlON^miGAABD 
HBBBB—JOlUt LBVDBa—WUXIAM LUSfLKW—iAMMm 
HOOO — COBBKSPOVBBNCB WITH OBOBOB BLUB— 
PCBUCATION OF THB TWO FIBST VOLUMES OP THB 
BOBDBBJIINSTBBIJBY.— 1800-1802. * 

Jambs BALLAmrKB, in his Memorandum^ after 
mentioning his ready acceptance of Scott's proix>- 
skl to print the Minstrelsy, adds--" I do not believe, 
that even at this time, ne seriously contemplated 
giving himself much to titers ture." I confer how- 
ler, that a letter of his^ addressed to Bailantyna 
in the spring of 1800, inclines me to question the ac- 
curacy of this impression. After alfuding to an in- 
tention which he had entertained, in consequence 
of the delay^ Lewis's collection, to publiA, an edi- 
tion of the ballads contained in his own little vo- 
lume, entitled *' Apology for Tales of Terror," be 
goes on to detail plans &t the future direction of his 
printer's career, which were, no doubt, primarily 
suggested by the friendly interest he took in Ballan- 
tyne's fortunes ; but there are some hints wbich. 
considering what afterwards did take place, lead 
me to suspect that even thus early the writer con- 
templated the possibility at lea^t of being himself 
very intimately connected with the result of th«M 
airdrawn schemes. The letter is as follows t 

To Mr. J. BnUantyneyKeUoMaU Qfice, JTcIm. 

<' Castle Street, 22d April ISDO. 
"Dear Or, 

" I have your ftvour, aince the receipt of which sonw 
things have occurred which induce me to postpone my 
intention of publishing my balladiL particularhr a letter 
from a friend, aasaring me diat * The Talea or Wonder* 
are actually in the printer's hand. In this sUuation I eil- 
deavonr to atrengtnea my small atock of patleoee, which 
has been nearly exhauated by the delay of this work, to 
wliioh (though for that reason ak>ne)I almost regret hav- 
ing promiaed aaaistance. 1 am slill reaoived to have re- 
course to your press for the Ballads of the Border, which 
are in some forwardness. 

" I have now to request vour forgiveneas for mention, 
ing apian which your friend Gillon and I haveialkeil over 
together, with a view aa well to the public advantage aa to 
your individual interest. It ia nothing short of a migra* 
tion from Kelso to thia place, which I think might be ef 
fected upon a prospect of a tery flattering nature. 

** Ttiree branches of printing are quite open in Edin- 
burgh, all of which I am well convinced yon have both 
the ability and inclination to unite in your person. The 
first ia thiat or an editor of a newspaper, which shall con- 
tain something of an uniform historical deduction of 
events, distinct from the forrngo of detached and uncoo> 
nected plafiariams from the London paragraphe of * Hie 
Sun.' Perhaps it might be possible (and Gillon has pro- 
mised to make hiouiry about it) to treat with the profule- 
tora of soma eatabliahed paper— suppose the Caledoola& 



Mercury— and we would all atruasie to obtain for it i 

celebrity. To this might be added a * Monthly Alacazine,* 
and ' Caledonian Annual Register,' If you will ; for bock 
of which, with the excellent literary aasistance which 
Edinburgh at present aflTords, there ia a (air openii^ 
The next object would naturally be, the execution of Ses- 
sion papers, the best paid work which a printer under- 
takes, and of which, I dare say, you would aoon have m 
considerable ahare ; for as you make it your busineas . 
to superintend the proofs yourself^ your edacadon and * 
abilitlea would insure your employers against the gross 
and provoking blunders wiiich the poor composers are 
often oblised to submit to. The publication of works, 
either ancient .or modem, opens a thml lair field for aa- 
bition. The only genileniau who attempts any tbinK ia 
that way is in very bad health ; nor can I, at any rato^ 
compliment cither the accuraoy or the execution of hta 
press. I believe It is well understood, that with equal at- 
tention an. Edinburgh press would have superior advan- 
tages even to those of the metropolia; and though I 
would not advise laonching Into that line at once, yet it 
would be easy to feel your way by occupying your pre«i 
in this manner oa vacant daya only* 
" It appears to me that such a plan, judiciously adopted 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER ^COTT, 



ad WgeoUt panned, opens a hkr road to an ample 
fatne. In Che mean wbtie, the * Kelso Mail' might be 
Kunoged as to be atUI a source of some advantace to 
70a; ud I dare say, if wanted, pecuniarj assistance 
Bight be procured to assist you at the outset, either upon 
lenos of a share or otherwise; but I refef you for par* 
tkidars to Joseph, in whose room I a'm »ow assuming the 
pra, for reasoDs loo distressing to be declared, but at 
wlikh JWL will readiW guess. I hope, 91 all events, you 
vffi impute my interference to any thtrig rather than an 
kip^seot intermeddling with ypur concerns, on the 
yuiof, dear sir, your obedient servant, 

Walter Scott." 

The Joseph Gillon here named was a Writer to 
the Signet of some eminence : a man of strong 
ibiliiiM and senuine wit and humour, for whom 
Scott, 19 well as Ballantyne, had a warm regard.^ 
Th» intemperate habits alluded to at the close of 
Scott's letter gradually undermined his business, his 
bealtk, and hts character; and he was glad, on 
leading Edinburgh, which became qiu'te necessary 
Nine years afterwards, to obtain the situation of a 
doorkeroer in the House of Lords— in which he 
diei The answer of Ballantyne has not been pre- 
swred. 

To return lo the " Minstrelsy.' —Scott found nble 
assistants in the completion of his destRn. Richord 
Heber (long Member of Parliament for the Univinr- 
aty of Oxford) happened to spend tltis winter in 
E<iinbi]T^, and was welcomed, as hi 9 tnlentB nod 
accomplishments entitled him to be, by the culti- 
TStdsociety of the place. With Scoti, hti^ nml f ]fa- 
lioM learning, particularly his profoun d k n v w I c d ge 
oftbeliiervy monuments of the midi lio agcj, soon 
drew him into habits of close alliance; the stores 
of his library, even then extensive, were freely laid 
open, and his own oral commentaries were not less 
niaable. But through him Scott made acqnaint- 
SMe with a person still more <iuahfied to give him 
jiectoal aid in this undertaking^a native of the 
power— from infancy^ like himself, an enthusiastic 
"irer of its legends, and who had already saturated 
to Bund with every species of lore that could throw 
«ght upon these relics. 

Few who read these pages can be unacauainted 
with the leading facts in the history of John Leyden. 
-Few can need to be reminded that this extraor- 
towy man, born in a shepherd's cottage in one of 
'M wildest valleys of Roxourehshire, and of course 
«most entirely self-educated, had, before he attain- 
« his nineteenth year, confounded the doctors of 
"mborgh by the portentous mass of his acquisi- 
Jons in almost every department of learning. He 
"Mset the eitremest penury at utter defiance, ^r 
wther he had never been conscious that it could 
jPOTite as a bar ; for bread and water, and access to 
MOM and lectures, comprised all within the bound 
« his wishes ; andf thus he toiled and battled at the 
gttt of science after science, until his unconquer- 
"Wf perseverance carried every thing before it; 
^yet, with his monastic abstemiousness and iron 
iwdneas of will, perplexin^i; those about him by 
^nen and habits in which it was hard to say 
*h€therthe moss-trooper or the schoolman of for- 
^ Mja most prevailed, he was at heart a poet 

Ai^hjbald Constable, in after life one of the most 
jaMnem of British pubHshersL was at this period 
[™ Meper of a small book-shop, into which few, 
o'litheDoor students of Lcyden's order, had hither- 
jo wand their way. Heber^ in the course of his 
wblwinaniacal prowlings, discovered that it con- 
**«ie<l8omeof 

"TbeiioaU old volnmes dark with tamish'd gold," 

I ^ch were alrtady the Delilahs of his imagina- 
J?°» and, moreover, that the young bookseller had 
^nwelf a strong taste for such charmers. Freqpent- 

, Hm place accordingly, he observed with some 
?2°5^y the barbarous aspect and gestures of ano- 
•rf oaily visitant, who came not to puchase evi- 
'^^ bnt to pore over the more recondite articles 
"•he collection— often balanced for hotu-s on a 

1 l1S% on.lrim one day in hn writing office. Scott said. "" Why, 
J*W. t^ place is av hot as an oven. " " Well," quoth Gillon, 
! ""wrtifhert that I moke my bread)" 
I * 10 G 



73 

ladder with a Jblio in hit hand^ like Domini^^Banipr 
son. The English virtuoso was on the look-out for 
any books or MSS. that might be of use to the edi- 
tor of the projected " Minstrelsy,'* and some casual 
colloquy led to the discovery that this unshorn 
stranger was, amidst the endless labyrinth of his 
lore, a master of legend and tradition— an enthusi- 
astic collector and most skilful expounder of these 
very Border ballads in particular. Scott heard with 
much interest Heber's account of his odd acquaint- 
ance, BX\d found, when introduced^ the person 
whose initials, affixed to a series of pieces in verse, 
chiefly translations from Greek^ Latin, and the nor- 
thern languages, scattered, during the last three or 
four years, over the pages of the Eklinburgh Ma-< 
gazine," bad often much excited his cnriosity, as 
various indications pointed out the Scotch Border 
forthe native district of this unknown " J. L." 

These new friendships led to a great change in 
Leyden' s position, purposes, and prospects. He< 
was presently received into the best society of 
Edinburgh, where his strange, wild uncouthness of 
demeanour does not seem to have at all interfered 
with the general appreciation of his gjenius, his gi- 

f antic endowments, and really amiable virtues, 
'ixing his ambition on the East where be hoped to 
rival the achievements of Sir William Jones, he at 
length, about the beginning of 1802, obtained the 

fromise of some literary appointment in the East 
ndia Company's service ; but when tbe time drew, 
near, it was discovered that the patronage of the 
season had been exhausted, with the exception of 
one surgeon-aaaiatan^a commission— which had 
been with difficulty secured for him by Mr. William 
Ehindas; who, moreover, was obliged to inform 
him that, if he accepted it, he must be qualified to 
pass his medical trials within six months. This 
news, which would have crushed any other man's 
hopes to the dust, was only a welcome fillip to the 
ardour of Leyden. He that same hour grappled 
with a new science, in fiiU confidence that whatever 
ordinary men could do in three, or four years, his 
energy coidd accomplish in as many n^onths ; took 
bis (^gree ac«)rdingly in the besinnmg of 1803, hav- 
ing just before published his beautiml poem, the 
" Scenes of Infancy;" sailed to India; raised for 
himself, within seven short years, the reputation of 
the most marvellous of Oneritalists ; and died, in 
the midst of the proudest hopes, at the same age 
with Bums and Byron, in 1811. 

But to return :— Leyden was enhsted by Scott ia 
the service of Lewis, and immediately contributed 
a balhid. called The Elf-King, to the Tales of Terror. ♦ 
Those hidily spirited pieces. The Cout of Keildar, 
Lord Soulis, and The Mermaid, were fiirnished for 
the original department of Scott's own coUecdon t f 
and the Dissertation on Fairies, prefixed to its se- 
cond volume, " although arranged and digested by 
the editor, abounds with instances of such curious 
reading as Leyden only had read, and was original- 
ly compiled by him ; but not the least of his labours 
was innhe collection of the old ballads themselves. 
When he first conversed with Ballantyne on the 
subject of the proposed worki and the pnnter signi- 
fied his belief that a single volume of moderate iize 
would be sufficient for the materials, Leyden ex- 
claimed, " Dash it, does Mr. Scott mean another ' 
thin thing like Qoetz of Berlichitigen 7 I have 
more than that in my head myself: we shall turn • 
out three or four such volumes at least." ^ He went 
to work stoutly in the realization of these wider 
views. "In this labour," says Scott, "he was 
equally interested by friendship forthe editor, and' 
by his own patriotic zeal for the honotir of the 
Scottish borders ; and both may be judged of firom 
the following circumstance. An interesting fi-ag- 
ment had been obtained of an ancient histoncal 
ballad ; but -the remainder, to the great disturbance 
of the editor and his coadjutor, was not to bp reco- 
vered. Two days afterwards, while the editor was 
sitting with some company ' after dintier, a sound 
was heard at a distance like that of the whisthng 
of a tempest through the torn rigging of the vessel 
which scuds befbie it. The sounds mcreased as 



•4 

tlMsr approached more neart and Lejrden (to the 
• sreat astonishinent of euah of the guests as did not 
l^iow him) burst into the room, chanting the de- 
siderated ballad with the roost enthusiastic gesture, 
and all the energy of what he used to call the bow- 
^ ioru9 of his voice. It turned out that he walked be- 
tween forty and fifty miles, and back again, for the 
sole purpose of visiting an old person who possess- 
ed this precious remnant of antiquity."* 

Various allusions to the progress of Leyden's for^ 
tunes will occur in letters to be quoted hereafter. I 
may refer the reader, for farther particulars, to the 
biographical sketch by Scott, fron| which the pre- 
cecUng anecdote is taken. Many tributes to his me- 
mory are scattered over his friend's other works, 
both prose and verse ; and above all, Scott did not 
forget him when exploring, three years after his 
death, the scenery of his " Mermaid r'— 

**Bcarba'iitle, whose tortured shore 
Still TlngB to Corrievreksn's roar, 

And lonely OoIooMy ;— 
fleenes song by him who stags no inore : 
His bright and brief career ia o'er. 

And mute his tuneful slraioa : 
Queoch'd is hia lamp of tarled lore, 
That loved the light of song to pour ; • 
A distant and a deadly shore 

Has Leyden'8 cola remains !"t 

Dtmng the years I5*iw and iSfll, the MinstTdsy 
fornipd jtei e^litor^a cliir-l oc<JUpanoii— a labour ot 
loveiruly, if ever siich them wns : but ncifht^r tliis 
nor his shenJlkkip intorf^T'ed mih nis rc^Jar atten- 
dance ai ih« bar, the abandonnient of which was 
all this while &» far ss it ever bud hcvu from his 
imaginatiorii Qt that of &ny of hiit fnciida. He con- 
|inu«d to have his ^iimm«^T h^ndquart^s aiLs^ 
wad&: and Mr. (now Sir ioKn) ^tod^tart, wbo vi- 
lli t«d oim thcr« in the course of h^ SE^tiitish tQur,t 
dwells OQ *^ ihfi. simple unomontatiou^ de^nnce of 
tbo cottttKc, and tht^Hoiijes tie picture which he ihore 
GOiitenipJaied^a nion uf nativB kinijnesifk and culti- 
vated tmlcfnU pa^iiiTi^ l\w itMffrvnU of a learned pro- 
^fiion amiciH »c*ncfs hichjv fsvournhftf to hispofctic 
ififlptratiori^ not iit churu^ih and ru^tje soJitudri but 
in thc! daily oxerciee of tJio most prifcioua eympaihies 
Wi a husband, a father and a fricnd," His means 
of ho^italitr wer& now much enUrg^^ and t lie cot- 
tage, on a ^Saturday and Sunday at hmU w^s eei- 
dnm without vtaitora. 

Amonf^ other indication B of tfTeat^ e&s^ in Iub 
4Qircum«ri3nci'8, wlaoh J ^nd ld his k^ner-book, he 
vriles tu Htlur, iiu-r Kii^feiufn to London in May, 
i@f)0f to rt^qijtst Jiih gijH^i officios on Lhehall of Mrs, 
Soolt, who had '' set her honrt nna [^hiFton, at once 
•trotiHi nnd LoWf and hand no mc, and noi to cost 
I mofe than thirty guineas ;*' wbi^^h combtnatmn of 
advBntsK<fs Heb^r aeomE to have ^und by no means 
' easy of attainment. Tb& pheeion wasT however, 
4iaoovered ; and ue fci)rinj?§ mu^t sciou hare buen 
{)Bt 10 a samcient maf, fuf ibis was ^* the firBt whtel- 
ed eairia^e that ever p^netrntid into Liddesdale'^— 
naraelvt in Auguat^ IBOO. The friendship of the 
Buccleuch fjimuy now placni belter rncan't of re- 
Bearch at hincLispoeal and Lord Dalkeith had taktfn 
ipiocial care thai there phoiild be a band of pioneers 
in waiting for his grdt^rs uhen he reached Hcr- 
Fiitaii^. 

Though he had not |;iv'en up Lasswade^ bis ^lie- 
rijifship now in^de it neee^aary fi>r hitn that be 
ahgnla be frequently in Et trick Forest. On titich 
ocea^ns ha took up )ii« lodging b in th^ htiLiiin 
at CJovenfbrd, a fa von rite fiwiine Biaiion on The 
tt^ad from RdtnburjEh tu Splkirk- From ihi«i |Jace 
he could ride to the county tovvn whenever buiinjiss 
Ceauired his pfeftcnce, and he wan ale*! within u low 
miles of the valrei of Yarrow and Ettnok, where he 
f)btain«<l l^^rgt accession i to hia »toro of balleiis. 
It was in one of theoej excursions thai, )>etie£t'aung 
beyond St, Mary's lake, he found a hospitable recai>- 
tion at* th« farm of Biaf^khmifit^ sitaaled on the 

• Eamj on the Life of Lejrden— 8cott*t MiMenaneoua Proie 
Woriu, ^. i?., p. 165. 
^ Lord of the bin, Canto tr. tt 11. 
X The aeeount of this Tear was pilUiahed in 180L 



UFE OF sot WALTER SOO^. 



Donglaa-buro, then tenaoted by a, reamfii^hle i^ 
mily, to which I have alraady made aDonon — that 
of willism Laidlaw. He was theo a Tery yoma^ 
mair, bnt the extent of hia acquirements was alraa- 
dy. as noticeable as the vigour and ohginalitr of hk 
mind ; and their correspondence, where *' Sir" pas- 
sets, at a few bounds, through *' Dear Sir," and 
" Dear Mr. Laidlaw," to ** Dear Wilhej'' shows hov 
speedily this new acquaintance had warmed into t 
verv tender affection. LaidlaVs leal aboat tkc 
ballads was repaid oy Scott's anxious esdeavoon 
to get him removed from a sphere for which, be 
writes, **it is no flattery to say tha^you are mock 
too good." It was then, and always continued is 
be, his opinion, that his mend was particularly quali- 
fied for entering with advantage on' the study of the 
medical profession : but such designs, if Laidlav 
himself ever took them up seriously, were not ulti- 
mately persevered in : and I Question whether ani 
worldly success- could, after all, have overbalanced 
the retrospect of an honourable life spent hai^j 
in the open air of nature, amidst scenes the most 
csptivaung to the^yeof genius, and in the intimate 
confidence of; perhaps, the greatest of con temporaiy 
minds. 

James Hogg had spent ten years of his life in cbe 
service of Mr. Laidlaw's fathen but althou^ Ui 
own various accoimts of his early days are not to be 
reconciled with each other as to minute particiiian 
of dale and locality, he seems to have paaaed into 
that of another sheep-fsrmer in a neighbouring val- 
ley, before Scott first visited Blackhouae. Be that 
as It may, William Laidlaw and Hogg had been for 
years the most intimate of friendf, and the former 
took care that Scott should see, without delay, ona 
whose enthusiasm about the minstrelsy of the Fo- 
rest was equal to his own, and whose iqother, theo 
an aged woman, though she lived many years after- 
wards, was celebrated for having by heart several 
ballads in a more perfect form than any other inha- 
bitant of the vale of Ettrick. The personal hiatorj 
of James Hogg must have intereated Scott eve^ 
more than any acgaisition of that sort which be 
owed to this acquaintance with, perhaps, the noost 
remarkable man that ever wore the maud of a 
shepherd. But 1 need not hem repeat a tale which 
his own language will convey to the latest posterity. 
Under the garb, aspect, and bearing of a rude pea- 
sant—and rude enough he was in most of these 
things, even after no inconsiderable experience of 
society— Scott found a brother poet, a true son of 
nature and genius, hardly conscious of his powers. 
He had tau^t himself to write by copying the let- 
ters of a printed book as he lay watching ois flock 
on the bill-side, and had probably reached the ut- 
most pitch of his ambition when he first found that 
his artless rhymes could touch the heart of the ewe- 
milker who partook the shelter of his mantle dur- 
ing the passing storm. As yet his naturally kind 
and simple character had not been exposed to any 
of the dangerous flatteries of the worla ; his heart 
was pure— his enthusiasm buoyant as that oX a 
happy child ; and well as Soott knew that reflec- 
tion, sagacity, wit, and wisdom were scattered abun- 
dantly among the humblest rangers o( these pas- 
UYral soUtudes, there was here a depth and srl>right- 
ue^ that filled him with wonderi combined with a 
quaintnesB of humour, and a thousand Utile touches 
of absurdity, which afiforded him more entertain- 
ment, as I have often heard him say, than the best 
comedy that ever set the pit in a roar. 

Scott opened in the same year a correspondence 
with the venerable BiBhop of Dremore, who aeems, 
however, to have done little more than express a 
warm interest in an undertaking so nearly reaein* 
bhng that which will ever keep his own name ia 
remembrance. He had more success in his appli- 
cations to a more unpromising quarter— namelj, 
with Joseph Ritson, the ancient and virulent assail* 
ant of Bishop Percy's editorial character. This 
narrow-minded, sour, and <logmatical little word- 
catcher, had hated the very name of a Scotsman, 
and was utterl;f incapable of sympathizing with any 
of the higher viewa of his new correspondent. Tet 



UFB OF sot WAL^fER SCOTT. 



^Wiml^wi hm$ of Scott dutiiMcl •v«ii thit litlf- 
cmrpddmiit} •od he c6iiimtiiucated tbt stores of 
tvieuly ▼alnable lemung in a manner that seems 



tehave i^eatly smprised all who hftd hitherto held 
anr mtcrcoor a e with him on antiquarian topics. It 
astonkhed. aboye all, theiate amiable and elegant 
George EuiBi whose aoqoaintance was about the 
i opened to Scott through their common 
r. Mr. Ellis was now busil/ engaged 
B eoUeecnig the materials for his charmmg works. 
cotaled Specimens of Ancient English Poetry, and 
SjpeeiiBeiis of Ancient English Romance. The cor- 
R^ondence between him and Scott soon came to 
be constant. They met personklly. not long after 
the eocnqxMideoce had commenced, conceived for 
each othtf a oordial respect and aflection, and conti- 
Med on a footinc of almost brotherly intimaoy ever 
dbv. To ths Taniahle alliance Scott o wed^ among 
other adranCaites, his early and ready admission to 
dbe ■eqmntanoe and familiarity of Ellis's bosom 
ftnid, his coadjutor m the Antijacobin, and the con- 
Adam of an his literary schemes^ the late illustrious 
stitennan, Mr. Canning:* 

Tbe &r8t letter of Scott to Elfis is dated March 
S7, 1801. and becins thus:—" Sir, as I feel myself 
m^j nntiersd oy your inqniriea, I lose no time in 
answenn^ them to the heist of my al^ty. Tour 
eanneiioem the literary world, and the warm prai- 
saa of ov mntnal firiend Heber, had made me long 
wish hr an opportimity of being: known to you. I 
•aolose tho first sheet of Sir Tristfem, that vou 
■ay sot 80 maeh rely upon my opinbn, as upon that 
—^ *! a spednien of the style and yersifieation may 
> yomr better judgment to form for itaelf. . . . 
pages are transcribed by Leyden, an excellent 
yvBOff man, of uncommon talents, patronised by 
Hd»r, and who is of the utmost assistance to my 
Etttanr nnderti^unga." 

As Scott's edition of Sir Tristxem did not appear 
ottl May, lfi04^ and he and Leyden were busy with 
tht Batder MmatrslsT when his correspondence 
aith Bfis aoBimenoea, this early indication of his 
labovs oathi fimnerwork minr require ezpl|ina- 
tion. "Hie truth is, that both Scott and Leyden, 
hafing eagerly amved at the belief from which 



aother ofthem erer permitted himself to falter, 
that the ''Sir Tristrem" of the Auchinleck MS., 
was Tirtually, if not literalljN the production of 
TVomaa the nfaymer, lahrd ot Ercfldoune, in Ber- 
viokahire, who flourished at the close of thethir- 
leeadh. century— the'Original intention had been to 
eve it, not only a plac^ but a very prominent ofle, 
mdie " Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.* The 
doidits and difficuldes which EUis suggested, how- 
ever, though they did not shake Scott m his opinion 
ss to the parentage of the romance, induced re- 
searebea wnich occupied ao mudi time, and gave 
b«^ to notes so bulky, that he eventually found it 
eipedient first to pass it over in the two volumes of 
the Mmstrelsr, which appeared in 1802, and theb 
eren in the thnrd, which followed a vear later ; thus 
nmu vin g Tnstrem for a separate publication, which 
^ not take place until after L^aen had sailed for 

I nust not sweli these nages by transcribing the 
' n corrrapondence of Scott and Ellis, the greats 
of which consists *of minute antkiuarian dts- 
which coold hlrdly interest the general 



part I 



reader: but I shall give such extracts as seem to 
throw U^t on Scotrs personal history during this 
penod. 
I T9 George EUht Eeq. 

" Usswade CottMe. ^Oth April, 1801. 
"ITydearfiir, 

"IshocOd loof tffohaTeackDowledfedyoarfnttnie- 
flte lekler,i>iiK I have been wuuterliif aboiu in the wiMs 
•rUddewteleaiKl Bttrick Forest, in teareh of addltloaal 
I for the Border BUnstrelsy. I cannot, however, 



boMt Qoeh of my saceeea. One of our beet reciters 
Wm mrned reticfous in hie lauer days, and finds out that 
old KMfS are unlawful. If eo, then, ai Falstaff aayt, is 
aaiy an acooaintaQce of mine damned. I now tend you 
ID accunte aiialTtis of Sir Trtstrem. Philo-Tomu, 



whoever he ipas, miisl surely hwe been saBodlahBaai 
when bis hero joins bailie with Horanot, he eacttiins, 

* God help Tristrem the Khifht, 
He fought for Ingland.* 

This strain of national attachoient woold hardlr have 
proceeded from a ilcottiah author, even thouf h he had 
laid hii scene in the sister country. In other respects 
the lanffuafe appears to be Sconini, and certainly coo- 
tains the eaaence of Tomas's worlc You 

shall have Sir Ocnel in a week or two, and I shall be happy 
to compare your Romance of Merlin with our Arthur and 
Meriin, which is a very goodpoeso, and may sapply you 
with some valuable additions. . . . l woold very 
UJsB lend your elephant* a Kft^ but I fear I can be of Utde 
nee to jroa. I hate been rather an observer of detached 
(acta respeetinc antlquitiea, than a resnlar student. At 
the Sane time, 1 may mention one or two circumatancea, 
were it bat to place your elephant upon a tortoise. From 
Selldrkshlre toCumberland, we have a ditch and bulwark 
of great strencth, called the OatraiL running nordi and 
south, and obinously calculated to deKud the western aide 
of the Island agalnsi the inhabitams of the eastern half. 
Within this bulwark, at DmmmelsieT, near Peebles, if e 
find the srave of Merlin, the account of w^se madness 
and death you will find in Fordun- The same author says, 
he was seized with his madness during a dreadful battle 
on the Liddle, which divides Cumberland firom Bcotlawi 
All this sssms to Ikvour your ingenious hypothesis, that 
the sway of the British Champion [ ArthniJ extended orer 
Cnmberlaiid and gtrathchiyd, as well as Wales. Erell- 
douoe is hardly five miles mm the CatraiL .... 
*' Leyden has taken up a most absurd resolutioa tofo 
10 Afrkaoa ajoumey of discovery. WlU you have toe 
goodness to beg Heber to write to him seriously on so 
ridiculons a plan, which can promise nothing either plea- 
sant or profiuble. I am certain he would get a chur^ 
in Scotland with a little patience and prudence, and it 
gives me great p^n to see a valuable young man. of un* 
common genius and aquirftments, &irly throw himself 
away. Yours truly, ^ « ,. 

• W. SOOTT." 

7*0 the Same. 

** Musselburgh, llthBIay, 1801. . 

. . . << I congratulate you upon the health of your 
elephants— as an additional mouthful of provender for 
them, pray observe, that tbe tale of Sir Gawain'a Foul 
La^iie, m Percy's Reuques, is oricinally Scaidic, as you 
win see in the history of HrolfeKraka, edited by Tor^ 
(leua from the ancient Sagas regarding that prince. I 
think I could give vou some more crumbs of information 
were I at home ; bat I am at present discharging tbe du> 
ties of quartermaster to a reghnent of Toluuteer cavalry 
—an office altogether inconsisteot with romance ; for ' 
where do you read that Sir Tristrem welched out hay 
and com ; that Sir Launcelot du Lac dtstriouted billets ; 
or that any Knight of the Round Tabic condescended to 
higgle about a truss of straw 1 Such thhigs were left for 
our degenerate days, wtien no warder sounds his horn 
from the barbican as the vreux chevalier approaches to 
claim hospitality. Bogles indeed we have ; but it is only 
to scream us out of bed at five in the morning— hospita- 
lity such as the seneschals of Don Quixote's castles were 
wont to offer hioi— and all to troopers, to whom, for valour 
eke and courtesy, Maior Sturgeon himself might yield 
the palm. In the midst of this scene of motley confu- 
sion, I long, like the hart for water- brooks, for tbe arrival 
of your grande opus. The nature of your researches 
animates me to proceed in mine, (though of a much more 
limited and locsj nature,) even as iron sliarpeneth iron. I 
am in utter despair about some of the huntins terms in 
' Sir Tristrem.' There is no copy of Lady Juliana Ber- 
ners' work in Scotland, and I would move heaven and 
earth to get a sight of it. But as I fear this is utterly \ia- 
possible, I must nave recourse to your friendly assistance, 
and communicate a set of doubts and queries, which, it 
any man in England can satisfy, I am well assured it must 
be you. You may therefore expect, in a few days, an- 
other epistle. Mean time I must invoke the spirit of 
Nimrod." 

" Edinburgh, lOth June, 180L 
(« My dear Sir, 

** A heavy family misfortune, the loss of an on\% sis- 
ter in the prime or Ufe, has prevented, for some time, 
my proposed communication regarding the hunting terms 
of '^Sir IVistrem.' I now enclose the passage, aeon- 

* 1 believe it was Mr. Canninf that had, on some ooiaiiOD. 
when EUii talked of his antiouBrian bot)l>r-hoae, MukkaedL 
•• Botibr. tiuly t yours is an elepbant'ltjzed by VjOOQ IL 



re 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



fBtely conkd, with such explanations as oecur to myseU; 
sabject uways to your correction and better jodgtnent. . . 
... I have as yjt had only a glance of TTte Specimen: 
Thomson, to wm>m Ileber intrusted them, had left them 
to foUow him from London in aceitain trunk, which has 
never yet arrived. I should have quarrelled with him 
excessively for making so litU^ allowance for mv impa- 
tience, had it not been that a violent epidemic lever, to 
which I owe the loss alreadjr mentioned, lias threatened 
also to deprive me, in his person, of one of my dearest 
friends, and the Scottish literary world of One of its most 
'proniising^ members. 

*' Some prospect seems to open for getting Leyden out 
to India, under the patronage of MacUntosh, who goes 
as chief of the* intended academical establishment at 
Calcutta. That he is highly qualified for acting a distin- 
guished part in any literary undertaking will be readilv 
granted ; nor do I think Mr. Mackintosh will meet with 
• many half so likely to be useful bi the ipiroposed histitu- 
tion. The extent and versatility of hu talents would 
soon raise him to his level, even although be were at 
first to go outh) a subordinate tlepartment. If it be in 
your power to second his applicauoo, I rely i^o He- 
Dor's interest with, you to induce yon to do so." 

"Edinburgh. 13tb July, 1801, 
. . . " I am infinitely obliged to you, indeed, for 
your interference in behalf of our Leyden, who, I am 
rare, will do credit to your patronage, and may be of es- 
sential service to the pro(K>sed mission. What a dif^ 
ference from broiling himseiC or getting himself literally 
broiled, in Africa. ' Que diable vonloit-U fiiire dans eeue 
galore 1' . . . His brother is a fine lad, and is likely 
to enjoy some advantages which he wanted~I mean by 
being more early introduced into society. I have inter- 
mitted his transcript of 'Merlin,' and eet him to work on 
'Otael,' of which! send a specimen." ... 

" Edinburgh, 7th December, 1801. 

"My literary amusementa have of late been 

much retarded and interru^ed. partly by professional 
avocadons, and partly by removing to a house newly fur- 
nished, where It will be some time before I can get my 
'few boolcs put into order, or clear the premises of pain- 
ters and workmen ; not to mention that these worthies 
do not nowa-days proceed upon the plan of Solomon's 
architects, whose saws and hammers were not heard, 
but rather upon the more ancient system of the builders 
of Babel To augment this confusion, my wife has fixed 
upon this time as proper to present me with a fine chop- 



ping boy, whose pipe, being of the shrillest, it heard 
amul the storm, like a boatswain's whistle in a gale of 
wind. These various causes of confusion have also in- 
terrupted the labours of young Leyden on your behalf; 
but he has again resumed the task of transcribing ' Ar- 
thour,' of which I once again transmit a part. I have to 
acknowledge, with the deepest sense of gratitude, the 
beautiful analvsts of Mr. Douce's FragmenUi, which 
throws great light upon the romance or Sir Tristrem. 
In arranging th^ I have anticipated your Judicious hini, 
by dividing it into three parts, where the story seems na- 
turally to pause, and prefixing an accurate argument, re- 
ferring to the stanzas as numbered. 

" I am glad that Mrs. BUia and you have derived any 
amusement from the House of Aspen. It is a very liur- 
rled dramatic sketch; and the fifth act, as you remark, 
would require a total revis^ previous to representation 
or publication. At one time I certainly thought, with my 
Trlends, that it might have ranked well enough by the 
side of the Castle Speiftre, Bluebeard, and the other drum 
and trumpet exhibitions of the day ; but the ' Plays of 
the Passions'* have put me entirely out of conceit vrith 
my Germanized brat ; and should I ever again attempt 
dramatic composition, I would endeavour after the ge- 
nuine old English model The publication of 

» The Cojnplaynt't is delayed. It is a work of mtiltUarious 
lore. I am truly anxious about Leyden's Indian Journey, 
wtiich seems to hang fire. Mr. William Dundaa was so 
good as to promise me his interest to get him appointed 
secretary to the Institution ;! but whether he has succeed- 
ed or not, I have not yet learned. The various kinds of 
distress under which literary men, I mean such as have 
no other profcs^on than letters, must labour, in a com- 
mercial country, Is a great disgrace to society. I own to 
you I always tremble for the rate of genius when left to 
its own exertions, which, however powerful, are usually, 

* The fint voltune of Joanna Baillie't " Plays of the PaniooB" 



appeared io 179S. VoL II. fnllowed in t802. 



" The Complaynt of Scotland, written in 1W8 ; with n Pre- 
HmiDary DuwertatioD and QVmmxj, by John Leyden," was pub- 
Bslied by Coniitabte in January, 1903. 
' I A proposed Intitation for purposes of ^oatioo at Calcutta. 



by lome binrre <ttip«niatl<m of natvart, wefbl to e«My 
tme but themselves. If Heber could learn byMvckta- 
tosh, whether any thing could be done to fix I.ejden'B 
situation, and what sort of interest would be moat likely 
to succeed, his friends here might unite every exertion 

in his favour Direct CasUo Street, as 

usual ; my new hoiue being in the same street with my 
old dwelling." 

" Edinburgh, 8th January, 180Q. 

..." Your favour arrived just as I was s^ltizix down 
to write to you, with a sheet or two of 'King' Axtnor.' I 
fear, from a leUer which I have received from Mr. Wil- 
liam Dundaa, that the Indian establishment is tottering^ 
and will probably fcU. Leyden has therefore been .'a- 
duced to turn bis mind to some other mode of makiog 
hisuvay to the East ; and proposes taking his de^ee as 
a physician and surgeon, with the hope of getffn^ an ap- 
pointment in the Compaiiy's service as surgeon. If the 
Institution goes forward, his hating secured tht#step wiil 
not prevent his being attached to it ; at the mmstke time 
that it will afl9rd him a provision independent of what 
seems to be a very precarious establishment. Mr. Don- 
das has promised to exert himself .... I ha^e juot re* 
turned firom the hospitable halls of Hamilton, where I 

have spent the Christmas." • 

" 14th February, 1802. 

" I have been silent but not idle. The Tramcrfpt of 
King Arthur is at length finished, being a fragment of 
about 7000 lines. Let me know how I shall transmit a 

Krcel containing it, with the CrmtpZaynf and the^ Border 
Hads, of which I expect every day to receive some 
copies. I thhik you will be disappointed in the Baxlada. 
I have as yet touched very little on the more remote 
antiquities of the Border, which, indeed, my sonMr *B 
comparatively modem, did not lead me to mscuas. Some 
scattered herbage, however, the elephants may perhaps 
find. By the wav, you will not forget to notice the moim* 
tain called Arthur* a Seat, which overhangs this city. 
When I was at school, the tradition ran that King Arthur 
occupied aa his throne a huge rock upon its summit, 
and tnat he beheld from thence some naval engagement 
Upon the Frith of Forth. I am pleasantly interrupted 
by the post; he brings me a letter from William Dundaj^i 
fixing Leyden's appoinUnent %s an assistant surgeon to one 
of the India settlements— which is not yet determined ; 
and another from mv pilnter, a very* ingenious young 
man^ telling me, that no means to escort the ' Minstrelsy' 
tip to London in person. I shall, therefore, direct him to 
transmit my parcel to Mr. NicoL" 

*<2dBIarch,19Q2. 

I Aope that long ere this yon have received the Bal- 
I that they have afforded you some amusement ; 
also, that the threatenea third volume will be 



lads, and that they have afforded you some amusement ; 
I hope, also, that the threatenea third volume will be 
more interesting to Mrs. Ellis than the dry antiquarian 



dgLail of the two first could prove. I hope, ntoreover, 
tnat I shall have the pleasure of seeing you soon, as some 
circumstances seem not so much tp call me to London, 
as to furnish me with a decent q>olog7 for coming up 
sometime this spriiw ; and I long particularly to say, that 
I know my friend Mr. Ellis by tight as well as intimately. 
I am glad you have seen the Marquess of Lorn, whom I 
have met frequently at the house of his charming sister, 
Lady Charlotte Campbell, whom, I am sure, if yoo are 
acquainted with her. you must admire as much aa I do. 
Her Grace of Ooraon, a great admirer of yours, spent 
some days here Utely, and, Uke Lord LornI was highly 
entertiiined with an account of our friendship h la di»- • 
tanae. I do not, nor did I ever, intend to fob yoo off 
with twenty or thirty Unes of the second part of Sir 
Guy. Young Leyden has been muck engaged with bis 
studies, otherwise yon would have long dnce reeeived 
what I now send, namely, the combat between Guy and 
Colbronde, which I take to bo the cream of the romance. 
. . . . If I do not come to London this spring, I wOl 
find a safe opportunity of retuiming Lady JuUana Bemers, 
with my venr best thanks for tlie use of her reverence's 
work." 

' The preceding extracts are jncked out of letter, 
moHtly veiy long ones, in which Scott discueeee 
quealions of antiquarian interest, suggested some- 
nmes by Ellis, and sometimes by the course of his 
own researches among the MSS. of the Advocates' 
Library. /The passages which I have transcribed 
appear sufficient to give the reader a distinct notion 
of the tenour of Scott's life while his fira( consider- 
able work was in progress through the press. In 
fact, they place before us in a vivid h'ght tlje chie^ 
features of a character which, by this time, was 
completely formed and settled—which had passed 



> Digitized byCjOOQlC 



UPE OF SIR WALTER SOOTT. 



i through the firsi blandishments of world- 
ly auplanse, and which no subaec^ent trials of that 
scvt could ever shake from its early balance: — His 
caim delight in his own pursuits— the patriotic en- 
thsaasm which mingled with aU the best of his li- 
tenu-y e£brts } his modesty as to his own general 
moita, comomed with a certain dogged resolution 
to maintain his own first view of 9 subject, how- 
e^rer assailed ; his readiness to interrupt his own 
tasks b^ any dmdgery by which he could assfet 
tiiose of a friend: bis steady and determined 
watchfulness oyer the struggling fortunes of young 
genms and worth. 

The reader has seen that he spent the Christmas 
of 1301 ikt Hamilton Palace, in Lanarkshire. To Lady 
Anae Hamilton he had been mtroduced by his half- 
■sttr. Lady Charlotte Campbell, and both the la^ 
and the present Dukes of Hamilton appear to have 
partaken of Lady Ahne's admiration for Glenfinlas, 
and the Eve of St. John. A rooming's ramble to 
the majestic ruins of the old baronial castle on the 
|a«3pitifii8 banks of the Evan, and among the ad- 
joining remains of the primeval Caledonian forest, 
nggeated to him a ballad, not inferior in execution 
to any that ha had hitherto produced, and especially 
intevaating as the first in which he srapples with 
the woxla of picturesque incident mifolded in the 
anthentic annals of Scotland. With the magnifi- 
cent loealitiea before him, he skilfully interwove the 
daring assassination of the Regent Murray by one 
of the clansmen of " the princely Hamilton." Had 
Che subject been taken up in after years, we might 
hafe had another Marmion, or Heart of Mid-Lo- 
ihiao ; Ibr in Cadyow Castle we have the materials 
and onthne of more than one of the noblest of ballads. 

Not long before this piece began to be handed ab^ 
oat in Edinburgh, Thomas Campbell had made his 
upsarance ther& and at once seized a high place in 
weBterary world by his 'Pleasures of Hope.' Among 
the roost eagier to welcome him had been Scott: 
aad I find the brother-bard thus expressing himself 
coQceaaing the MS. of Cadyow :— 

, "The verses of Cadyow Castle are perpetually 
nnging in my imaginauon— 

* Where mightiest of the beasts sf chase 

That roam in woody Caledon, 
Oraahiogthe Ibrest in his race, 

The loouatain bull comes thaQderlngon— ' 

ind the arrival of Hamilton, when 

' Reeking fi-om the f ecent deed, 
He dashed his carbine on the (round.* 

I have rei>eated these lines so often oh the North 
Bridge, that the whole fraternity of coachmen know 
me by tongue as I pass. To be sure, to a mind in 
sober, serious street- walking humour, it must bear 
an appearance of lunacy, when one stamps with the 
kamed pace and fervent shake of the hesd, which 
strcHQg^ pithy poetry excites." 

Scott finished his Cadyow Castle before the last 
sheets of the second volume of his "Minstrelsy" 
hsd passed through the press ; but " the two vo- 
hunea," as Ballantyne says, " were- already full to 
oywflowingj" |^ it was reserved for fhe " threaten- 
ed third." The two volimies appeared in the course 
of Janaary, 1802^ from the respectable house of 
Cadell and Davies, in the Strand ; endowing to 
the cold reception of Lewis's " Tales of Wonder," 
which had come forth a yeair earlier, these mdf be 
said to have first introduced Scott as an original 
writer to the English public 

In his Remarks on thelmitadon of Popular Poet- 
ry, he says : " Ovnng to the failure of the vehicle I 
litd chosen, my first effort to present myself before 
the pubhc as an original writer, proved as vain as 
those by which I hadpreviously endeavoured to dis- 
tingoisn myself as a translator. Like Lord Home, 
however, at the Battle of Flodden, I did so far well 
thit I was able to stand and saye myself; and 
anudst the general depreciation of the Tales of 
Wonder,' my small share of the obnoxious publi- 
natioa was dismiss^ vrithout censure, and in some 
cases obtained praise from the critics. The conse- 



n 

qiienccjs of my fiSQa^ niade tne l^ntxirally more 
ilariii;^, anvl I aUempied, iu my own ziaini^f a c^oU^* 
tiiin of tkUaiift of vorioua kindfe, both (inafnr and 
.tiiL>dern, to be connect^ by ib*.' i:t>mmoti tie of nela' 
lion i*j the Border dieirict^ in which I had coU(*eied 
them. Thif fdiiioD waa curious, u? buin^ the Brat 
c sample of a vroik printed by my friend and school- 
frjllow, Mr. JamcB Balkntyni^ who ai thnl period 
Ai as editor of a pnivirvcifli t>»lHT. IVheii thr book 
'cama out, the imprintH Kclso^ wab rcniJ ^I'ith wander 
t»y aiiiaienre of typoMtnijhyt whfj boJ ni^ifcr bt;«rd of 
siuch a place, and were aaioniBhed ni the example of 
handsome phnnnfc ubich eo obscure a town had 
produced. Ab for ibeixiitcnal pari of the laBk* my 
Dilcmpt to imiiattf the plan and style of Biphop Per- 
cy, obscr^'tnR onlv more strict fidelity coneerninir 
my Ofifijnalp, waii favourably recaivcdby iherut^lic 

Tb4^ ft tit edition of Tolumee 1. and U, of the Min- 
Blrelsy ton ms ted of ei/^hi hundred copitps, fitly of 
VI hich ifrere on Iflrgo paper* One of the embElusii* , 
ni€nt5 w&i a viuw of Hermitage caBtlf, the hifntury 
of whiL^h in rath^T v^uhoui^* Sco»t executed a rou^h 
Elk etch of It during tbe loM of his ^* Liddttadale rajds^' 
uith Shortf&ed, standing fof thnt pyrj*o^ for an 
huuf dr more up to his middle in the enow. Nothing 
cati be ruder uian the t^Tformnnce^ *hich 1 have 
ijrjw before me ( bdl hia friwud William Clerk made 
n bt^ttE^r dj-awinR from it^ and fro tn his a third and 
funhtir improved copy was done by Bui^h WkUiams, 
the elegant artiat^ aft^arwatxis known as *' Greek 
VVilIiania,^' SttJtl uat^ to S3y the oddest thiog of 
nil WBB^ that the to^^ravi 11)^4 fi^undcd on the labours 
of thre« drnugbtiimcn* omiftX whom could not draw 
n Birai^ht Une^ and the two others hnd rtever Been 
the place meant to be rt^preBent^, waa nevortbele«s 
pronounced by the nativcB of Liddcedale to give a 
vety fjijr notion of rheruinfi of llernraiage. 

1 he edition waa exhausted in the course of the 
year^ and the terms of pubhcation having been that 
Hcau should have hau the clear profitB^ im share 
was exactly £7^ lOs.— a sum whkh cortainly csouid 
not have repaid him for the actual ejtpendiiuri^in- 
currt^d in the collection of his mstcriala^ MesariL 
CniEell and Davit'ijt, howevtr, toniploined, and i>ro- 
bably ^viiheood ri^aaon, that ft premature advertise' 
ment of a aeeoiid and improveti edition^* had ren- 
dered sonic copies of the firpt unsaleable. 

1 ahall tranacribc the letter in which Btr. G«orae 
Elba acknowledges the ret^pt of his copy of the 
book, 

Edinburgh. 

" eunfllng Hill, March ^ 1802. 
" My door Sir, 

" The vulumei are aril^fid, and t have been dcToup. 
bic; thcfn, not bj a pi^ duL^n a parct^l of gTKJn*, fby whieh 
tiuiile yi>ii wiEl judge thai I laoat be brew(i!|r, as iadeud J 
am,) putting in ita inout, sbLittinf \U ^ye^ and gwAlJuwtna 
bd raiil 03 k cau vrkthout runiidc ration— but u ti Kh.*m- 
^jiiy di3{?9 & pleco of gini^crbreAd ; nibblinjf aUttlc- ha.1 here, 
»[iii B liiLlh bit tbcrp, sniBcynic hb Hp^, ert^rvcylnn tb^ 
iiijiiib'^r of ^^|U1l^c Ificbce w}itt:b siiil rvwaia. fpir hit |rra- 
[iHi-iiiLant eode^v-iiurUi^ Ui look: \t mtu ki^er dim^^xj'FiDRe, 
ipul cnnbiJii^ at BVury nifniltiful a tueli tuw to pratract hia 
^njoytiiacit by rent raining hliA appiiitttG' ^iiw, tberelbre 
—but no r I moit jUrit aiuiur^ yi>u on the p»ri of Mrir £L| 
tliLat If yen CJUirbOt, at will not vtme to Eii^bl&^d idon, abe 
noiBt gr&dfy her curbodUy and gifAitude, by l^ttilnjz otT f^r 
Pcodaiid J though at the nsk of being tciopr^d tg pull capa 
with Mrt, Scnit wheo ihe arrives ai tbe end of ber jintir- 
iipy, Nrjt»| must requeit yuu to convey ii> Mr- Leydea 
my vory Bkntierf> acktinvrlednmrni f'-T b!a isnrl of ttie pr*' 
cirjui p^rrelt Hovt tf oly V^f xatjnua [bat aucb a luau ^borild 
Frnbarh, ^Qi firr the ' fiuria AUkSn' but for thosn ofAsbi ; 
ttiiii tb(? GeniuiDf l^otbindt instead of a ^o^r C^mptainU 
Arirl An atk1r£Ka in Ihu sTyli? of ^ NHVin>« fjosG iibi cff^ititurH 
c[, Ij^h VjrjflUufi-i — rcdda* jncoluiiTeiiii procor,' abound oot 
ill' rt' ri.' ii> pre\cm blfi loss- I wjeb fo hupo ibnt wo 
si ■!:>), ne Pleroo tays, 'mano^p Thf#e maltflT^ h«ter' ra 
EjLj^liu^d ; bmt nnir, si re^et \a unaTaillag^ to tlie tiuiA 
[KJifiF of i|]y IcUdr. 

" Von wlu nflt, of coutmc, ciprr.t Ibat I kbould as jet 
Uke ycjo any thiojr lllfc a" opinifini, rw n fnVfc, of your 
YuluuiFS ; first, btjcauni yn« ^av^e tlirown Into my tbjwii 
1 rat*- of BUr.b tnndniturlc thai CirrberuB, wlio hud tbreo 
tliroaLs, could not nave ivfaUrjwed a third EOfC q( it wl(^ 
Digitized by V^OOQIC 



T8' 

out iliatdDK bis eyes j Bad secondly, beeaose, althoush 
I bsve gone a litue urtber than George Nicol the book- 
seller, who cannot cease exclaiming, ' What » beautlfuj 
book \" and is dstracied with jealousy of your Kelso Bui- 
mer, yet, as I raid before. I have not lieen ableiyet to 
' digest a great deal of your ^ Border Minstrelsy.' 1 tutve, 
bowever, taken such a survey as satisfies me that your 
j^lao is neither too comprehensive nor too contracted ; 
that the parts are properly distinct ; and tiuu they are 
(to preserve the painter's metaphor) nuuie oiiMust as 
they ought to be. Your introductory chapter is. I think,' 
particularly good ; and I was much pleased, ai^hoogh-a 
tinne surprised, at finding that it was made to serve as a 
TtcueU ae$piiceJt juttificativtM to your view of the state 
of manners among your Borderers, which I venture to 
say will be more thumbed than any part of the volume. 

^ You will easily believe that I cast many an anxious 
look for (he annunciation of ' Sir Trislrem,' and will not 
be surprised that I was at first rather disappointed at not 
finding any thing like a solenm ensagemeut to produce 
him to the world within some fixedf and limited period, 
rpon reflectton, however, I really think you have judged 
wisely, and that you have bett promoted the interests of 
lUersiure, by sending, as the harbinger c( the ' Knight of 
Leonais,' s collection which most form a p^riou window 
book in every ho«se in Britsin whi£h contains a partour 
and a window. I am happy to find my old/ttvourUe» in 
Iheir natural situation— Indeed in the only situation which 
can enable a Southern reader to estimate their merits. 
Tou remember what somebody nAd of the Prince de Con- 
di's army during the wars ot the Fronde, vis.—** that it 
would be a very fine army whenever ft came of age." Of 
the Morris and Armitroacs of your Border wUads, it 
■igfat be sakl tbat thsy might grow, when the age of good 
t^ite sboold arrive^ to a Gl^nfiiilas or an Ere of 8l John. 
Lisydea's addiliooal poems are also very beautiful. I 
meant, at setting out, a few simple words of thanks, and 
behokl I have written a letter, but no maUer ; I shall re' 
turn to the chane aftsr a more attentive porus^ Ever 
yoon very fUthiully, • 

G. Ellis.'' 

I might fill masy pMes by trauoribing naibir 
letters from persons of acknowledKed diacernmeDt 
in this bnmoh of literature i John, Duke of Rox- 
httrgh, is among the nimiber, and he conveys also a 
oonq(MimeDtary message from the lite Earl Speo* 
oer i Pinkerton issues his decree of approbation as 
«r tatkedH; Chalmers overflows with heartier 
piaise ; and even Joseph Ritson extols his present 
tation copy as " the most valuable Uterary treasum 

a his possession." There follows enough of female 
Duration to have beei^dangerous for another roan ; 
a score of find ladies contend who shall be the most 
extravagant in encomium— and as many professed 
blue stockings come after t among, or rather above 
the rest, Anna Seward, the Swan of Lichfield," 
who laments that her bright luminary," Darwin, 
does not survive to partake her raptures t^-^bserves. 
that **in the Border Ballads the first strong rays oi 
the Delphic orb illuminate Jellon Oraeme ;" and 
condndes with a fact indispuuble, but strangely 
expressed, viz. that '* the Lady Anne Bothwell^'s 
Lament, CJowdenknowes, &c. Ac, climatically pre- 
ceded the treasures of Burns, and the consummate 
.Glenfinlas and Eve of St. John." Scott felt as 
acutely as any malevolent critic the pedantic affec- 
tations of Miss Seward's epistolary slyle^ but in her 
case soimd sense as well as vigorous ability had un- 
fortunately condesoenAded to an absurd disguise ; he 
looked below it, and was far from confounding her 
honest praise with the flat superlativeB either of 
worldly parrots or weak enthumasts. 



LIFE OF SIR WALT^ SCOTT. 



• CHAPTER XI. 

PSBPABATIOIV or VOLtnU 111. OP THB XINSTESLST— 
Aim OF SIK TllISTRlM— COflaBel>OKDKyCB WITH 
MISS 6XWABD AND MR. KLLIB—fiALLAD OP T^B BBl- 
VBb's WBDDINO — COMMBNCEBfBNT OP THB LAY OF 
THB LAST MIN8TBBL— VISIT TO LONDON AND OXFORD 
— COMPLXTION or THB MIN8TBBL8V OF THB SCOT- 
TISH BOBDEB— IS02-1803. 

Thb approbation with which the first two volumes 
of the Minstrelsy were received, stimulaied Spott 
to fresh diligence in the preparation of a third; 
while "Sir Tristrem"— it being now settled that 
this romance should form a separate volume— was 



transmitted, vrithout delay, to the printer at KelsOL 
As early as March 80th. 1602, Ballantyne, iprho hai 
just returned from London, writes thus :— 

7\» Walter Seott^ E$q.t Ca$tU Street, Edin he m -gk, 
"Dear Sir, 

''By to-morrow's Fly I stMll send tbe remain ing mftte* 
rials for Minslseley. togetber wiib tbree sheets of mt 
Tristrem. ... 1 siiall ever thiolctbe priotiof tlie 0co4tisli 
Minstrelsy one of tbe most fortunate circumftanoes of 
my life. I have gained, not lost by it, in a pecuniary 
light ; and the prospects it has been tbe means of c^penuif 
to me, may advanCRgeously influence njy future destin;. 
I can never be sufficiently grateful for the interest joa 
unceasingly take in my welrare. Your query respecting 
Edinburgh^ I am yet at a lost to answer. To iky trUb, 
tbe ejcpensea I have iocorred in my resotatioo to aeqoire 
a character for ele^t printing) whatever might be tbe 
result, cramp considerably my present esertioos. A 
short time, I trust, will make me easier, and I abaU iluui 
contempUte tbe road before me with a steady eye. One 
thing alone is clear— that Kelso cannot be my abtdrng 
place for aye; sooner or later emigrate I must abdwlll: 
but, at all events, I must wait till my plumes are grown. I 
am, dear sir, yonr liiitbAil and obliged, J. B." 

On learning that a third vdume of (he Minsfrelsy 
wss in progress, Miss Seward forwarded to me 
Editor '^BZh Auld WUtie's FarewelV a Scotch 
ballad of her own manufacture, meaning, no doubt, 
to plac^it athis disposal for the section of *'lnuta- 
tions.**^ His answer, (dated Edinburgh, June 79, 
1802.) after manv compliments to the Auld WUHc, 
of which he made the use that had beoi inteoded^ 
proceeds as follows :— 

*'I have some thougbts of sttemptfng a Boitdbr JMM 
in tbe cofBieJoaoner; ouL I almost de^)alr of brioi^ it 
well ooL A certaJn Sir WUliam Scott, from wboan lam 
descended, was iU'Sdviaed enough to plunder the estate 
ofSir Gideon Murray ofEUbank, ancestor to the prestfnl 
Lord Bllbank. The marauder was defeated, seiziBd, aod 
brou|iit in tetters to the castle of EHbank, upon the Tweea 
The Lady Munray (sgreeable to the custom of attladlefl 
In ancient tales) was seated on the battlenents, and 4es- 
cried the return of her hnsbsod with his prisooeBs. 0hs 
iinmediatelv inquired what be meant to do with the fonng 
Kn^ht of Harden, wbicb was tbe petit titre of Sir WUBam 
Scott. ' Hang the robber, assuredly.' was the answer of 
Sir Gideon. *What!' answered the lady, *Umg the 
handsome young knight of Harden, when I have thfee 10- 
favoured daughters unmarried I No, no, Sir Gideon, 
we'll foroe him to marry our Meg.' Now tradkion says, 
that Meg Murray was the ugliest woman in tbe four coon* 
ties, and tlua she was oslied* in the homebf diafect of ihs 
time, meikle-numihed Meg (I wi^not affront you. by an 
explanation.*) Sir Gideon, like a good husband and ten- 
der father, entered into lits wife's sentiments, and pre> 
lerreil \o Sir WiUisoi the alternative of becomiog his so» 
in-law, or decorating with his carcase the kinafy jwBowi 
of Blibank. The lady was so very ugly, that Sir WOAam, 
the handsomest man of his time, putdtivelv refiised the 
honour of her hand Three days were allowed him to 
make up his mind ; and it was not antil he fonnd ooc end 
of a rope made 6st to his necki and the other knitted to 
a sturdy oak bough, that his resotatioa gave way, and he 
preferred an ugly wife to the Hteral ooose. It is «ald, Ihey 
were afterwards « very hapny couple.. She had a ourkNM 
hand at pickling the beef which he stole ; and, marauder 
as he was, ha had little reason to dread being twitted by 
the pawky fowk. This, either by its being perpetually 
told to roe when young, or by a i»erveile6 taste (or suen 
anecdotes, has always struck me as a good 8ubjec4 for a 
comic ballad, and bow happy shotild 1 l)e were Miss Se- 
ward to agree in opinion with me. 

**Thls little t«de may serve for aa iatrodoctkMi to socns 
observatioos I hove to offer upoQ our popular poetry. II 
will at least so &r disclose your correspondent's weak 
side, as to induce you to make allowance for my fuode of 
argoiag. Much of its peculiar charm is indeed, I believe, 
to be attributed solely to its locality, A vcry.comaooa- 
place aiidobvioua epithet, when applied to a scene which 
we have been accustomed to view vrith pleasure, recalls 
to us not merely the local scenery, but a thousand little 
nameless associations, which we are unable to aeparaleor 
to define. In some verses of that eccentric but admirable 
poet, Coleridge, he talks of 

* An old rode tale that suited well 
The ruins wild and hoary.* 

* ltiseoimDonlTnidlhatanMsc*idcsemduitshaveiDberitsd 






UFE OF SOR WALTER SCOTT. 



I think there are Um who hate not beeo ta pone defree 
touched with thi« local sympathy. Tell a Decant aa or- 
dinvr tale of robbeir and murder, and peth^w yoi may 
fail to interest him ; but to excite his terrors, you assure 
him it happened on the very heath he usually crosses, or 
to a man whose family he has known, and you rarely meet 
such a mere image of Humanity as remains entirely un- 
moved. I suspect It is pretty much the same with myself, 
and many of my coantrymen, who are charmed by the 
effect of local deacriptioo, and sometimes Impute that 
effect to ibe poet whicn is produced by the recoMections 
and associations which his verses excite. Why else did 
Sir Philip Sydney feel that the tale of Percy and Douglas 
moved hun like the sound of a trumpet I or nhy is it that 
a Swiss sickens at hearing the famous Ranz des Vacbe.^, 
to which the native of any other country would have lis- 
tened (5r a hundred days, without any other sensation 
than ennai t I fear our poetical taste is in general much 
more linked vtith our prejudices of birth, of education, 
and of hld)ittal thinUng, than our vanity will aUow us to 
supposa ; and thit, let the point of the poet'» dart be as 
sharp aa that of Cupid, k is the wings lent it by the fancy 
and Breposseaaions of the gentle reader whicti carry it to 
the mark. It may appear hke great egotism to pretend to 
illastrate my position from the reception which the pro- 
ductions of 8o mere a balhd-monger as qiyself have met 
with from the pobUc ; but Lcannot help observing that aH 
Scotchmen prefer the Bve of St. John to GlenfimaB, and 
moat of my Eogliah fHends eatertain precisely an oppo- 
sita opinion. ... I baYe been wrtUnc Uis letter by a pa- 
ra^raph at ^ time foraboat a month, ttda being tha seasoa 
when wa are moat devoted to tha 

* Drowsy bench and babblhig hall.' ^ 

I have the hooour," dec. Ac 

Miss Seward, in her next letter, offers an apology 
for not paving sooner b^ed Sc^tt to place her 
name amon^ the mbscrioers to bia third volume. 
His answer is in these words:— 

^LaMwade, July, 1802. 
** I am rery sorry to ftave left yoa under a mistake about 
my third volume. The truth Is^ that highly as I should 
feel myself flattered by the encoungement of Miss Se- 
ward's Dame, lcannot, in the^resentinalance. avail my- 
self of it, as the Ballads are not published by subscilpttoo. 
ProTidsnce having, I suppose, (breaaeo that my literary 
qioiiflcadcais, like those of many more dtatinanfahed par- 
aotta» miebt not, por Aoaord, sappmt mt exactly aal would 
like, allotted me a smaU palrimoay, which, joined to nif 
proieasional income, and my appolatmenis in cbe eharae* 
r eristic office of Sheriff of Ettnck Forest, serves to render 
my literary parsulta more a matter of amusement than an 
object of emolument With this explanation, I hope you 
win hohooT me bf accepting the third volume as soon at 
pabUahed, which wOt be te the beghmlog of next year, 
aad 1 als0 hope, that aoder the cirenmstances. you wilt 
hold me acquitted af the silly vanky of wishing^ to be 
tbouaht a Mil/emafi^nthar. 

^«lC© bfilad ofThe Reiver's Weddisg la nec y el wriiun, 
btjUl have finished one of a tragic cast, foanded apoa the 



bte chief and his kinsmen :- 



< With haakbat bent»' 4to. Ac. 



**'niis 9»thwelB)aagh has occupied such an nnwar- 
nmtabto portion of my letter, that I have hardly time to 
teU you bow jauoh I join in yonr admiration of Tam o' 
Bbanter, which I veiily believe to be iaimltable, both in 
the aerioua and ludicrous parts, aaweU as the ahuularly 
hnppy combioalioo of both. I request Mias Seward to bo> 
lieve," Sec. 

Th« •' Reiver's Wedding" never was compleledi 
but I hsTe found two copies of its aominencenient. 
ami I fihall make no apologies for insertinK here 
what aeems to have been the second one. It will 
be seeii that he had meant to mingle with Sir Wil- 
liaai'if capture, Auld Wat's Foray of ^ Bassened 
BiUl, ana tlie Pea^t of Spurs ; and tl)at, I know not 
for what reason, Lochwood, the ancient fortress of 
the J^natones in Annandale, has been snbstituted 
for the resU locality of his anoestoi's Drumhead 
Weddiiiff Contract:— 

"THE REIVER'S WEDDING. 

• O wrfll ye hear a mirthful bourdi i 
Or will T* hetf of coartetie ? 



Or will ye hear how a tkUnt lord 
Was wedded to a gay ladye ? 

• Ca' out the kye^' qiK)' the village herd, 

As he stood on the knowe, 
< Ca' this ane's nine, and that aoe'a ten, 
And bauld Lord William's cow.' ^^ .. ' 

•Ah! by my sobth,' quoth William then, 

' And stands U that way now. 
When the knave and churl have nine and ten, 

That the Lord has but his cow 7 ^ 

* I swear b^ the light of the Michaelmas moon 

And the mieht of Mary high, 
And by the edge of my braidaword brown, 
They shall soon say Harden's kye.' 

Ufi took a bugle firae his side, 

With names carved o'er and o'er— 
Pull many a chief of meikle pride, 

That Border bugle bore—* 

He blew a note baith sharp and hie, 

Till rock and water rang around— 
Three score of mosstroopers and three 

Have mounted at that bugle sound. 

The Ifichaelmas nxwn had entered then, 

And ere she wan the full, 
Ta might see by herllsht in Harden glea 

A bow o* kye aad a basaenad bull. 

Andtoud, andkiQ(L in Harden tower 
The qualgh gaed round wi' meikle flee ; 

For the BncHsh beef was brought in bowery 
And the EngUah ale flowed merrilie. 

And inony a guest l^om Teviotside 

And farrow's Braes were there ; 
Waa never a lord hi Scotland wkle 

That made more dainty fare. 

They ate, they laugh'd, they sang andqoaifl^* 

Tin nought on board was seen, 
When knight and squire were boane to dlae, 

But a spur of sliver sheen. 
Lord WiUfaun has ta'en bia berry brown itead* 

A sore sheet man was he : 

• Watt ye. my guest, a Uljle speadr- 

Weei feasted ye shall be.' 

He rode him down by Falaahopa Dum, 

BiSGoaaindearioaee, 
With him to take a riding turn— 

YCat-draw-the-sword was be. 

^Attl when he caaie to Fkbabope glen, 
beneath 4he tryatiog tnee, . . ^ 
On tha smooth green waa carved plain,t 

' To Loch wood bound are we.' 
' O if they be cane to dark Loehwoed 

To drive die warden's gear, 
Betwixt oar namea, I ween, there's fend ; 

ru go and have my ahare : 

* For tittle reek I for Johnstone's fend, 

The Warden though he be.' 
•o Lord WUHaa la away ta dark Loehwood, 

With riders barely three. 
The Warden's daughters in Lochwood sate, 

Were all both feir and gay, 
All save the Lady Margaret, 

And she. was waa and wae. 

The sister, Jean, had a AiU Wr sUn, 

And Grace was bauld and braw ; 
But the leal- fast heart her breast withm 

Itweel was worth them a*. 

Her father's planked her alsUrs twa 

With meikle joy and pride ; 
Bat Margaret maun seek Dundrennan's wa'— 

Bhe ne'er can be a bride. 

On spear and casque by gallants gent 
Her sisters' scarfs were borne, 
* But never at tilt or tournament ^ 

Were Margaret's colours worn. 

• TWi eekltated hom Is stfi in the possession of Loid Pd- 
t " At LiotoB. ia Roidwirtaliire, t^ere is^ ckdeof stonssjnr- 



„. Linton, ia Roidwi^aliiret there is ai ^ — --^ — 

ntnndiog a smooth plat of mrTadWthe^ Trwt,oi P^of ap- 
TT-r-^..^ wWch traOilon avert to have been tl» rendeKvous ca 



k^tbe 



'*t*y* p< isB> 



waniors. 'fte nanie of theM<ter was cut in 
anwDsement of the tetters aonounped to hu fo^ 
«wlbKb be bad take&."-&iir(Sl6«f<M » tff 

Digitized by V^OOQlC 



.ft 



UPE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



Her Bill ens rode 1» Tlilrkiliitlc l 
Bui qiif! wuh \b^ &( htmct 

And bI^Ii young QUirdeQ^fl mians. 

' Of all ihn knlgbtfl, tbe tciliht nao Jt PUr, 
From Yiirmw t^ the Triie,' 

6ut ne^er cui ha bo mine ; 

* pr ftiU (h«i malilm itiii fouleit oitid 
' From T€Vioi to the D%*( 

* Cm u.^er forifiE lUnluei^ii be*— 

She kdokfrd ii[i the bd«ty ((Uq, 

And Ufi tl)i(i iTiDjiJi^ bnipf 
Ajid »ho saw a acoro of hor faiher's Oiet 

VcLud Jfi ttiQ JohQBtdine kta^'h 

O fMt and iul tbf'f c){»wQWiif cKb «p«<] 

And In the tTLldsj Uie iroopp» iej 
A BhAc^lUed )m3ghr ■lorjg" 



Absood as the auttimn viLcatiop sat Scott at liber- 
tff he pruceeded lu the Borders with Leyden. ^'We 
havis ju$l ^ancludi'dj^' he telln ELlis, on nia return to 
Edinburgh^ * ftn excursion of two or ihree wtoks 
through my jurisdiciiot] of St'IkirkBhire, where, in 
defies nee m mountains^ rivera, STjd bogi J?uiip flnd 
dtYi we hav« penetrated the very reeee^aof Ettiiek 
Foreai> to which d is tricu if I ever have the happiii4^«fi 
of wdcoming you, yau wiU be convineed that I ain 
truly the; eherjff of' the ' c&irn itttd the ei^aur.' In 
the courae of our cranti tour, btisidt'B the tnkE of 
Bwatnpmj; and hreaktn^ our n^ks, we, encountered 
the farmiaabie hardehipB of sh'cpiug upon peat- 
■tacks, and eatinp mutton sloin by no common 
butc^b^Tr liut deprived of life by ihc juJgniertt of 
Grtd^ aa a coraner'e inquest would ex|jre*s ih*5nj- 
seUefl. I haye, however, nbt only es^Cfipcd safe 'per 
v&rioi caAua per tot dincTimina remm,' bpi returned 
t^mdcd with the treaAureB of oral tradition. The 
I^rincipal result of our tntiuirieB hae been a cotupjet^ 

' and perfeci copy of ' Mai t land with hia Auld Bcrd 
Graie/ referred to by Douglas in hia ^ Pa Lice of 
IIc^Dour,' alcing with John ine Reef and "oiher po- 
pular eharaeterp^ nnd eelebratt^ also in tho poenia 
from the Mail I and MS, You mov gue^si the sur- 
priae of Leyrleo and my^U when this waa present- 
ed to u^ copied down from the recitation of an old 
ihepherd. by a country farmefi ar^d with no greater 
corruptiona than tuight be jiiipno&ed lo he in trod o- 
ced hy the Upee of time, and the ignorance of reci- 
tera. I don* I anppafie it waa oriffinailv composed 
later than the daya of BUnd Barry. Mao^ of the 
old words are retained, which ndihtsrihertfciter nor 
the copii^T undefntood. Such are ihe nulit^ry 4?n^ 

, fdnes noif^ct, springvtulht t^T^rinijalds;) and many 
olhera< Though cho poetical inerii of ilus i-urjosity 
is not fithkingf yt^t it haa an odd ^n^rgy and drama* 
tic effect," 

A few weeka later, he thus anawera KIJi«V in- 
quiriea ai lo the pro^^reaa of ihe Sir Triatrem t— 
*' The worthy knijjhi la eiill in embryo, though the 
whole poetrv is. pnnted. The fact is, that a second 
editioii of the MiiiBtrel ay has been demanded mor^ 
naddenly than 1 oxpecied, and has occupied my 
immediate aifenli(jii, I have aldo my third volume 
10 eumpde and airanpe ; fiir the Min»trclBy is now 
to hecompli.ted ailoeethcr independent of the pr^ux 
dirtoHfTt who might hang heavy upon its skirts 
Xaa^reyou my Oyniinuaihn ia mere dogp^ei, not 
pociry-^it is urfrucjJ in the same dieimofi with Tho- 
rn aa'jS own produDUon, atid thercfori? not worth 
sending. Ho^ever^ you inay depend on ha¥ni« 
toQ whole lonjE^ before public alion, 1 have derived 
inueh information from Turner: he combines the 
kaowled^ of the WeUh and northern authi]rit;t'u, 
andj iii ueApiteof a moat detestable GibhunitTn^ his 
h&cik m inlereetme.* J Lnlond to atudy the weleh 
triadtt b^ore I finally conunic myadf on the subject 
of BotdCT poetry As for Mister Riteoo, he 



Btid I still aontinoe on decent terms; aftdm tmtfi. 
he makaa fKilt dt relottrs ; hut I dread I shall «ee * a 
whiskirr first and then a claw' stretched out agminst 
ray unforiuuato lucuhralion^. Ballantjrne, the 
KcJbo printer, who has a hook pf his in nana, 
groans m spirit over the peculiarities of hia ortho- 
graphy, which, acpoth to say. hath seldom been e<^aal- 
led sinci^ ihe daya of t^lphiniitone, the ingentcms 
author of the mode of spt^lling according to the 
pronuncintion, which ht^ aptly termed, "Prop nety 
Bicertained in her Pielurp." I fear the remark of 
Fcstus to St. Pool mifthl be niore justly appUed to 
this curioys investigator of antiquity, and it is a pity 
euch reaearch should be rendered useless by the 
infirmities of his lemper. I have lately had from 
him a copic of ' Ye lUel wee Mon,' of which I 
think lean make some use. Id return, I hai^e aent 
him a si^ht of Auld Maitknd, the original MS. If 
you are cunona, I dare *tty you ma^ easily see it. 
Indeed, I miaht easily aend yoa a transcribed coPXi 
— bul I wish him to see it in piiris jiaturaUbus. i ^ 

Ritson hod visited T.naswade in the course of this 
auiuniOt and hiu eon duel had been such as to render 
the precaution here alluded to very proper, in the 
eaao of one who, lLk*j Scott, was resolved to steer 
cbar of the feuds and heartburnings that gave nse 
to such scandalous scenes aniong^ the other anti- 
qiiancs of the day. Ley den met R4tson ai the cot- 
tage, and, far from tmitalinR his host's foroearance, 
took a pleai^ure of tormenting the half-road pedant 
by every means in his power. Among other cir- 
cum stances, Scott dulighiod to detail the scene that 
occurrLHi when his two imcotith aUies first met at 
dinner. Well knoi^'inj^ RJtsoa*8 holy horror of all 
animal food, Leyden complained that the joint on 
the table was overdone* '* Indeed, for that mat- 
ter,'* cried he, " meat can never be too little done, 
and raw is beat of all " He t^ent to the kitchen ac- 
cordingly for a plaie of llierally raw bee^ and man- 
fully eat It up, with no sance but theezqmsite raeful- 
neas of the Fyihngorcan^s glances. 

Mr. Robert Pierc^e Gillies?, a gentleman of the 
Scotch bar. well known^ among other thingBi for 
some ejteeiletit translations from the Overman, ' 



pre^nt at the cottage another dav, when Btitson 
was in Scotland, He hns described the whole 
scene in the aecond ieetion of his "Recollections of 
Sir Walter Sooi»,"^a set of papers in which many 
inaccurate statements occur, but which convey, on 
the whole, a lively impreaaion of the persona intro- 
duced.* In approaching the cottage," he says, 
*' I was struck with the exceeding air of neatness 
that prevailed around. The hana of tasteful cnlti- 
vatioti had been there, and all methods employed to 
convert an ordinary thatched cottage into a hadd- 
some and co mfo r t a h 1 e ah ode. The doorway was in 
an angle fi^rmed by ihc^ oricmal old cabin and the ^ 
additional rooms which had been built to iL In a 
moment I had passed through the lobby, and found 
myself in the preaenci; of Mr. and Mrs. Scott, and 
Mr. William Erskine^ At this early period, Scott 
wa? more like the nortraitj by Saxon, engraved for 
the &rst edition of 'The Ladv of the Lake,' than 
to any subseqiitent picture, ite retained in testures 
and /orm an impress of Ihnt elasticity and youthful 
vivacity, which he ustd to complain wore off after 
he was forty, und by hk own account was exchang- 
ed for ihe plodding hesvinc^TtE i)f an operose student 
He had now, indeed^ aorne^vhat of a boyish gayety 
of iook, and in person was tall, slim, and extreme- 
ly aci i ve. On ni y en i ran ce, ho was seated at a table 
near the window, and occunii^din transcribing fh>m 
an old MS. volume into hii^ commonplace book. 
As to costume, he was carelessly attired m a widely- 
madoshooting-dreaa, with a coloured handkerchief 
rotund hiri neck ; the very antithesis of style usually 
adopted eiihtr by itiident <T barrister. *Hahr 
hi) exclaimed, ^welcome, thrice welcome! ibr we 
are juat proposing to haii^ hrnch, and then a long; 
long w^alk tnrouKO wood and wold, in which I am 
sure yoLt ^sill Join us. But no man can thoroughly 
appreciate the pl^sure of such a hfe who has not 



• Tf* fiat P»rt (jf Ml ebwrtj ^TnroM'i MktaiT of the AtnV • Thtv papftrw dptwcrvd in Prawrt Mtfttiino Ibr thptmhm, 
gs^uns wp E<uMiiM in l?l» i tli» t^oond m tHoi. NaVHBbfr» vut DcCMnbot, vsm. ^faA Janovr, ISM. 

Digitized by VijOOQlC 



LIF^ OF Sm WALTER SCOTT. 



81 



loown what it it to rise roiritlesB in amorning, and 
' " ■" > out half the dsjr in the Parliament Houee, 
J we must all compear within another fort- 
_ht ; then to apend the rest of one's time in ap- 
plying proofs to conde8c€ndeneeSi and hauling out 
papers to bamboozle judgest most of whom are 
daniMd enough already. What say you, Counsellor 
Enkine? Come — cUla ^erra— rouse, and say whe- 
ther you are for a walk to-day.'— * Certainly, in 
such fine weather I don't see what we can propose 
better. It is the last I shall see of the countrv this 
vacation.'—* Nay, say not so, man ; we shall all 
be merry twice and once yet before the evil days 
anrre.'— *ril tell you what I have thought of tins 
baif^boor : it is a plan of mine to rant a cottage and 
acabhage-garden— not here, but somewhere farther 
oet of town, and never again, after this one session, 
to mter the Parliament House.'—* And you'll ask 
Rtt^n, perhaps,' said Scott, * to stay with you, and 
help to consame the cabbages. Risst assured we 
shall both tit on the bench one day ; but, heigho ! 
#a shall both have become very old andpbiloSophi- 
cai by that timei'— * Did you not expect Lewis here 
this morning T—* Lewis, 1 venture to say, is not up 
yet, for he dined at Dtikeith yesterday, and of 
oeiarae found the wine very f(ood. Besides, you 
know, I have intrusted hin^ with FintUa till his 
own steed gets well of a sprain, and he could not 
join our walking excursion.— I see you are admiring 
that broken sword.' he added, addressing me, * and 
voar interest would increase if 3^0 knew how much 
laboor was required to bring it into my possession. 
Ib erdtr to grasp that moiudering weapon. I was 
oU^^ to drain the well at the Castle of Dunnot- 
tar. Bat it is time to set out: and here is one* 
/HtfMP (addressing himself to a larve dog) * who is 
vary impatient to be in the field. He teUs me he 
luowt where to find a hare in' the woods of Mavis- 
bank. And here is another,' (^caressing a terrier,) 
* whft longs to have a battle with the welizels and 
Vatef-rat^ and the foamart that wms naar the 
eaves of Gorthy : so let us be off.' " 

ISx, Odlies tells us, that in the course of their 
waQi to Rosslyn, Scott's foot slipped, at he was 
tcramblins towards a cave on the edge of a preci- 
phooB bank, and that, ** had there been no trees in 
the way, he must have been killed, but midway he 
was ttopped by a large root of hazel, when, instead 
ol itmggling, which would have made matters 
gready worse, he seemed perfectly resigned to his 
ute, and slipped through the tangled thicket till he 
lay flat on the river's brink. He rose in an instant 
from his recumbent attitude, and with a hearty laugh 
called out, * Now, let me see who else will do the 
like.' He scrambled up the cliff with alacrity, and 
entered the cave, where we had a long dialogue." 

Even after he was an old and hoary man, he 
continually encountered such risks with the same 
recklessness. The extraordinary strength of his 
bands and arms was his great reliance in all such 
difficnltioB, and if he coula see any thing to lay hold 
<rf; he was afraid of no leap, or rather hop, that came 
in h» way. Mr. Gillies says, that when they drew 
near the famous chapel of Rosslyn, Erskine ex- 
prened a hope that they might, as habitual visitors, 
*escape hearing the usual endless story of the silly 
old woman that showed the ruins ; but Scott an- 
svered, ** IJiere is a pleasure in the sons which 
none hut the songstress knows, and by teUing her 
we know it all aiieadyi we ahould make the poor 
devil unhappy." 

On their remm to the cottage, Scott inquired for 
the learned cahbage-emUTy meaning Ritton, who had 
been expected to dinner. *Undeed," answered his 
wife, **you may be happy he is not here, he is so 
very dnagreeable. Mr. Lcyden, I beljive, frighten- 
ed him away." It turned out that it was oven so. 
When Ritson appeared, a round of cold beef was 
on the luncheon-table, and Mrs. Scott, forgetting 
his peculiar creed, offered him a sjice. The anti- 



turn, till at last he threatened, that if he were not 
sOent, he would Ihraw his neck. Scott shook his 
head at this recital, which Leyden observing^ grew 
vehement in his own justification. Scott said not 
a word in reply, but took up a large bunch of fea- 
thers fastened to a stick, denominated a dusttr^ and 
shook it about the student's ears till he laughed- 
then changed the subject" 

All this is very cnaracteriatic of the parties. 
Scott's playful iiversion to dispute was a trait in his 
mind and manners, that could alone have enabled 
him to make use at one and the same time, and for 
the same purpose, of two such persons as Ritson 
and Leyden. 

To return to Ellis. In answer to Scott's letter 
last quoted, he urged him to make Sir Tristrem t^ 
lume fourth of the Minstrelsy. ** As to his hanging 
heavy on hand," (says he,) v 1 adroit, that as a se- 
parate publication he may do so, but the Minstrelsy 
IB now estabUshed as a library book, and in this 
bibliomaniac age, no one would think it perfect 
without the preux theoalitr^ if you avow the said 
chevalier as your adopted son. Let him. at least, be 
printed in the same size and paper, and then 1 am 
persuaded our booksellers will do the rest fast 
enoygh, upon the credit of your reputation." Scott 
rephes, (November,) that it is now too late to alter 
the fate of Sir Tnttrem. ** Longman, of Pater- 
noster Row. has been down here m summer, and 
pnrchasi^ the copyright of the Minstrelsy. Sur 
Tristrem is a separate property, but will be on the 
same scale in point of size." 

The next letter introduces to Ellis's personal ac- 
quaintance Leyden, who had by^his time comple- 
ted his medical studies, and takmi his degree as a 
physician. In it Scott says : ** At length I write to 
you per favour of John Leyden. I presume Heber 
has made yot^ sufficiently acqiainted with this ori- 
ginal, \for he IS a true one,) and therefore I will trust 
to your own kihdness, shoi\ld an opportunity occur 
of doing him aiiv service in furthering his Indian 
plans. You will readily judge, from conversing 
with him, that with a very uncommon stock of ac- 
quired knowledge, he wants a good deal of another 
sort of knowledge, which is only to be gleaned from 
an early intercourse with pohsned society. But he 
dances his bear with a good confidence, and the 
bear itself is a yery good-natured and well-condi- 
tioned animal. Allms friends are much interested 
about him, as the qualities both of his heart and . 
head are very uncommon." He adds : ** My ihhd 
volmne will appear as soon after the others as the 
despatch of the printers will admit. Some partt 
will, 1 think, interest you; particularly the preserva- 
tion of the entire * Auld Maitland' by oral tradition, 
probably from the reign of Edward II. or III. As f 
have never met with such an instance, I must re- 
quest you to inquire all about it of Leyden, who was 
with me when I received my first copy. In the 
third volume I intend to publish Cadyow CaeUe, a 
historical sort of a ballad upon the death of the Re- 
gent Murray, and besides this, a long poem of my 
own. It will be a kind of romance of Border chi- 
valry, in a light-horseman sort of stanza." 

He appears to have sent a copy of CadyotD Cattle 
bv Leyden, whose reception at Mr. Ellis's villa; near 
Windsor, is thus described in the next letter of the 
correspondence. **Let me thank you,** says Ellis, 
** for your poem, which Mrs. E. has not received, 
and which, indeed, I could not help feeling glad, in 
the first instance, (though we now begin to wow 
very impatient font,) that she did not receive. Xey- 
den would not have been your Leyden if he had ar- 
rived like a careful citizen, with all his packages 
carefully docketed in his portmanteau, if on the 
point of leaving for many years, perhaps for ever, 
his country and the friends of his youth, he had not 
deferred to the last, and till it was too late, all that 
could be easily done, and that stupid people find 
time to do— if he had not arrived with all his ideas 



quary, in his indignation.^xpre09ed himself in such 1 perfectly bewildered— and tir^ to death, and sick— 
outrageous terms to the lady, that Leyden first tried and without any settled plans for futurity, or any 
to correct him by ridieule, and then, on the mad- [ accurate recollection of the past- we should have 
man growing mors violent, became angry in hit . Celt much more disappointed ^^f.'^^rf^m^p^ 



non-arnrAl of y6\Xf poemt which he n^mtcd usliB 
remembef^sd to havtj left eomewhero or olhet, «nd 
• ihtTcfojT felt vcrjr confident of recovering. Ita 
diciru ht» vihoh air aod toiintenatice told nsk, * I am 
' come to be one of your fiiL^ads,' and we im media lely 
nxjk him at hia WkJtd-^' 

By ihf? ** romanci?of B^rd^r ChivBlpy/^ which wa& 
dcsifitiod to form pen of the third volumt- of ibe 
BEnfiireUy, tba reader is to midt^ralfltid the firet 
draught uf The Lay uf thu Lnst Blinsird : and ike 
ainhor'e de$crifitiou of ii a* U4n£; '"in ahghi-borsc- 
maii fiott of eiajuii," wag probabl^^ 9ug^t;^ted by' 
the circumatanoL'fl undi^r which ihv greater part <>i 
that ori^^nal drRu^ht wns composed. Hi: btti» frjld 
ua, in his IntTinliJciKHi uf r^,%, thnt flie jiopm on fi- 
liated in a re<iui -T if tfiL yomigand lavdv CuuiUt:^fi 
of Oalktith^ thai he would wfile n ballad on the 
legend of Gilpin Horner : that be be^an it ut Ln4&- 
w&de, and read the opening sEaniai;, &» iwon aa 
they were wniten, lo hia friends, Ersikint and Cren- 
alouii; that their reception of thesi' inast apparently 
HO cold aa to disoowragt^ hitn, and (liafius't hun w ith 
what hiii had donci bnl that Bnditi|?^ a few days 
afierward^i that }he sianj.as had iitycrtheleas eJt- 
citf^d their curiossiiy, and hauntcxi ihfir mt^moryj^ he 
was eneou raided to rtsume ibt' undertaking. The 
scene and date of this resumption I owe to \\w n:.- 
coLItciion of the then Cornet of ihc Edinburgh hghi- 
horec. Whila the troop were or^ p^>rmancni diUy 
^t Mimselbnrgh.ln the autumnal recess of isoa^ the 
quartermaster* during a chprKe *>u Poftobello sands, 
ri^cciived a kifk of a nor^e, which conEm^d him for 
three days to his lodsdngs. Mr. Skcoe fotind him 
buay with his pen ; And he produced before these thr^"^ 
dm eipirod the first canto of the Lay, very neurly, 
if hvi friend' a memory may be irustwl, in the state 
in which it was ulUmoEuly published. That tho 
whek poem wait sketched and filled in with i^tra- 
ordiatiiy rapidity, there e^n ba no difBotdty in be* 
l>eving. He hitnstelf snys, (in the Introduction of 
l&30»> that after he had once aoi fairly into the vein, 
it proceeded at the rate of about a c^nto in a week» 
The Layi how ev^jT, like the Tnifttrcm, soon outsrew 
the dimensioQa which b^:* hod original] i' cantcmpla- 
ifsd : the ilesign of includioi? il in tht? Third votumo 
of the jVlinstrelsy was of coufse abjitKhmtd: and it 
did not appear utitrl nt^rly three, yea r» after ifi at for- 
tunate mishap on the bench of Portubello- 

To return lo S^ colt* a correupoiidL'ac4; ;~it ahows 
that EElis had, shhoy^h jm solved at the iim& in se- 
rious family a fHictionsL exLTtcd him^tilf strenuously 
and etiiCiively in ^fthnlf of Lctydeti ; a service which 
ScoEl acWnowkdgt^a most warmly, Hij; frictid 
writesj too, nt gri^at length about the completion of i 
tl^ Min^relsy, urging in particular, the propriety of 
prefiKJug to il a good map of the ScoliIhIi Border— | 
for J in iTutb,^* Fie says, ** I htive never been able to i 
find even Erciidoun^ on any map in my po*^&ee- 
i^iom" The poet aaswers t Jahuary 30, I&03 *' The 
idea of a Til a ^ pleaae^ mc much, hitt there are two 
strung objectiopJi lo its l^^inp^ prcfixei:! to this eiiirion, 
I^rfif WG shall be out in a months within which | 
time It would be ditTieuU+ I apprelien<i, for Mr, Ar- 1 
rowsmitht labo^irtne tmdar the disadvantages which 
I am. about to mentkm, to complete the map. Se- ' 
^ondiy^ you are ib knqw that I am an utter stranger [ 
to ffuonwiry. SLjTvtyingt and all aiich injlainmaivrj/ 
br&nchea of study, ss Mm. Malaprop cJilla thern. | 
My pihicntiofi wa** wnfT>r*(mg(t'ly niterrupttd by a< 

JUIJj^ llJlilCi- oiiL-^- 1^, *ii liil_J.J UL _^^i-_iliu._ iiJi' JLZ-J-liji- 

for about two vears in the country with a good 
maiden aunt, who permitted and encouraged me to 
run about the fields as wild as any buck that ever 
11^ from the face of man. Hence my geographical 
knowledge is merely p/actical, and inougn I think 
that in the South country ' 1 could be a guide worth 
ony twa^ that may in Liddosdale bo found,' yet I 
bdTieve Hobby Noble, or Kinmont Willie, would 
beat roe at laying down a map. I have, however, 
sense enough to see that our mode of executing 
maps in general is any thing but perfect. The 
country i« most inaccurately defined, and had your 
General (Wade) marched through Scotland by the 
aanstance of Ainstie'a map, his flying artillery 



UFE OP SIR WALTER SCOW. 

would soon hm 8tuc]f faat among our, moraaaeiy. 
and his horae broke theirkneea among our caimau 
Tour system of a bird's eye view Is certainly mm 
true principle." He goes on to mention some better 
maps than Ellis seemed to have eonsulted, and to 
inform him where he may discover Ercildoime, un« 
derits modern form of Earlston, upon the river Lead- 
er ; and concludes. " the map then must be deferred 
until the third edition, about which, I suppose, 
Longman thinks courageously." He then adds; 
" I am almost glad Caayow Castle ia miscarried, 
as 1 have rather lost conceit of it at present, being 



bard, who is supposed to have survived all his bre- 
thren, and to have Uved down to 169a The thing 
itself will be very long^ but I would williiigly have 
sent you the Iniroductwn, had you been atiU m pos- 
session of your senatorial privilege ;— but double 
postage would be a strange innovation on the es- 
tablished price of ballads, which h^ye always sold 
at the easy rate of one hal^enny.*' 

I must now (;tve part of a letter in which Leydea 
rectus to the kmdness, and sketches the person and 
manners of George Ellis, in a highly characteristic 
fashion. He says to Scott, (January 2&, 180aA 
*' You were, no doubt, suiprised, my dear sir, that I 

fave you so little information about ray movementa| 
ut it is only thill day I have been able to soemk of 
them with any precision. Such is the tardineMitt 
every thing connected with the India House, that a 
person who is present in the character of spectator 
18 qiiite amazeg ; but if w^ consider it aa the oentrs 
of ft vast commercial oonoem, in conaparisoa of 
which Tyre and Sidon, and the Great CarthMie it- 
self, must inevitably dwindle into huckster mbop^ 
we are induced to think of them with m0ra patience. 
Even yet I cannot answer you ezeotly— being veqf 
uncertain whether I am to sail on the 18th of next 
month, or the 28th. 

** Now shal 1 teleu to ye. i wis, 
Of ttiat kind Squeyere Ellis, 

That woonen la this cite $ ■ 
Courtess he is, by Qotf almiit t 
That henls noQgfat jaiaked knist 

It is the more pltie. 

8. 
*' He konnen better eche glewe 
Tlian I konnen to ye shewe, 

Baith roaist and least 
Bo wet be wirketh in eche thewe, 
That where he coaiinen, I tel ye trewa, \ 

He Is ane welcome guest. 

3. 
" His eyea ffrave aa glas ben, 
Aod hit looks ben alto kene, 

Lovettche to paramour. 
Brown as acorn ben his faxe, 
His face is thin as bettel axe 

That deaieth diotis doure. 



** His wit ben both keeneand sharps, 
To knizt or dame that car 11 can carpa 

Either in haD or bower ; 
And had I not this squeyere yfonde, < 
I had been at the se-gronde, 

Which had been great dolonre. 



" In him Ich findeo non other eoiL 
Save that his nostril so doth snivel. 

It is not myche my choice. 
But than^is wit ben so p< 

haflvho can liis carpyngi 

Thai thynke not of his voice. 



That thaflvho can liis carpyn^e here 



** To speake not of his gentel dame 
Ich wis ft war bothe sin and ahams 

Lede is not to Inrna ; 
She is a ladye of sleh pi^ee, 
To leven hi that dame's service 

Henlwerlta^li^^yt^OOgle 



UfE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



7. 



■* Hir wit is ftal kene ind quejnt, 
Aad hir iOMBra unale and gent, 

Semdeebe to be seene ; 
Armea, hondei, and flninres amale, ^ 

or pearl beth eche fiof re nale ; 

She mist be ferya Qaeoe. 

"That lady ahe wit civ a acarf 
lb him that would ykiUen a dwarf 

Churl of pajnio) kinde ; 
That dwarf be ia ao fell of mode 
The je ahold drynk hia hert blode. 

Gbde wold ze never flnde. 

9. 
** Thtt dwarf he ben beardleaa and bare 
And weazelblowen ben al hia hair, 

^ke ao yrape or elCe ; 
And in this world beth al and hale 
Bm Dothynge that be loveth an dele 

Saie nla owen aelfe." .... 

Tbe fourth of these verses refers to the loss of the 
ffiadostaxL in which ship Leyden, but for Mr. FA- 
lams iniefnsrcfQce. must have sailed, «nd which 
fooodaedia the ChatmeL The dwan is, of rour^ 
RkaoiL 

After Tarious kttars of the same kind, I find one, 
daie^iaie of W^bt, April the 1st, (1803,) the mani' 
iof lefcfre Leydeii .finally sailed. * I have b^^r n t wo 
dmoD boara," n6 writes, " and yon may coriciivc 
vbat an excelleat change I made fi^om tbi' |icilit«it 
aodenr of London to the 0hitish akippera of Porta- 
BBOoth. Oar crew consists of a very motley party ; 
bat there are some of them very ingenious, vtnd Ro- 
bert 8mith« Sidney's broiheir, is himself a hoi^L He 
isainKMt toa most powerfbl man I have mti with. 
IN monev eoRceme I shall consiaer you a^rrusfsf^ 
of; and aiu remittances, as well as dividends, from 
L(mgmAn, will be to vour direction. These, I hone, 
we shall soon be able to adjust very accurately. 
Koney mty be paid, but kindness never. Assure 
yoor ezceli^t Charlotte, whom | shall ever re^;oLkct 
with affection and esteem, how much I regret that I 
jdid not tee her before my departure, aud say a thou- 
sand pretty things, for which my mind is too much 
agitated, being in the situation of Coleridjzr> devil 
aodys graimam, * expecting and hoping the trum- 
pet to blow.' And now, my dear Scott, adipfi. 
Think of me with indulgence, and be certain, that 
wherever, ai^ in whatever situation, John Leyden 
is, his heart is unchanged by place, and his poul by 
tJHie," 

This letter wa»jwseived by Scott, not m Edin- 
bargh, but in London. He had hurried up to town 
as soon as the Court of Session rose for the ^prir^g 
vacation, in hopes of seeing his frietui oncre morti 
bdbfe he left England ; but he came too laif.'^ He 
ha^ however, done his part : he had sent Leaden 
£50. through Messrs. 'Longman, a week beibrc! ; and 
on the back of that bill there is the following rtte- 
merandnm :— " Dr. Leyden's total debt to mt £ aO ; 
he also owes J06O to my uncle.*' 

He thus writes to Ballantyne, on theSlet April, 
1803 :-. 

"I have to thank you for the accuracy with which the 
Hxoatrelay ia thrown oflT. Longman and Reea are Oi^Iij^ht- 
ed with the printing. Be ao good aa to diaper^e ibe fnl 
lowing preaentatlon copiea, with ^From the Ik) i tor* c-n 
each'.— 
Janea Hogg, Ettrick Hoaae, care of Mr. Olhrer, Hiwiek 

—by the carrier— a complete aet. 
ThooaaSoott (my biiother,) diuo. 
Calin Mackenzie, Baq., Prince'a Street, third volume only. 
Un, Scott, George Street, ditto. 
Br. Rutherford. York Place, ditto. 
Captain Scott, Kosebank, ditto. 

• 1 mean mD these to be ordinary paper. S^nd on^ sn riii« 
paper to Dalkeith Hcase, addfeaeed to the Boeht^M ; an- 
other, hy the Inverary earrter, to Lady Chartotti- Cmmji- 
bell; the remaioioi ten^ fine pap«r, with aoy of Vu|. [IL, 
which may be on fine paper, to be aeot to me by mtn. 1 
think they will give you aome etlat here, where ftrintlrti; 
la so much valued, i have aeUled about prhilitig ^n cdi 
tkm of the Layi^ 8vo^ with vignettM, provided I cim r^ a 



flriQ^^Mman wlioinl think wen oST we may thii/w vfT a i ver bcb on Solomtui' 5 T 



few anp^rb in qnsfto. To the Mfnatrelayl mean tlUa 
not'p Tq hp iHrlrflj b^ Wij- of a'lvnTfl-icmrijr ?— " |n th(5 
priest-, and will t^ffif^iij bc rubli^TiH, T^? ^ij*>f ih^ l^aat 
MiEi^iir^i, hy \VaJ[tr Hcott* K"'! , Rlirorof TTiO Mifi^tiplsj 
(if the i^;oiti«h B(irdt^r. AImt,, Hu T|-i»Lreni, a hleirical 
Rom^ice^ Uy Ttioixw a( Ere iUiqiin(!» culled tLo Rhymer. 
edLleJ fTDiii s.a attclt'Ul M^., wilh ^n Introiiuiit^ia matJ 
Nr»{e5, hj Walter Hcufl^ Eaq * Will ];ou tms« lUdh a 
thinjf to be ippcndetj in jaiir own way ifni f&atiioa V* 

This k^tier IS dal(?«l **No. IB, PiociidjlJr Wtat^"— 
hB and Mrs, ScoU hmtxz there domMitcaicd under 
the ro«f of tht: InU' M. ChaHeB Dunicrpue, ti man of 
very »upeT;or abJlitka and of exccUrTU edueatipn, 
well known a» aurifton-dfcititisi lo iht? ruyai fnmily, 
*who bnd bei!ninLliiiatoly aoquainred ^^ith the Char- 
pen ut-rs in hii* own Early life in Franct?, and bad 
woTDity befriendtid Mrt^- ^Sf^ou^a mother on bcT firs I 
arrival m EnKlanii- M. DLiin*'Tfcn.''jJ bone* whk^ 
thremghoiu the whrjlepriotl i>f ibt iniigraijotit lih&- 
rally apcntd \o ihi^^Jiues of hm rtaiLvi^jcnurViry ; ixor 
did some of the nob! eat of thfj«f unfuTimiate refii- 
Rfci?B Bcmple to maka the frti'?i tife of his ptirwe, is 
weM AS of hi9 hospitaliiv. Hcrt^ i>cott met inuch 
hiehly inltr^ating Freneti society, and until a child 
of his own was e^labliabL-d in London, ho never 
thotijsht af takLuiK up hi^ abode nay whiTc flae, aa 
often as he had 0€caatiin to be m luwn. 

The klier ift addreared lo ^* Mr Jamea Ballan- 
tyne^ printer. Abbpv-hilti Kdinbtirgh T wii"^h shows, 
that befara the thir^ vol unit of the MinstrcUy pass- 
pd thrutigh the preas, the migration ft^cornmetid^ 
two years earlier had at length taken plBCtv '* It 
w^ ab^tii the end of lS(^i," aaya Ballantyue in his 
Memorandum, "that I du?c-d with a plan tfo con- 
genial to my wialiee. I removtd, hag and bagf^Ke, 
to Edmbur^hf fiodinKac4Xinii modal ion for two prea- 
ec*t and a proof one, in the protinctp of Holyrood* 
hou&R, then dt^nvine new lodttt^ and intcreat front 
the rec^ni arrival of tbp royal enrleaof Frurtce. In 
the«^ nbsctire pfetniwa some of the moat beautiful 
productfcns of what we called Thr BoTder Prun 
were printed/* The Memorandum ataiea. that 
Strott having ri^newed his hint aa lo pecuniary as- 
eiatance^ flo soon as the pnnlei found hie finance* 
atraitencdf " a litreral loan i*'a» advanced according- 
ly." Of eourae Scott' a inter^at wsb conBtautly ex- 
ert ei in prrH^unng cm ploy men i, Woih Icttal and hie* 
rarv, for his friend' i* types;— and the concern grew 
ancl pro^ppred. , , . ,. i_- 

Hcbcrrr and Mackinfosh then at thi? htiffht of n» 
n-putation a<i * convorsiitiomm, and daily advanc- 
ing also at the Bar, hod betn ready to welcome 
Scott in town as old fcenda^ and Rogers Hdliatn 
Stewart Ro«e« artd a^veial other nmh of lUcrarv 
emincnce> wore at the same time odtled! to the hat of 
hia acquaintance, Hia principal object however— 
ha-nng ehi&^M Leyffen— *vBa la pertiao and make 
cjttrarr^ fmm aome MS 8* in the hl'fary of John, 
Diike of RoxbuTi^he, for th<> dfnatrfltion of the Tris- 
trem ; and he denvetli no am all nt'siBiance in other 
reacarchfiB of the hkc kind from the colkciiona 
which the indefatignhle and obhRUig Douce placiid 
at hitf diafM^aal llaving compkied^ theete labours, 
ha and Blrsn Seoti went, with Helper and Doucct lo 
Sunmnfihilk where they spent a happy week, and 
Mr. and Mrs, El ha henrd ihti first iwo or three c*n- 
toa of (he I.ay of the Last Mmstrel read under an 
old oak in Wmdnor Forest. 

I should not omit to aay^ thai Scott wae attended 
on ihia trip by a very larpe and fine bnlJ-Urrier, by 
name Camp, and ihat Camp' a master, and miatrca* 
toOj were dehghied by finding that the Klhsee cor- 
dmlly aympnima*!'! in their fondue^ie for ihte ammoJ, 
and mdeed for all hii race. At partm*?, Spit pro- 
tiiiwfwl to Bend one of Campus proRcny^ m the caurae 
of thft reason, to Sun oingndL 

F>otn thence iht'y procc*>ded to Oxford, accom- 
panied by Heher 5 and it was on ihia occaau^n^ as I 
b*^Itevet that S<!Oti first saw hia f no no's brotner, 
liEfginald, in afterdays the apoaioltc Bifhop of Cal- 
cutta* H^ had ju5t bf^^n declared the swcctiaBful 
rompetitor for that ytar'apt^eiRfll iinze, and rend to 
Sioit at br^akfasi, m Braarn Noat Cgllege, the MS, 



V84 



UPE OF SIR WALTER SCOTf. 



stance had escapeid him, namely, that no io9ia were 
used in its erecuon. Reginald retired for a few mi- 
nutes to the corner of the room, and returned with 
V the beautifal lines,— 

" No hammer fell, do ponderoos axes rung, 
Like some tall palm the myotic febric sprung. 
. Majestic siletice,'* ice.* 

• After inspecting the University and Bleiiheim, 
under the guidance of the Hebers, Scott returned 
to London, as appears from the following letter to 
^ DUBS Seward, wno had been writing to him on the 
BUbJGCt of her projected biography of Dr. Darwin. 
The conclasion and date are lost. 
'* I have been fof about a fortnight in this huge and bust 



* Romance ' is not yet finished. I pref(^ it modi to any 
thing I have done of the kind." .... 

He was in Edinburgh by the middle of ^ay; and 
thus returns to his view of Oxford in a letter to his 
fhetid at Sunninghill :— 

7b George EUu, Etq., 4^. 4%. 

" Bdinborgh, 25ch May, I80QL 
"My dear Elba, 

'^ . . . I was equally delighted with that venerable 
•eat of learning, and flattered by the polite attention of 
Heber'8 ihends. I should have been enchanted to have 
spent a couple of months among the curious Ubrariee. 
What stores must be reserved for some painful student 
to bring forward to the public ! Under the guidance and 



ling metropolis, When I am a|reeably su;?rlsed by a ' ^^"SL^^^r'^n^^iV-^hi^ «.„ ^. «r.h. k.--. 
packet froi Edinburgh, contalSng Misi Bewkrd's lettir. ^JSn °fT. Alm/iS^r .nH*J^ ?J/*^S«£'^;^ 

Vioi truly hanpy at the information* it communicates ree- ' "Si J^J^ ^t.^ d^rt^S? thSS i^hTJSS^'^^.SS^ 
pecUngihe kfe of Dr. Darwin, who could not have wish- ) S£L''!f°ft!^'^7,tXnS5 hnS^^ 
bd hUfame and character intrusted to a pen more capable I y!!.SfL/*£*^Si?Il"l®1 ?^®' °^^ ^ **" **f *" cM^f 



?f dS;iu^".r;:i;s?:::£;b;ve dTcT^^^ sait^'S?JS^^!feTS/L?a"^^^^ 

Biography, the most interesUng perhaps of every speciee i 1° Jf^'*??3,*ll'^i5f?!^?® *."l4*-i^^^^^ 



I 

;i^^e;;Tnd7ih'i;Tf me nri^^^^^ I -s^.iEf„j£j. ^^.^-^^^ 



?fr$2Crs:VSS^r4?r^rmT^ht^^^^ i hoj;;T;haii-Rs'S;rTmom^^^^^^^ 



estimation frbin its pleasing you. How often do Charlotce 
and I think of the little i^radise at Sunninghill, and Its 
kind inhabitants ; and how do we regret, lilie Div^. the 
ffulf which Is placed betwixt uii and fHends, with wboai 
it would give us sufch pleasure to spend much of oor 
time. ItiB( "- • •■ — ' • • - - 



one of ti^e vilest attribotes of the beet of oU 
rids, that It oontrives to spUl^ and sAoaraiA. 
and subdivide every thing like congenial pursi 



curalely and faithfully detailed ; nor have I much pa- 

:ience with such exaggerated daubing as Mr. Hayley has 

bestowed upon poor Ckiwper. 1 can no more sympathize 

with a mere eulogist than I can with a ranting rw&ro upon 

Jie stage ; and it unfortunately happens that sotaie of our 

Jisreapect Is apt, rather unjustly, to be transferred to the 

lubjeetof the panegyric in the one ease and to poor Oeto 

in tSe other. Unapprehensive that even ftiendehip can 

bias Miss Seward's duty to the public, I shaU wait most 

uudouslv for the volume lier kindness has promised me. 
'* As lor mx tlilrd volume, U wss verv neatly printed 

when I left Edinburgh, and must I thinx, be ready for t -u ^ w j i >.* . '^ - xi. 

publlcaHon In about a ibrtnighTwhen it will have the f beeches, and ashes and elms, not to mention eablMigea 

r - ... -. . :p.*? . . . r"^ . and turnipa, are usually arrayed en motM; but where 

do we meet a town of antiqnanea, a village of poets, or a 
hamlM of philosophers t Bbt, instead offraidess lanea- 
tatioos, we sincerely liope Blrs. Bills and you will nnrivet 
vourselves from your ibrest, and see now the hardy 
blasts of our mountains will suit you for a change of 
climate The new edition of 'BOnstrelsy' is pub- 
lished here, but not in Londbn as yet, owing ip the em- 



habits, for the paltry purpose, one would think, of diversi- 
fying every little spot with a share of its various produc- 
tions. I don't know why th6 human and vegetu>le de- 
partments should differ so excessively. Oaks and 



nigl 
hfi« 



honour of traveUlog to Liehfie^). I doube yi>n ui[| imd 
but little amusement la it, as thfre arfi a gr>n<] umn/ okl 
baQads, particularly those of <lho CoT^iiuitcns^ writ-^h) 

' Inpolntofcbmposition, are mer^r drivtUmjc Lra4h, TJiey 
are, however, curious in an hifSt»>TicAl poinx uf thw, md 
have enabled me to slide In a oamber ai qoiea aJjora ihai. 

pdark and bloody period of ScottUb Ifl^U^ry. Tharr is a 
t oonvenlence to an editor In .i tal« upou wfiicb, ia ith 



out the formality of adapting thr uoiei tery jii^cisffv to * Sf*^.®" ^^l shipping. An invasion is expected from 
the shape and form ofthTbalte-J. b* may bln^ nr, ^ Mt : Flushinx. and no measures of any kind take* to prevent 
like a herald's coat without sU^-»c^, fiiTfo;? him** If ihe i ^^ "P©* «• "urs ever fclthfully. 



trouble of taking measure, and fcnrfJnc fiiri th i\\^ LiU^of I 
ancient time, ready equipped tn>m ib«> Mcnmouih tHireet j 
warehouse ofaooounonplaoe book. C^dyow Cuiik i to { 



W. SOOTT.' 

The letter endoeed a sheet of extracts firom For- 
dun, in Scott's handwriting ; the subject being the 



appear In volame third. I ***»"* '." »wn. v uanuwunuB j m^ fV^iP^'' »*«••» ;•*» 

chronicler accounts for all the crimes and miafbr* 
tunes of the English Plantagenets. 

Messrs. Longman's new edition of the first two 
volumes of the Minstrelsy consisted of 1000 conies— 
of volume third there were 1500. A complete editioa 
pf 1260 copies followed in 1806 ; a fourth, also of 
1260, in 1810: a fifth of 1600 in 1812 ^ a sixth of 600 
in 1820 ; and since then it has been mcorporated in 
various successive editions of Scott's Collected Po- 
etry—to the extent of at least 16,000 copies more. Of 
the Continental and American editions, I can say 
nothing, except that they have been verv numerous. 
The book was soon translated mto Gferman, Da- 
nish, and Swedish; and the slmctureof those lan- 
guaees being very favourable to the undertaking 
tne Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border has thus be- 
come widely naturalized among nations themselves 
rich in similar treasures of legendary lore. Of the 
extraordinary accuracy and felicity of the Oerman 
version of Schubart, Scott has given some speci- 
mens in the last edition which ne himself super- 
intended— that of 1830. , 

He speaks in the Essay to which I have referred, 
as if the first reception of the Minstrelsy on the 



totetf, have left my epistle unflnlahedeversinne; yetlhave 
not been wholly idle, about a fonnigUt of that period hav- 
ing been employed as much to mj satisfaction as any 
siiniUr space of time during piy life. I was, the first 
week of that Ibrtnlght, with my iivaluable friend George 
KDIs, and spent tlie second week at Oxford, which I 
vlrited for the first time. I was peculiarly fortunate In 
Jiavlag, for my patron at Oxford, Mr. Ileber, a particular 
IHendf of mine, who is Intimately acquainted with ail, 
both animate aad inanimate, that is w6rth knowing at 
Oxford. "Die time, though as much as I could posMbly 
spare, has« I find, been too short to convey to me sepa> 
ra|e and distinct ideas of all the variety of wonders which 
I saw. My memory jonly at present IVirnishes a grand 
but Indistinct mr.tore of towera^ and chapels, and oriels, 
and vaulted halls, and libraries, and paintings. I hope, in 
a little time, my Ideas will develope themselvoe a littie 
more distlnefly, otherwise I shall have profited little by 
my tour. 1 was much flattered bv the kind reception 
and notice I met with from mJtae of tne most distinguished 
inhabitants of the halls of bis, which was more thau such 
a fruam to the classic page as myself was entiUed to ex- 
pect at the aource of classic learning. 

"On my return, I find an apologetic letter from my 
printer, ssying the third volume wiu be despatched in a 
day or two. There has been, it seema, a meeting among | 
thr printers' devils ; also among the papep-makers. I 

never heard of authors ttriJdng vdrk, as the mechanics i " "l ~r ,u. rr^„^'u. j w»^ ««M 
caH h, until their masters the booksellers should increase i ^^^t*^ o^ **?« >>yeed had been cold, 
their pay ; but if such a combination could ti ' 
the revolt would now be general io all branches 
labour. How much sincere satisfaction would it give 
could 1 ooeclode this letter (as I once hoped) by saying 
I should tisit Lichfield, and pay my peraonol respects to 
my intaluable correapondenlj in uiy war northwards ; but 
as circumstances render this imposslMe, I shall depute 
the poetry of the olden time In the editor's stead. My 



"The curiosity 



take place of the English/' he says, *' was not much awakened 
8 of literary by poems in the rude garb of antiquity, accompanied 
1 It give me witJi notes referring to the obscure feuds of barba- 
rous clans, of whose very names dvilizal history 
was ignorant." In writing those beautifol Intro- 
ductions of 1^ however, Scott, as I have alfeadjr 
had occasion to hint, trusted entirely to his recof- 
lection of days long since gone by, and he has ac- 
• cfe. •* ijfii iiT nsAknn ujtu^ h* hi. wua» •• «^tinn itM coMingly Ict fall many statements, which we must 
J tS. ••."* ^ ®*^ ^^^' ' ^ ^^^' ^ "^ J take With some allowanct . His impressions as to 



LIFE OP SHE WALfER SCOTT. 



the reception of the Minstrels^/ were difTerent, when, 
writing to hia brother-in-law, Charles Carpenter, 
<iai ihe 3d March, 1803. for the purpose of introducing 
Leyden, be s^, " I nave contrived to turn a very 
^nd^ portion of Uterary talents to some account, 
bv a pubiication of the noetical antiquities of the 
»»rder, where the old people had preserved many 
ballads descriptive of tne manners of the country 
during the wars with Eneland. This trifliog col- 
lection was so well received by a discerning publict 
that, after receiving about jCIOO profit for the. first 
e^tion, which mir vanity cannot omit informing you 
went offta six months, 1 have sold the copyright for 
Ssoa more." This is not the language of disap- 
poiotmefit ; and thous^h the edition of 1803 did not 
more off quite so rapidly as the first, and the work 
did not perhaps attract much notice beyond the 
more cultivated students of literature, unul the edi- 
tor's own genius blazed out in full splendour in the 
Lay, and thus lent general interest to whatever was 
connected with his name, I suspect there never was 
moch grouBd for accusing the English public of re- 
niding the Minstrelsy with more coldness than the 
8ooten--the population of the Border districts them- 
selves being, of course, excepted. Had the sale of 
the original edition been chiefiv Scotch, I doubt 
whether Messrs. Longman would have so readily 
o£&red XSOO, in those days of the trade a large sum, 
for the second. Scott had become habituated, long 
befon 1830, to a scale of bookselhng transactions 
measured by which the largest editions and copy- 
monies of his own early days appeared insignificant : 
bot the evidence seems complete that he was well 
contented at the time. " 

He certainly had every reason to be so as to the 
impresaioa which the Minstrelsy made on the 
minds of those entitled to think for themselves upon 
mch a subject. The ancient ballads in his collec- 
lioQ, which had never been printed at all before, 
were in number forty- three; and of the others- 
most of w]iich«were in fact all but new to the mod- 
em reader— it is little to say that hie editions were 
superior in all respects to those that had preceded 
them. He had, I firmly believe, interpolated hardly 
a One or even an epithet of his own ; but his diligent 
leal had pot him in possession of a variety of copies 
in different stages of preservation; and to the task 
of selecting a standard text among such a diversity 
of materials, he brought a knowledge of old man- 
ners and phraseology, and a manly simplicity of 
UKte, sach as had never before been united in the 
person of a poetical antiquary. Prom among a hun- 
dred corruptions he seized, with instinctive tact, the 
primitive diction and imagery ; and produced strains 
m which the unbroken energy of half-civilized ages, 
then- stem and deep passions, their daring adven- 
tures and cruel tragedies, and even their rude wild 
humour, are reflected with almost the brightness of 
a Homeric mirror, interrupted by hardly a blot of 
what deserves to be called vulgarity, and totally 
tee from any admixture of artificial sentimen 
talism.. As a picture of ma ntiers. the Scottish Min- 
strelsy is not surpassed, if equalled, by any similar 
i»dy of poetry preserved in any other country j and 
it unquestionably owes its superiority in this respect 
over Percy's Reliques, to the Editor's conscientious 
tideUty, on the one hand, which prevented the in- 
troduction of anv thing new — to nis pure taste, on 
the other, on the oalancing of discordant recitations. 
His mtroductory essavs and notes teemed with cu- 
rious knowledge, not* hastily grasped for the occa- 
sion, but gradually glaaaed and sifted by the patient 
labour of years, and presented with an easy, unaf- 
fiectcd propriety and elegance of arrangement and 
expression, which it may be doubted if he ev^r ma- 
terially surpassed in the happiest of his imaginative 
narrations. I well remember, when Waverley was 
anew book, and *ll the world were puzzling them- 
selves about its nuihorBhip, to have neard the Poet 
• sf *• the Isle of Palms" exclaim impatiently : " I 
wonderwhai all these people are perplexing them- 
selves with r nave they forgotten the prose of the 
Minstrelsy 1" Even had the Editor inserted iione 
of lus own verse, the work would have contamed 
H 



enoughr and more than enough, to found a lasting 
and gracefiil reputation. 

It IS not to be denied, however, that The Minstrel- 
sy of the Scottish Border has derived a very large 
accession of interest from the subsequent career of 
its Editor. One of the critics of that day said, that 
the book contained '* the elements of a hundred his- 
torical romances ;"— anfl this critic was a prophetic 
one. No person who has not gone through its vo- 
lumes for the express purpose of comparing their 
contents with his great original works, can have 
formed a conception of the endless variety of in- 
cidents and images npw ^expanded and emblazoned 
by his mature art, of which th^ first hints may be 
found either in the text of those primitive ballads, 
or in the notes, which the happy rambles of his 
youth had gathered together for their illustratio#. 
In the edition of the Minstrelsy published since his 
death, not a few such instances are pointed outt 
but the list might have been extended far beyond 
the hmits which such an edition allowed. The 
taste and fancy of Scott appear to have been form- 
ed as early ashis moral character } and he had, be- 
fore he passed the threshold of authorship, asseni<* 
bled about him. in theuncalculatin;; delight of native 
enthusiasm, almost all the matenalaon which his 
genius was destined to be employed for the gratifi- 
cation and instructipn of the world. 



CHAPTER XH. 

CONTBIBUT10198 TO THE XOIKSUBOH RBVIEW^— PHO- 
GEBM OF THB TBISTllBM— AKD OF THE LAY OF THE 

LAST MiNsraBL— visrr of wordswohth— pubu- 

CATIONOF " SIB TRISTRBM."— 1803-1804. 

Shobtly after the complete " Minstrelsy" issued 
from the press, Scott made his first appearance as 
a reviewer. Tne Edinburgh'Review had been com- 
m^ n .^ ! in October, 1802, under the superintendence 
of d> K< V. Sidney Smith, with whom, during his 
shur: r. Mlencein Scotland, he had lived on terms 
of kJi i' kindness and familiaritv. Mr. Smith soon 
resi.-^ni i rhe editorship to Mr. Jeffrey, who had by 
thL^ I: MM been for several years among the most 
vshii i ^'1 Scott's friends and companions at the 
bar ; jr>H, the new journal being far fh)m commit- 
thm Mil I to violent poUtics at the outset, be appre- 
ciiiiol ili^} brilliant talents regularly engaged m it 
far loo h.ghly, hot to be well pleasc^i with the op- 
portunity of occasionally exercising his pen in its 
service. His first contribution was. I believeL an ar- 
ticle on Southey's Amadis of Gaol, included in the 
number for October, 1803. Another, on Sibbald's 
Chronicle of Scottish Poetry, appeared in the same 
number;— a third, on Godwin's Life of Chaucer; 
a fourth, on Ellis's Specimens of Ancient English 
Poetry ; and a fifth, on the Life and Works of Chat- 
terton. folloNyed in the course of 1804.* 

Dunne the summer of 1803, however, his chief 
literary labour was still on the "Tristrem :" and I 
shall presently give some further extracts from his 
letters to Ellis, which will amply illustrate the roirit 
in which he continued his researches about the Seer 
of Erdldoune, and the interruptions which these 
owed to the prevalent alarm of French invasion. 
Both as Quartermaster of the Edinburgh Light- 
horse, and as Sheriff of The Forest, he had a full 
share of responsibility in the wariike arrangements 
to which the authorities of Scotland had at length 
been roused ; nor were the duties of his two offices 
considered as strictly compatible by Francis, Lord 
Napier, then Lord- Lieutenant of Selkirkshire ; for 
I find several letters in which his Lordship com- 
plains, that the incessant drills and musters of Mus- 
selbufKh and Portobello, prevented the Sheriff from 
attending count^ meetings held at Selkirk in the 
course of this summer and autumn, for the purpose 
of organizing the trained bands of the Forest, on a 
scale hitherto unaitei?ipted. Lord Napier strongly 
urges the propriety of his resigning his Qonnexion 

* Scott's contributions to our DeHodicd Utemture have been, 
with some trivial exceptions, included in the leqaiit^oQUciptipn of 
bit MiiceUaneoua Prose Writingiiitized by ^ 






LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



with the Edinburgh trooa and fixing hi* summer 
rMidence somewhero within the limits of his proper 
Jurisdiction ; nay; he goes so far as to hint, that if 
Ihese sugg^tions should be neglected, It must be 
his duty to state the case to the Oovemment Scott 
could not be induced, (least of all by a threat^) while 
the fears of invasion still prevailed, to resign his 
place among his old companions of the voluntary 
band ;" but he seems to have presently acquiesced 
in the propriety of the Lord-Lieutenant's advice 
respecting a removal from Lasswade to Ettrick 
Forest. 

. The following extract is from a letter written at 
Musselburgh, duqng this summer or autumn :— 

<* Mlse Seward's scoeptable lavoor reaches me in a 

J>lBce, and at a time, of great busUe, as the corpa of vo- 
uoiary catalrr to which i belong ia quartered for a short 
time in this village, for the sake of drilling and discii^ine. 
Nevertheless, had your letter announced the name of 
the gentleman who took the trouble of forwarding it, I 
would hate made It mv bosineas to find hiro out, and to 

Erevailon him. if poftslole, to spend a day or two with ua 
I qoarters. We are here assuming a very militanr ap> 
pearance. Three regiments of miUUQ. with a formUable 
park of artQlery, are encamped Just by us. The Edin- 
batgh troop, to which I have the honour to be quartmr- 
master, consists entirely of young gentlemen of fiunlly, 
nd is, of cotarse; admirably well mounted and armed. 
l%ere are other four troops in the regiment, consisting of 
yeomanrv, whose hron mces and muscular forms an- 
aoince the hardness of the climate asainst which they 
wrestle, and the powers which nature has given them to 
contend with sad subdae it. These corpa have been 
saaiy raised In Seotkad, the ftrmers being in ceoeral a 
JUgh'Spiiiled race of men. fond of active exerciaea, and 
patient of hardship and tatigne. For myself, I must own 
that to one who has, like myseli; la tiu «n p%u esaltee, 
the pomp and circumstance of war gives, lor a time, a 
very ptriimai and pleasing sensation. The imposing ap- 
pearance of cavalry, in particular, and the rush which 
marks their onset, appear to me to partake highly of the 
sublime. Perhaps I am the more attached to this sort 
of sport of swords, because my health requires much 
aotlve exercise, and a lameness contracted In childhood 
renders it inconvenient for me to take it otherwise than 
en horseback. I have, too, a hereditary atUu:hment to 
the animal— not, I flatter myselt; of the common jo^tey 
east, but beoaose I regard nim as the kindest and most 
generoos of the snbordlnato tribes. I hardly even ex- 
oept the dogs ; at least they are usually so much better 
treated, that compaaslon for the steed should bo thrown 
Into the scale when we weigh their comparatire merits. 
My wife (a foreigner) never sees a horse ill-used without 
asking what that poor horse has done in his state of prc- 
exisience 1 1 would fain hope they have been carters or 
hackney-coachmen, and are only experlencinc a retort of 
the ill uaage they have formerly InHicted. What think 
your* 

It appears that Miss Seward had sent Scott some 
obscure magazine criticism on his " Minstrelsy," in 
which the censor had condemned some phrase as 
naturally suggesting a low idea. The lady's letter 
not bavins been preserved. I cannot explain farther 
the sequel of that from which I have been quoting. 
Scott says, however : 

** I am infinitely amused with your sagacious critic. 
C^m) wo(1 have ofu^n admired the vulsar subttetj of sucli 
Blinds as can, with a depraved ingenuity, attach a mean or 
disgusting sense tq an epithet capable of being otherwise 
tmderstood, and more frequently, perhaps, used to ex- 
press an elevated idea. In manjr parts of Scotland the 
word virtue is limited entirely to inauatry ; and a young 
divine who preached upon the moral beauties of virtue, 
was considerably surprised at learning that the whole 
discourse was supposed to be a paiiegjric upon a parti- 
cular damsel who could spin fourteen spindles of yam 
In the coarse of a week.' This was natural ; but your 
literary critic has the tnerit of going very lar a-fleu to 
fetch home his degrading association." 

1iV> return to the correspondence with Ellis— Scott 
wnies thus to him in July : 

**! cannet pretend, immediately to enter upon the saf 
rioiis discussioo which you propose respecung the age 
of ' Sir Tristrem ;' but yet. as it seems likely to strip 
Thomas the Prophet of the honours due to the author o( 
the English 'Trisuem,' I cannot help hesitating before I 
«sn agree to your theory ;--and here my doubt lies. 



Thomas of Ercildoune, called the Bhymer, li t Am^UX 
mentioned by ahnost every Scottish historian, and the ^mJtm- 
of whose existence is almost as well knovm is If we 't^^ 
the parish rejister. Now^ his great reputation, and-Bia 
destination oiRymmr^ coukl only be derived from biw 
poeUcsl performances ; and in what did these cotosisl ex- 
cepting in the romance of ' Sir Tristrem,' mentioDed bv 
Robert de Braime 1 I hardly think, therefore, we absdl 
be justified hi assuihing the existence of an earlier T^m^ 
mat, who would be, in fact, merely the creature of oar 
system. I own I am not preptred to take this step. If 1 
can escape otherwise firom you and M. de la Ravailiere — 
and thus I will try it. M. de la R. barely informs us Una 
the history of Sir Tristrem waa knewn to Chretfen de 
Troyes in the end of the twelAh century, and to the BJo^ 
of Navarre in the beginning of the thirteenth. Tbas &r 
his evidence goes, and I think not one fanch forther — lor 
it does not establish tlie existence either of the UBetriesd 
romance, as you suppose, or of the prose romaace, mm 
M. de la R. much more erroneously supposes, at tbat 
very early period. If the ttory of *8lr Trlsirera* was 
founded in net, and it; which I have tSk along thought, a 
person of this name really svrallewed a dose of cantba* 
rides hitended to stimulate the exertions of his uacle, a 
petty monarch of Cornwall, sod involy«d himself ef 
course in an intrigue with his aunt, these tacts must hacre 
taken place durUig a very early period of English biato- 
ry. perBaps a^nt the time of the Heptarchy. Now, it 
tnis be once admitted, it is clear that the raw material 
from which Thomas wove hia web roust have been cur- 
rent long before his day, and I am inclined to think that 
Chretien and the King of Navarre refer not to the spe« 
eial meulcal romance contalhed in Mr. Deuce's fragmeoCs, 
but to the general story of * Sir Tristrem,' whose Is've 
and mlsfortonea were handed down by traduion as a lita- 
tnrical feet. There is no difilculty in supposing a tale 
of this kind to have passed from the Armoricans^ or 
otherwise, Into the rouutha of the French, as, oa thie 
other hand, it seems to have been preserved among the 
Celdc tribes of the Border, from whom, in aU probablli- 



Jf , it was taken by their neighbour, Thonus of Bfcildoone. 
f we suppose, therefore, that Chretien and the Kios al- 
lude only to the general and weU>known Hotm of 'nls- 



trem, and not to tms particu^ edltkm of wliich Mr. Dauce 
has some fracments— (and I see po evidence that anr 
such special allusion to these fragment^ is made>-4twiu 



follow that tAewjnay be as late as the emi of the tmrte^ntli 
century, and thu the Thomas mentioned in them may ba 
the Thomas of whose existence we have hiptorical evi- 
dence. In short, the question Is, shall Thomas be eooaU 
dered as a landmark by which to ascertain the antlonity 
of the fragmenta, or snail the $%ippo9ed antiquity of the 
fragments be held a sufficient reason for tuppoting an 
earlier Thomas 1 For aught yet seen, I incline to my for- 
mer opinion, that thoae fragments are coeval with tha 
iptitsimva Tkomaa. I acltnowledge the internal evi- 
dence, of which you are so accurate a judge, weighs 
more with me than the reference to the King of Navarre ; 
but after aU, the extreme difficulty of judging of styl^ so 
as to bring us within sixty or seventy years, must be folly 
considered. Take notice, I have never pleaded the mat- 
ter so high as to saj, that the Auehinleck MS. contaJos 
the very words devised by Thomas the Rhymer. On Che 
contrary, I have always thought it one of the spurious 
copies in gueint inghe^ of which Robert de Bruone ao 
heavily complains. But this will take little from the cu- 
riosity, perhaps little from the antiquity, of the romance. 
Coough of Sir T. for the present— How happy It will 
make us If you can fulfil the ^pectation you hold out of 
a northern expedition, whether in the cottage or at 
Edinburgh, we will be* equally happy to receive yoo, and 
show you all the lions of our vicinity. Charlotte is bunt- 
ing out music for Mrs. E., but I ii)tend to add /oAfisen'a 
collection, which, though the tunes are simple, and oftea 
bad sets, cootaina much more original Bcotcli music thaa 
any other." ♦ 

About this time, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, and their 
friend Douce, were preparing for a tour into the 
North of England ; and Scott was invited and strong 
ly tempted to join them at various points of thetr 
progress parncularly at the Grange, near Rother- 
ham, in Yorkshire, a seat of the Earl of Effingham. 
But he found it impossible to escape again from 
Scotland, owing to the agitated state of the count- 
ry.— On returning to the Cottage from an excursion 
to his Sheriffship, be thus resumed :— 



'Dear Ellis, 



To OtB/rgt Bin*, Esq. 

** Lasswade, August 2r, »». 



" Hy conscience has been thumping me as hsrd ss if 

Digitized by V^OOQlC 



. UFE OF SIR WA^jTER SCOTT.. 



It had fltodSed onder Mendoa, for letting roar klni farom 
ramaia ao iDOf onanawMred. NevertheleM. Ib this it ii 
Ukm iMoneekt Gobbo's, hot a hard kind of conacience^ 
as it uiuat know how much I have been occupied with 
Araaiea of Recerre, and Mililia, and PikemeiL and Sharp- 
aboocera, wlio are to descend from Eltrick Forest (otba 
«anfuaion of all invaders. The truth is, that this country 
has for once experienced that the pressure of external 
duBfer oiBT posaiblj produce interniU unanimii^ : and 
ae great is th« present military zeaL that I really wish our 
mlera would devise some way of calling it into action, 
were U only on the economical principle of saving so 
much good courage from idle evaporation.— I am inter* 
ropted by an extraordinary accident nothing less than a 
W3Uey of small shot fired through the window, at which 
my wife fiaa five minutes before arranginx her flowera. 
By Camp'a assistance, who run the culprit's foot like a 
Ltddeadale bloodhound, we detected an unlucky sports- 
man, woose awkwardness and rashness might nave oc« 
eaaioned rery serious mischief— so much for interruption. 
— Tb return to Sir Tristrem. As for Thdmas's TUime, 
respecting which you state some doubts,* I request you 
to attend to the following particulars :— In the first place, 
sanaines were of very late introduction Into Scotland, 
and it would be difllcutt to show that they became in ge- 
nersl a hereditary distinction, until after the time of 
Thomaa the Rhymer ; prfviously they were mere per- 
aooal ^iatinctions peculiar to the person by whom tiiey 
were borne, and dying along with him. This the children 
«f Alan Ihtn»ard were not called Durwardi because 
tb^ were not Ottiarii, the circumstance from which he 
dmvcd the name, when the surname waa derived 
finam property, it became naturally hereditary at a more 
early period, because the distincdoQ applied equally to 
Ibe luiier and the son. The same happened wiUi|>a/r»- 

eat^es, both becauae the name of the fathet is usually 
ren to the son ; so that Walter Fitswalter would have 
en my aon'a name hi those times aa wellaa my own ; 
and alao becauae a clan oll^ takes a sqrt of general patro- 
nyaoie from one common ancestor, as Macdonala,,4bc 
•fte. But though these classes of surnames become he- 
reditary st an early period, yet. in the natural course of 
thinxa, epitheta merely personal are much longer of be- 
coming a family diatinctlon.t But I do not trust, by any 
meaiiB. to this ceneral argument; becauae (he charier 
ouoted in the Minstrelsy contains written evidence, that 
the epithat of Rynuntr waa peculiar to our Thomas, and 
waa dropped by his aon, who designs himself sumply, 
2%om4U of Ereeldoune, §on of Thomat the Rymour of 
Brtetdoune ; which I think is conclusive upon the subject 
Jb au thia dlacasaion, I have scorned to avail myaelf or the 
tncfition of the country, aa well aa the suspicioua testi- 
mony of Boece, Dempster, dec., grounded probably upon 
that traditioiL which uniformly affirms the name of Tbo- 
maa to have been.Learmont or Leirmont, and that of the 
Rhymer a personal epithet This circumstance may 
faMfaice OS, however, to conclude that aome of his descen- 
duits had taken that name— certain it is that his caatle 
la called Leirmont'a Tower, and that he is as well known 
to the country people by that name, aa by the appellatioo 
«f the Rhymer. 

" Having cleared up thia matter, aa I think, to every 
ooe'a aatis&ction, unless to those resembUng not Thomas 
Umseli; but his nameaake the Apostle, I have, aecondly, 
to ahow that mv Thomas is the Toma* of Donee's MS. 
Here I mast again refer to the high and general reverence 
la which Thooias appears to have been held, aa ia pro- 
ved by Roberi de Brunne ; but above all, aa you observe, 
to the extreme similarity betwixt the Frenclr and English 
poama, with this strong circumstance, that the mom of 

h ia^t^i/f mi urtoni jux't. tFinn Ihr nrtnn' iA' Tuvt^ *i<x* in mi> 
41911 l]fiic4 ttfi nrf^^l fliifht >3f thrlhimt^f^." 
< it* mim^ oT Uii* «tJCj>^i tuii drrivH nuirli itlUiiriitirjn fmm 
ni edition oft^ "■ ItAttitin'* H^iJ.'^ a i^:niiitnli<ritKi'^ h* rhe 
ti« CUh of EliiiilHifrjrh hy i wo ^jf i^ir Wnltf r ^?c<}U'i m*^9^ 

loHdWaro L. ihhuji liU Sn^pf ri) u* rjrpnLjof>K ftrrnikk'id nitlm^L v^ 
c€mf\TTmitiiHi tti l^« vj^v™ vihith tho tdJlor of ' ' ^t 
' hfid thiji fftrly ttiM't"*! c<irTremin,r Ow 'mipiij «jf uv^ 
_i jfl Scwt.liii »l The I an' t+"J rvr\ ii^f , nt^r mrwif nf t he* r^tLinLry, 
Vfeb fittvp b?«Ti tl^H ffr'nrrmJljf dtltUl^ihmf LiJV tJkMHirftQJrii'.'fl 
tq^lMr U*Twft?npiirtf*— jl ia womlnrrui \vm hvtk* rfie 
t In tiavf} p^HLDK^vi ti&itdj ui tlH> «n4jiHt nf au cntmjr Ch-n^ 
Ait Ibetolm^ propJe JwVo. Avith fenr eio^ifkint, 'I^^^i^l-ti i- 
t*M KipftrHiilr tod^Uf^c th4 ai^Tual inails oft^tci iji<]iri<j.r>il : 
•airiLnmianr iiisNimm, thpiv ii 'iistinci pvidcfu^ thmt tlie [Ann nf 
tnasHiittiaf meh iwmci liaij wjt ttocn nd^Ai;^ \ fur fi.miM<\^, 
TtaaaalbB TtuJbr » dfiARrilw/] &i ion uf TtH?nmiilir SihiI'Jl, or 
neff%inML Tl^ cmprmaEiitntiMRriho Imiiltf (nthpnisr. hci".!-?- 
Titff, IQ liavfi he^ti,, kn mq^t rjud, yuiiKifVF ran* of fix- rifu^hilpkur 
5w epnln^r ^sA b*v« of fjnnt^e ttwir htiivdJiAiT riniifnntKHiJ, 
Tbti Hiutiur ir1ri.':(mir.Fii . rd otli^-n f^iisif'iJ mtd rctvmd to■^ ^vhm 
new won prtnit'd m ^ifftm. 




tellfaig the atory approved by the French minstrel aqdar 
the authority of falvTbmaa, n the very mode in which mj 
Thomaa has told it Would you desire better sympathy T 
" I lately met by accident a Cornish gentleman, wno bad 
taken up his abode in Selkirkshire for the sake of fishing 
—and what should hia name be but Caerlion 7 You vriO 
not doubt that thia interested me very much. Be teOa 
me that there is but one family of the name in Cornwall, 
or aa far as ever he heard any where els^ and that they 
are of great antiquity. Does not this circumstance seem 
to prove that there existed in Cornwall a place called 
Caerlion, giving name to that Hunilvl Caerlion would 
probably be Caatrum Leontnae^ the chief town of Lionea, 
which in every romance la stated to have been Tristrem'a 
country, and from which he derived his surname of 
Tristrem de JUome*. Tliia diatrict, aa you notice in the 
notes on the JbMioux, was swallowed up by the aea. I 
need not remind you that all thia tends to ulnatrate the 
Caerlioun mentioned by Tomaa. which I always suspect- 
ed Ut be a very different place from Caerlion on Uake— 
which is no seaport How I regret the number of league*, 
which prevented my joining you and the aaplent Douce, 
and how much ancient lore 1 have lost Wliere 1 have 
been, the people talked more of the praises of Ryno and 
Fillan (not Ossian's heroes but two Foreat greyhoanda 
which 1 got in a preaent) than, I verily believe, they would 
liave done of the prowaaaea of Sir Triiirem, or of Ea- 
plandian, had either of them appeared to laad on the levy 
en sfuuee. Yours ever, 

W. Sooiv.'* 

Ellis says in reply :— 

** My dear Scott, I must begin br congratulating yon on 
Mra. Scott'a eacape ; Oamp, If he nad no prevloua title to 
hnmortality, would deserve it, forliis xeal and addre a* 
in detecting the stupid markamaa, who, virile he took 
aim at a bird oo a tree, ^raa so near shooting your fair 
'bird hi bower.' If there were many such shooters, It 
would become then a snflloient exenae for the reluctance 
of government to fhmlsh arma Indiflbrently to aU Volun- 
teers. In the next place, I am glad Id hear that you are 
disposed to adopt my channel for transmitting the tale of 
Tnatrem to Chretien de Troye. The more I have 
thought oo the subject the more I am convinced that the 
Normana, long before tne Conquest, had acquired from the 
Britona of Armorica a considerable knowledge of our old 
Britiab fkbles, and that thia led them, after the Conquest, ta 
inquire after auch accounta as were to be found in the 
country where the events are supposed to have taken 
place. I am satisfied, from the Internal evidence of 
GeoflTrey of Monmouth's History, that it muat have been 
fobricated in Bretagne, and that he did, as he asserts, only 
tranaiate it. Now,"^ Marie, who lived about a century 
later, certainly translated also from the Breton a series 
of lays rehttlng to Arthur and his knights, it vrill follow 
that the first poets who. wrote in Franee, such aa ClAre- 
tlen^ Ac., must have acquired their knowledge of our tra- 
ditions from Bretagne. Observe, that the pseudo-Turpin. 
who is supposed to have been anterior to Geoffry, ana 
who, on that supposiiion, cannot have borrowed from 
him, mentions, among Charlemagne's heroes, Hoel, (the 
hero of CRiofflrey also.) ' de quo canitur cantilena usqua ad 
hodiernum diem.' Now, if Thomas was able to establish 
his story as the most authentic, even by the avowal of 
the French themselves, and if the eketch of that story 
was previously known, it must have been because he 
wrote in the country which his hero waa supposed to 
have inhabited ; and an the same grounds the Nonsan 
minstrels here, and even their English successors, ware 
allowed to fill up with as manv circumstancea aa they 
thought proper the tales of whicn the Armoricaa Bretons 
probably furnished the first imperfect outline 

" What you tell nie about your Oimish fisherman is 
very curious ; and I think with you that little reliance it 
to be placed on our Welsh geogruihy— and that CaerUon 
on-Uske is by no means the Caerlion of Tristrem. Few 
writejTs or readers have hitherto considered sufficiently 
that from the moment whdn Uengist first obtained a set- 
tlement in the Isle of Thanet, that settlement became 
England, and all the rest of the country became Wale* ; 
that these divisions continued to represent difTerent pro- 
portions of the island at difTerent periods ; but that Walaa, 
during tlie whole Heptarchy, and for a long time after, 
coroprehenderl the whole western coaat very nearly from 
Cornwall to Dunbretton ; and that this whole tract, of 
wliich the eastern frontier may be easily traced for each 
pariicnlar period, preserved qiost probably to the age of 
Thomaa, a community of language, of mannera, and tra- 
ditions. 

" As your laat volume announces your Lay, as well as 

iS^V TVu/rem, as in the press, I begin, in common with 

all your friends, to be uneasy about the future disporal 

of your time. Having nothing but a very active nrofae- 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



sa 



LIFE OP SIR WALlBR SCOTT. 



■loo, U)d your mDitarj purtuita, and your domestio oc- 
eopaUons to think ot, and Leyden having monopolised 
Ariatic lore, you will presently be quite an idle man I 
Ton are, boweTer, ftllf in time to leaili Erse, and it is, 
I am a£rud, very necessary that you should do so, In order 
to stimulate my laziness, which has hitherto made no pto* 
fress whatever in Welsn. Your ever fiuthful, ^ O. E. 
*♦ P. 8. it Camp married yet 7" 

Ellis had prolected some time before this an edi- 
tion of the Welsh Mahinogion^ in which he was to 
be assisted by Mr. Owen, the author of the " Welsh 
and Englisn Dictionary," " Carabriaa Biogra- 
phy," &C. V 



'I am very sorry," Scott says, (September 11) "that 

a fia£ over those wild and hiteresting tales. I hope, if 

you will not work yourself, (for which you have so Uttle 



ezense, having both the golden talents and th^ golden 
<lelsure necessary for study,) you will at least keep Owen 
to something that is rational^I mean to iron hor»e*f and 
magic eaulivonsy and Bran the Bleeeedj with the music 
of his whole army upon his shoulders, and, in short, to 
something more pleasing and profitable than old apoph- 
thegms, triads, and ' blessed burdens of the womb of the 
isle of Briuin.' Talking of such burdens, CJamp has 
been regulaily wedded to a fair dame In the neighbour- 
bood, but notwithstanding the Italian policy of locking the 
lady in a stable, she is suspected of some inaccuracy ; 
but we suspend judgment,* as Othello oncht in all reason 
to have done, till we see the produce or the union. As 
lor my own employment I nave yet much before me, 
and aa the beginning of letting out ink is like the letting 
oat of water, I daresay I shall go on scribbling one non- 
sense or another to the end of the chapter. People may 
say tills and that of the pleasure of fame or of pro^t as a 
motive of writiog. I ihink the only pleasure is in the 
actual exertion and research, and I would no more write 
upon any other terms than I would hunt merely to dine 
npon hare- soup. At th^ same time, if credit and profit 
came unlooked for, I would no more quarrel with them 
than wuh the soup. I hope this will find you and Bfrs. 
Ellis safely and pleasantly settled 

In Yorkshire, near fair Rotherham.' 

"—By the way, while you are in his neighbourhood, 
1 hope you will not fail to inquire into the history of the 
valiant^ Moor of Moorhall and the Dragon of Wantley.' 
As a noted burlesque upon the popular romance, the bal- 
lad has sdme curiosity and merit. Ever yours, W. 8." 

Mr. Ellis received this letter where Scott hooed it 
would reach him, at the seat of Lord Effingnam ; 
and he answers, on the 3d of October,— 

**Thc beauty of this part of the country Is such as to 
indemnify the traveller lor a few miles of very IndiflTerent 
road, and the tedious process of creeping up and almost 
sliding down a succession of high hills ; and in the num- 
ber of picturesque landscapes by which we are encom- 
passed, the den of the dragon which you recommended 
to our attention is the most superlatively beautiful and ro- 
mantic. You are, I suppose, aware that this vame den Is 
the very spot from whence Lady Mary Wortley Montague 
wrote many of her early letters : and it seems that an old 
housekeeper, who livetl there till last year, remembered 
u> have seen her, and dwelt with great pleasure on the 
various charms of her celebrated mistress ; so that its 
wild scenes have an equal claim to veneration from the 
admirers of wit and gallantry, and the fiu'iaraed inves- 
tigators of remote antiqoity. With regard to the orighial 
Imqpn, I have met with two different traditions. One 
of these (which I think is preserved by Percy) states him 
to have been a wicked attorney, a relentless persecutor 
of the poor, who was at length, fortunately for his neigh- 
bours, ruined by a law-suit which he had undertaken 
against his trorthy and powerful antagonist, Moor of Moor- 
hall. The other legend, which is current In the Wortley 
iiimily, states him to have been a most formidable drin- 
ker, whose powers of inglutitidn. strength of stomach, 
and stability of head, had procured him a long series of 
triumphs over common vifitants, but who was at length 
fUrly drnnk dead by the chieftain of the opposite moors. 
It must be confessed that the form of the den, a cavern 
cntin the rork, and very nearly resembling a wine or ale 
cellar, tends to corroborate this tradition ; but I am ra- 
ther tempted to believe tliat both the stories were invent- 
ed apres coup, and that the supposed dragnn was some 
wou or other destructive animal, who was finally hunted 
down by Moor of Moorhall. after doing conulderable 
mischief to the flocks and nerds of his superstitious 
neiehbours. , 

" The present house appears to have grown to its even 
Bo^ moaerale size by successive additiona to a yery amall 



loege. (k>dge,) built by *a gentle knight, Bir Tbomas 
Wortley,' in the thne of Henry VI|L. for the pleasare, mm 
an old inscription in the present scoUery teailnes, of * U*- 
teuing to the Hartes belL' Its site is on the side ol a vaiy 
liigh rocky hill, covered with oaks,. (the weod of the coua* 
try.) and overlumging the river Don, which in this placa 
is little more than a mountain torrent, though it becocDes 
navigable a few miles lower at Bhefilald. A great pan of 
the road from hence (which Is seven miles distant) rwam 
t|)rough forest ground, and I have no doubt that the whole 
was at no distant period covered with wood, because tbe 
modern improvements of the country, the result of lloQ- 
rishing manu factories, have been carried at almost with- 
in our own time in consequence of the abundance of coal 
whicJi here breaks out in many places even on the aur- 
fiice. On the opposite side ot the river be^n almost im* 
mediately the extensive moors which stnke along the 
highest land of Yorkshiraand Derbyshire, and following 
the chain of hills, probabiv communicated not many cea-- 
turies ago with wose of Northumberland, Cumberland, 
and. Scotland. I therefore doubt whether the geoeiv 
&ce of the country is not better evidence as to the nature 
of the monster than the particular appearanoe of the 
cavern ; and am inclined to believe that Moor of Moorhall 
was a hunter of wild* beasts, rather than of attorneys or 
hard drinkers. 

" You are unjust in saying that I flag over the Mabioo- 
gion— I have been very constantly employed upon mjr 
preface, and was proceeding to the lut section when I set 
off for this place— so you see I am perfectly exculpated, 
and all over as white as snow. Anne being a true aristo- 
crat, and considering purity of blood as essential to lay 
the foundation o( all the virtues she expects to call out 
by a laborious education of a true son of Camp— -she 
highly approves the strict and even prudish severity with 
which you watch over the morals of his bride, and ex- 
pects you, inasmuch as all the good knights alie has read 
of have been remarkable for their incomparable beauty, 
not to neglect that imporiftit requisite in selecting her 
future guardian. We possess a vulgar dog, (a pointer,) to 
whom it Is intehded to commit the charge of our house 
during our absence, and to whom I mean to gi>e orders 
to repel by forco anv attempts of our neighbours during 
the times that I shall be occupied In preparing karetoup ; 
but Fiiz-Camp will be Aer companion, and she trusts that 
you will strictly examine him while yet a varlet, and only 
send him un when you think him likely to become a true 
knight. Adieu — mtUe choee$t 

G. E." 

Scott tells Ellis inrepiv (October 14,) that he was 
" infinitely gratified wiin hie accoont of Wortley 
Lodge and the Dragon,"*and refers him to the ar- 
ticle '* Kempion,'* in the Minstrelsy, for a similar 
tradition respecting an ancestor of the noble house 
of Somerville. The reader oan hardly need to be 
reminded that the gentle knight, Sir Thomas Wort- 
ley's, lore of hearing the deer beU was often alladed 
to in Scott's subsequent writings. He goes on to 
express his hope, that next summer will be ** a more 
propitious season for a visit to Scotland." 

^' The necessity of the present occasion." , he says, 
" has kept almost every inmvidual, however insigniflcaac, 
m his post God has left us entirely to our own means 
of defence, for we have not above one regiment of the 
lino in all our ancient kingdom. In the mean whHe, we 
are doing the best we can to prepare ourselves for a con- 
te^ which,- perhaps, is not iar distant A beacon Ut bt, 
coDununicating witli that of Edinburgh Castle, is Just 
erecting in front of our quiet cottage. My field equipage 
is ready, and I want nothing but a pipe and a edtnttr" 
bartchen to convert me into a complete hussar.* Char- 
lotte, witli the inftmtry, (of the household troops, I mean,> 
is to beat her retreat into Ettrick Forest, where, if the 
Tweed is in his usual wintry state of flood, she may wee* 
ther out a descent from (>8tend. Next year I hope all 
this will be over, and that not only I shall have the plea> 
sure of receiving you In peace and quiet, but also of |o- ^ 
ing with you through every part of C^edonia, In which ' 
you can possibly be interested. Friday se'ennight oar 
corps takes the field lor ten dajfw— ft>r the second time 
withh»* three months— which may explain the miUtaiy 
turn of my eplatlc. 

*• Poor RItson Is no more. All hlfTvegeiable soups and 
puddings have not been able to avert the evil day, which, 

* SchnurhartcheH ii Oemian for mustachio. It appean from 
a pace of an early note-book, previoutlj tranM:rA}ed, that Soptt 
had been sometimes a nnokcr of tobacco in the first days of Us 
lifht bor«eman«hip. He had laid aside the habit at the tisM 
when this letter was wtHten : bat be twice again rtsnmed it, 
tbough bo never eanied the iwhdgcncp to any taeesik « 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



UPE OP, SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



I TiBd«rsean4% wu preeedod by madneta. ' It must be 
wmh while to inqofre who has sot his MS8.~I mean his 
mn Botes and writings. The '^Life of Arthur,' for ei- 
aofflle; must contain many curious facts and quotation^ 
whkb the poor defunct had the power of assembling to 
10 astoaishing degree, without being able to combine 
asT thing fike a narrative, or even to deduce one useful 
fatwreoce— witness his. 'Essav on Romance and Minstrel- 
AT,' whkh reminds one of a heap of rubbish, which had 
ettJier turned out unfit for the architect's purpose, or be- 
VQod his skill ti^ malte use of. The ballads he Iiad coh 
Kfted Id Cumberland and Northumberland, too, wouid 
greatly interest me. If they have lUlon into the hands 
of any liberal coUfector. I dare say I might be Indulged 
«th a siffat of them. Pray inquire about this natter. 

* Tcsierdar CharkHte and I had s risit which we owe 
to Mn. £. A rosy lass, the sister of a bold yeoman In 
•or neigfaboarhood, entered our cottage, towing in a mon- 
•troQs sort of bulldog, called emphatically Cerbcras, 
«bom she came on the part of her nrother to beg our ac- 
ceptance oi, understanding we were anxious to have a 
•M of Camp. Cerberus was no sooner loose (a pleasure 
which, I soenect, he had rarely enjoyed) than his lather 
tm^ mi) and he encsged in a battie, which might have 
been cetebeated by the author of the ' Unnatural Combat,* 
■id which, lor aught I know, might have turned ont a 
combat i foaclrance. if I had not interfered with a horse- 
wtitpt instead of a baton, as ju^e de Camp. The odds 
wsre indeed greatly against the stranger knight— two 
fierce ToresC geryhounds bavins: arrived, and, contrary 
to the law of arms, stoutiv assailed iiim. I hope to send 
you a poppy instead o( this redoubtable Cerberus. Love 
to MrsTi-W. 8." 

AAer giving Scotlsome information about Ritspn'a 
Ctavy ti-easurea, most of which, as it turned out, 
kad been disposed of by auction shortly before his 
deathk Mr. Kllis (lOth NoTemberKretums to the 
chiTKe about Tristrem and True Thomas. " Tou 
qnear," he says, ** to have been for some time so 
muitary, that I am afraid the most difficult and im- 
portant part of your original plan, viz., your History 
of Scottish poetry, will again bo postponed, and roust 
be kept for some future publication. I am at this 
moment much in want of two such assistants as 
roQ and Levden. It seems to me that if 1 had some 
local knowledge of that wicked Ettrick Forest, I 
cooJd extricate myself tolerably— but as it is, al- 
tkooffh 1 am convinced that my general idea is tol- 
erably just, I am unable to guide my elephants in 
that quiet and decorous step-by-step march which 
the nature of such animals requires, through a coun- 
try of which I don't.know any ot the roads. My 
comfort is, that you cannot publish Tristrem with- 
out a preface, — that you can't write one without g[iv- 
ing me soma assistance,— and that you must finish 
the said preface long befc^e I go to press with my 
Introduction." 

This was the Introduction to Ellis's, " Specimens 
of Ancient English Romances," in which he intend- 
ed to prove, that as Valentia was, during several 
Msa, the exposed frontier of Roman Britain towards 
theoBsubdued tribes pf the North, and as two whole 
leoons were accordingly usually quartered there, 
VBiJe one besides sufficed for the whole southern part 
of die island, the manners of Valentia, whioh inclu- 
M the district of Ettrick Forest, must have been 
greatly favoured by the continued residence of so 
many Romdn troops. " It is probable, therefore," 
be saj^s, in another letter, "that the civilization of 
the northern part became gradually the most perfect. 
That country gave birth, as you nave observed, to 
Merfin. and to Aneurin— who was probably the same 
as the biatorian Gildas. It seems to have given edu- 
catioa to Taliessin— it was the country of Bede and 
Adonnan." 

I shall not quote more on this subject, as the read- 
er may turn to the published essay for Mr. Ellis's 
matured opinions respecting it. To return to his let- 
ter of November 10th, 1803, he proceeds— * 'And now 
Jet roe ask jou about the Lay of the Last Minstrel. 
That, I think, may go on as well in your tent, 
amidst the clangof trumpet and the dust of the field, 
as in' your quiet cottage— perhaps indeed still better 
—nay, I am not sure whether a real invasion would 
Dot be. as far as your poetry is concerned, a thing to 
be wished." 

It was in the September of this year that Scott 
12 H* 



81 

first saw Wordsworth. Their mutual acqunintoncei, 
Stoddart, had so often talked of them to each other, 
that they met as if they had not been strapgers ; and 
they parted friends. 

Mr. and Miss Wordsworth had just completed 
that tour in the Highlands, of which so many inci- 
dents have since been immortalized, both m the 
poet's verse and in the hardly less poetical prose of 
his sister's Diary. On the morning of the 17th of 
September, having left their carriagb at Rosslyn, 
they walked down the valley to Lasswade, and arri 
ved there before Mr. and Mrs. Scott had risen. " We 
were received," Mr. Wordsworth has told me, ** with 
that fraiik cordiality which, under whatever circum- 
stances 1 afterwards met him, always marked his 
manners ; and, indeed I found him then in every re- 
spect—except, perhaps, that his animal spirits were 
^omewhat higher— precisely the same man that you 
Knew him in later life : the same Ihrely, entertainmg 
conversation, full of anecdote; and averse from dis- . 
quisition ; the same nnaffected modesty about him- 
self; the same cheerfhl and benevolent and hopeful 
views of man and the world. He partly read and 
partly recited, sometimes in an enthusiastic style of 
chant, the first four cantos of the Lay of the Last 
Minstrel ; and the novelty of the manners, the clear 
picturesque descriptions, and the easy glowing en- 
ergy of much or the verse, greatly delighted me." 

After this h^ walked with the tourists to Rosslyn, 
and promised to meet them in two days at Melrose* 
The night before they reached Melrose they slei)tat 
the little quiet inn of Clovenford. where, on mention- 
ing his name, they were received with all sorts of at- 
tention and kindness,— the landlady observing that 
Mr. Scott, " who was a very clever gendemfln," was 
an old friend of the house, and usually spent a good 
deal of time there during the fishing season ; but in- 
deed," says Mr. Wordsworth. " wherever we named 
him, welound the word acted as an open sesamum / 
and I believe, that in the character of the Sheriff* 
friends, we might have counted on a hearty welcome 
under any roof in the Border country." 

He met them at Melrose on the 19th, and escorted 
them through the Abbey, pointing out all its beau- 
ties, and pouring out his nch stores of history and 
tradition. They then dined and spent the evening 
together at the inn ; but Miss Wordsworth observed 
that there was some difficulty about arranging mat- 
ters for the night, " the landlady refusing to settle 
any thing until she had ascertained from the Sherif 
himaelf that he had no objection to sleep in the same 
room with William.^* Scott was thus far on his 
way to the Circuit Court at Jedburgh, in his capa- 
city of Sheriff, and there his new friends again join- 
ed him ; but he begged that they would not enter 
the court, " for," said he, " I really would not like 
you to see the sort of figure I cut there." They did 
see him casually, however, in his cocked hat and 
sword, marching in the Judge's procession to the 
sound of one cracked trumpet, and where then not 
surprised that he should have been a tittle ashamed 
of the whole ceremonial. He introduced to them 
his fnend WilUam Laidlaw. who was attending the 
court as a juryman, and who, having read some of 
Wordsworth's verses in a newspaper, was exceedr 
riout to be of the party, when they explor- 



mgly anxious to be of the party, when tbey explor- 
ea at leisure, all the law-husmesa being oven the 
beautif\il valley of the Jed, and the rums of^ the 
Castle of Fernicherst, the original ^fastness of the 
noble family of Lothian. The grove of stately an- 
cient elms about and below the ruin was seen to 
great advantase in a fine, gray, breezy autumnal 
afternoon ; ana Mr. Wordsworth happened to say. 
*' What life there is in trees I"—" How diflferent,*' 
said Scott, " wras the feeling of a very intelligent 
young lady, born and bred m the Orkney Islands, 
who lately came to spend a season in this neigh- 
bourhood I She told me nothing in the mainlaiui 
scenery had so much disappointed her as woods 
and trees. She found them so dead and lifeless, 
that she could never help pining after the eternal 
motion and variety of the ocean. And so baek she 
has gone, and I believe nothing will ever tempt her 
from thtv^nd^pt OrcaAg a^^.'^^ *^OOgle 



w 



UFE OF SIR WALl!ER SCOTT. 



.Next day they all proceeded together up the Te- 
▼lot to Hawick, Scott entertainiog his frieQds with 
some legend or ballad connected with every tower 
or' rock tliey passed. He made them sttop for a little 
to admire particularly a scene of deep and solemn 
n^tiremeot, called Uonu^a Pooh from its having 
been the daily haun^ of a contemplative schoolmas- 
ter, known to him m his youth : and at Kirktonlie 
pomted out the Utile village scnoolhouse to which 
his friend Leyden has walked six or eight miles eve- 
ry day across the moors " when a poor barefooted 
boy."^ From Hawick, where they spent the night, 
. he led them next morning to the brow of a hill, 
irom which (hey could see a wide range of the Bor- 
der mountains, Ruberslaw, ihe Carter, and the Che- 
viots ; and lamented that neither their engagements 
nor liis own would permit them to make at this 
time an excursion into the wilder glens of Liddis- 
dale, ** where^" said he, " I have strolled so often 
and so long, that I may say I hav^ a home in every 
farm-house." "And, indeed," adds Mr. Words- 
worth, " wherever we went with him, he seemed to 
know efery body, and everv body to know and like 
him." Here they parted— the Wordsworths to pur- 
toe their Joumev homeward by E^kdale— he to re- 
turn to Lasswaoe. 

The impression on Mr. Wordsworth's mind was, 
that on the whole he attached much less import- 
ance to his literary labours or reputation than to his 
bodily sports, exercises, and social amusements; 
and yet he spoke of his profession as if he had al- 
ready given up almost all hope of rising by it ; and 
some allusion being made to its profits, observed 
that " he^ was sure he could, if he chose, get more 
money than he should ever wish to have irom the 
booksellers.'** 

This confidence in his own literary resources ap- 
peared to Mr. Wordsworth remarkable— the noore so, 
from the careless way in which its expression dropt 
from him.' As to his despondence concerning the 
bar, I confess his ftt-book indicates much less 
ground for such a feeling than I should have ex- 
pected to discover there. His practice brought him, 
fs we have seen, in the session of 1796-7, .£144, lOs. : 
Its proceeds fell down, in the first year of his mar- 
ried life, to .£79, I7s. ; but they rose again, in 1798-9, 
to .£136^ 9s. ; amounted in 1799-1800, to jei29, 13s.— 
in 1800-1, to X170— in 1801-2, to X202, 12s.— and in 
the session that had just elapsed, (which is the last 
included in the record before me,) to .£228, iSs. 

On reaching his cottage in Westmoreland, Words- 
worth addressed a letter to Scott from which I 
must quote a few sentences. .It is dated Orasmere, 
October 16, 1803. 

**We had adeUghtfal journey home, deliftitful weather, 
aad a sweet coantry to travel through. We reached our 
KUle couafre in high spirits, and thankful to God for all his 
bounties. My wife and child were both welt, and as I 
need not sar, we had all of us a hi^ipv meeting 

,We passed Braoxholme—your Braoxnolme, we supposed 
—about four miles on this side of Hawick. It looks better 
in your poem than ih its present realities. The situation, 
howerer, is <l6lightfnl, and makes amends for an ordinary 
mansion. The whole of the Teviot and the pastoral 
steeps about Mosspaol pleased os exeeedin^y. The Esk 
below Langholm is a delicious river, and we saw It to 
great advantage. We did not omit noticing Johnnie Arm- 
strong's keep ; but his hanging place, to our great regret, 
lire nussod. We were, indeed, most trulr sorry that we 
eould not have you along with us into Westmoreland. 
The country was in its full glory— the verdure oftlie val- 
leys, in which we are so much superior to you in Scot- 
land, but little tarnished by the weather, and the trees 
putting on their most beautiful looks My' slater was 
qnhe enchanted, and we oAen said to each other, What a 

pity Mr. Scott is not with us ! I had the pleasure 

of seeing Coleridge and Souttiey at Keswick, last Sunday. 
Sovtbey, whom I never saw much of before, I liked 
much : he is verv plaaaant in his manner, and a man of 
great reading in old books, noetrv. chronicles, memoirs, 

' 4x. 4rc., panic ularlr Spanisn and Portuguese My 

sister ana I oHen talk of the happy days that we spent in 

* 1 have drawn up theaoeount of this meeting fWm mr mxJ- 
lection psitiv of Mr. Wofdtwortb'i convenwtton— partly fiom 
that of his iter's ebaraiinf " Mary." which he was so kind as 
*uul over to me 00 ths itth Mar, 1886. 



vour company. Such things do not occur often ha Bis. 
If we live we shall meet again ; that is my conaolatiMi 
when 1 think of these things. Scotland and En^bad 
sound like division, do what ye can ; but we really are 
"but neighbours, and if you were no further off, and in 
Yorkshire, we should think so. Farewell, pod prosper 
you. and all tltot belonn to you. Your sincere Dien<^ lor 
such I will call myseli, though slow to use a word of sack 
solemn meaning to any one, 

W. WoitoswoaTB." 

The poet then transcribes his noble sonnet on 
Neidpath Castle, of which Scott had, it seems, re- 

auested a copy. In the MS. it stands somewhat 
inerently from the printed edition: but ia that 
original shspe Scott always recited it, and few 
lines in the language were more frequently in hk 
mouth. 

I have already said something of t^e beginning of 
Scott's acquaintance with " the Ettnck Shepherd." 
Shortly after their first meeting, Hogg, coming into 
Eldinburgh with a fiock of sheep, was feized with a 
sudden ambition of seeing himself in print, and he 
wrote out that same night *' Willie and Katiai" and 
a few other ballads, already famous in the Forest, 
which some obscure bookseller gratified him by 
putting forth accordingly ; but they appear to have 
attracted no notice beyond their original «phere. 
jEIogg then made an excursion into the Highlands, 
in quest of employment as overseer of some cizten- 
sive sheep-farm ; but, though Scott had fumiahad 
him with strong recommendations to Tanoot 
friends, he returned without success. He printed 
an account of his travels, however, in a set or Stten 
io the Scots Magazine, which, though exceedingl) 
rugged and uncouth, had abundant traces of the 
nauve shrewdness and fl»nuine poetical feeling 0; 
this remarkable man. These also feiled to excit< 
attention : but, undeterred by such disappointments 
the Shepherd no sooner n»d the tbira volume o 
the ** Mmstrelsy," than he made up his mind tha 
the Editor's " Imitations of the Ancients'* wer^ b; 
no means what they should have been. " Inamedi 
ately." he says, in one of his many Memoirs of him 
self, " I chose a number of traditional fects, and se 
about imitating the manner of the Ancients my 
self. These imitations he transmitted to Scott 
who warmly praised the many striking beautiei 
scattered over their rough surface. The next tim 
that Hogg* s business carried him t» Edinbui^, h 
waited upon Scott, who iiiyited him to dinner 11 
Castle Street, in company with WilKam Lcndlaw 
who happened also to be m town, and some othe 
admirers of the rustic genius. When Hogg entered 
the drawing-room, Mrs. Scott, being at the time in 1 
deUcate state of health, was rechning on a sofe 
The Shepherd, after being presented, and roakini 
his best bow, forthwith took possession of anolhe 
sofa opposite to hers, and stretched himself therf 
upon at his length; for. as he said afterwards, " 
thought I couldnever po wrong to copy the lady c 
the house.'^ As his dress at this period was precise) 
that in which any ordinary herdsman attends catti 
to the market, and as his hands, moreover, bore raoi 
l^ble marks of a recent sheep- smearing, the lad 
of the house did not observe with perfect equanimit 
the novel usage to which her chintz was exposec 
The Shepherd, however, remarked nothing of a 
this— dined neartily and drank freely, nnd^ by jes 
anecdote, and song, aflforded plentifiil memraent 1 
the more civilized part of the company. As th 
liquor operated, his familiarity increased an 
strengthened: from "Mr. Scott," he advanced \ 
"Sherra," and thence to "Scott," "Walter," an 
*♦ Wattie,"— until, at supper, he fafrly convulsed ti 
whole party by addressing Mrs. Scott as **Cha' 
lotte." 

The collection entitled "The Mountaha Bard 
was eventually published by Constable, in cons 
Quence of Scott's recommendation, and this <wor 
did at last afford Hogg no slender share of tli 
popular reputation for which he had so long thirs 
ed. It is not my business, however, to pursue x\ 
details of his story. What I have written waa oh] 
to render intelligible the following letter:— 
Digitized by V^OOQlC 



UFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



•1 



Tf WaUer Skott, J^., Advocate Coiik Street, 

" BUrkk Hooae, December M, 1803. 
•* Dew BCr. Scott, 

"1 have been ve^ Impatient to hear from too. 
There it a certain aflUr of which yoo and I talked a liltle 
in priTate, and whioh moat now be ooodnded, that natu- 
rallT iocreaaetb tbb. 

** lam aftiid that I was at leaat halliiieas oTer the nicht 
I wa» with you, for \ cannot, for my iife, recollect what 
paaaed when it waa late : and, there being certainly a 
.amall racaom in my brain, which, when emnty, is quite 
emptjt but is sometimes supplied with a small distillation 
of mtoUectoal matter— (his must have been empty that 
Digbt, or it never could have been taken poitsesslon of by 
the fames of the liquor so easily. Tf I was in the state 
Uk which I aoapeot that I was, I must have spoke a very 
cr«ai deal of noneeose, for which I beg ten thousand par* 
doQs. I have the consolation, however, of remembering 
that Mrs. Scott kept in company all or most of the time, 
which she certainly could not have done, had I been very 
rude. I remember, too, of the flflal fa^unction you. gave 
at parting, caotlooing me against being enanared by the 
looM women in town. 1 am sure I had not reason enough 
left at that time to express either the half of mv gratitude 
for the kind hint, or the utter abhorrence I inherit at 
those seminaries of lewdness. 

** Von once promised me yonr beat advke in the flrst 
lawrait In which I had the particular happiness of being 
engaged. 1 am now goiiig to ask it seriously in an afflthr, 
la which, I am sure, we will both take as ^oeb pleaanre. 
It is this :— I have'ta many songs beside me, irblch are 
certainly the toofs< of my productions, aa will make 
about one hundred pagea close printed, and about two 
hundred printied as' the Minstrelsy is. Now, although I 
will not proceed without your consent and advice, vet I 
would have you to understand that I expect it, and have 
the scheme much at heart at present. The first thing 
that suggested it was their extraordinary repute in Bt< 



trick and itil neighbourhood, and being everlastinglv 

flagiMd with writing copies, and promising scores whton 
never meant to perform. As my last pamphlet was 



[ never known, save to a few friends, I wish your advice 
rwhat plecesofit are worth preserving. The 'Psstoral ' lam 
resolved to inaert, as I am ' Bandy Tod.' Ae to my manu- 
scripts^ they are endless ; and as I doubt you wiu disap- 
prove of publishing them wholesale, and letting the good 
help off the bad, 1 itiink you must trust to my discretion 
In tne selection of a few. I wish likewise to Know if you 
think agraven image on the first leaf is any recommenda- 
tion ; and if we mbpit flront the songs with a letter to you, 
giving an impartial account of my manner of life and edn- 
catkm, and, which if you pleased to transcribe, putting 
Be for L ijeahi, there is no publishing a book without a 
patron, and I have one or two in my eye, and of which I 
will, with my wonted assurance to you, give you the most 
free choice. The first is Walter Scot^ Esq., Advocate, 
Bberifl'-depute of BUrick Forest, which, if permitted, I 
win address you in a dedication singular enough. The 
next is Lady Dalkeith, which, if yon approved ol) you 



mast become the Editor yourself; and I shall give you 

....... ..... ^^^^^^ 

be most delicate ear. You will not be in th 
iealouB, i( alongst with my services to you, I present my 
kindest ^ ' ' " ' 



nv word for it, that neithet word nor sentiment in 
offend the most delicate ear. You will no ' 
ouB, i( alongst with mv services to yo^ 
dest compliments to the sweet little ladv 
call Charlotte. As for Camp and Walter (I beg par^n 



for thia pre-eminenceX they will not mind them If I 
should exhaust my eloquence in compliments. Believe 
me, dear Walter, your most devoted servant, 

Jajus Hooa'l 

The reader will, I doubt not, be particularly 
aimued by one of the sofKestions in this letter; 
namely, that Scott should transcribe the Shepherd's 
narrative in /ore of his life and education, and 
nwrely putting " He" for " I," adopt it aa hi«r own 
ooDipomtion. James, however, would have had no 
heeitttion about ofienng a similar sugRestion either 
to Scott, or Wordsworth,, or Byron, at any period 
of their renoWn. To say nothing about modeatv, 
his notions of literary honesty were always exceed- 
ingly loose ; but, at the same time, we must take 
4nto account his peculiar notions, or rather no no- 
tioiia, as to the proper Umiis of a joke. 

Literanire, like misery, makes men acquainted 
^ih strange bed-fellows. Let us return from the 
worthy Shepherd of Cttrick to the courtly wit and 
scholar of SunninghilL In the ^t quoted of his 
letters, he expresses his fear that Scott's military 
avocations might cause him to publish theTristrem 



unaccompanied by his '* Essay on the History of 
Scottish Poetry." It is needless to add that no 
such Essay ever was completed ; but I have heard 
Scott sav that his plan had been to begin with the 
age of Tnomas of Ercildoune, and bring the subject 
down to his own, illustrating each stage of his pro- 
gress by a specimen of verse imitating every /q-eat 
master's style, as he had done that of the original 
Sir Tristrem in his " Conclusion** Such a series 
of pieces from his hand would have been invaluable, 
merely as brinjpng out in a clear manner iheeradual 
diYsrication of the two great dialects of the English 
tongue ; but seeing by bis " Verses on a Poacher," 
written many years after this, in pcofiaased imitation 
of CrabbcL with what happy art he could pour the 
p^try of nis own mind into the mould of another 
anist, it is impossible to doubt that we have lost 
better things than antiquarian illumination) by the 
non-completion of a design in which he should 
nave embraced successively the tone and measure ^ 
of Douglas, Dunbar, Lindesay, Montgomerie, Ham- 
ilton, Kamaay, Fergusson, and Bums. 

The " Tristrem" was now far advanced at press. 
He says to Ellis, on the ISth March, 1804. 

" Aa I hada world of tbings to say to yoo, I have been 
eolpably, but most BatoraUy sUeat When yoo torn a 
bottle wUh its head dowomoat. you must have raoMrkad 

that th(? — ' ' ^ — ^ nf The contents to get out all 

at ri. ^ ettingoutat all. I hav& 

hi'V^ r. ^ H J- t.cf!!! ibf iiiuk^ ihc r\^:jolution of sending a grand 
ps^k't With ^st Trial real, wIki wi)l kiss your nsnds la 
atHH:[ a fi^vittilfEhL I intend un^iastrated copiea hr ja% 
H' !m r, afid Mr, Dduc^, wba, I am willing to nope, will ac- 
c< pi [h(» [datIi (tf my frtiU r respect and warm remem* 
bi 'tri< <■ L>r hj« )ctndnr>u wbj^' in London. Pray send me 
WicIimiu riflay th# pas0B|E[c rererring to 7%omae in the 
FT' LM b * llorneh^trl/ Far (zom beinc daunted with the 
pci^t^EtK^n Qi' thfr en^fnr, I sm resohred to carry it at the 
poiiiL of tlw imfonGt, Anil, iike tn abl^ general, to attack 
whf>re it wtTuld bs didlc utt Ut (Jo fend. WUhoot metaphor 
or purihtr. [ aoL detrrmibcd put only that my Tomaa ehalt 
b( r of ' TrUntm,' but that he shall be the 

an . i njchild ' aUo. I must, however, read over 

th \>efiij:*^ I can mtikG my arrangements. Hold- 

in^' V.I'!. tui on, ibm tri^?cug'> In Ai» collection is trans* 
laiuJ liuLu (ittt Ff eucli, 1 do doI see why we should not 
suppose that the French had been originally a version 
flrom our Thomaa. The date does not greaUy frighten 
me, as I have extended Thomas of Erolldoune'sUfe to the 
three-score and ten years of the Psalmist, and conse- 
quentiy removed back the date of ' Sir Tristrem ' to 12S0. 
The French translation might be written for that matter 
within a few days after Thomas's work was completed— 
and I can allow a few yeais. He lived on the Border, 
already possessed by Norman &milies, and in the vicinity 
of Northumberland, where there were many more. Do 
vou think the ^nstrels of the Fercies, the Vesetea, the 
Morells, the Onis, and the De Vaux, where not acquaint- 
ed with honest Thomas, their next door neighbour, who 
was a poet, and wrote excellent tales— and. moreover, a 
laird, and gave, I dare be sworn, good dinners 1 And 
would they not anxiouriy translate, lor the amusement of 
their masters, a story like 'Homchild,' so intimately con* 
nected with the lands in which they had settled 7 And do 
vou not think, from the whole structure of 'Homchild,' 
however often translated and retranslated, that it must 
have been originally of northern extraction 1 I have not 
time to tell you certain suspicions I entertain tliat Mr. 
Donee's fragments are the work of one Raoull de Bean* 
vaia, who flouriahed about the middle of the tlUrteenCh 
century, and for whose accommodatk>n, principally, I 
have made Thomaa, to use a military phrase, dreee back- 
toarde for ten years." 

All thi» phtyiiil language is exquisitely character- 
istic of Scott's indomitable adherence to his own 
yiews. But his making Thomas dress backwards, 
—and" resolving that, tf necessary, he shall be the . 
author of Homchild, as well as Sir Tristrem— may 
perhaps remind the reader of Don Quixote's method 
of repairing the headpiece, which, as originally con- 
structed, one blow had sufficed to oiemohsh:— 
"Not aitoj^ether approving of his having broken it 
to pieces with so much ease, to secure himself from 
the like danger for the future, he made it over again, 
fencing it with small bars of iron within, in such 
a manner— that he rested satisjied qf iis strength— 
and, ioiihout caring to make a fresh experimsnt on 



Digitized by V^OOQ IC 



d2 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



i(, he approved and looked upon it as a most excel- 
Unt helmet" 

Ellis having made some observations on Scott's 
article upon Godwin's Life of Chaucer, which im- 
"plied a notion that he had formed a regular con- 
nexion with the Edinburgh Review, he in the same 
letter says :— 

" I quite a^ee with you as to the general conduct of 
the Reviei*, which savours more of a wish to dlsiplay than 



to instruct ; but as essays, many of the articles are in 
valuable, and the principal conductor is a man of velrj 
acute and universal talent I am not regularly connected 



with the work, nor have I cither inclination or talents to 
use the critical scalping knife, unleu, as in the case oT 
Godwin, where flesh and blood succumbed under the 
temptation. I don't know if you have looked into#)is 
tomes, of which a whole edition has vanished, I waa at a 
losM to know how, till I conjectured that, as the heaviest 
materials to be come at, they have been sent on the secret 
expedition planned by Mr. Phillips, and adopted by our 
sapient Government, for blocking up the mouth of our 
enemy's harbours. They should have had my free con- 
sent to take Phillips and Gwlwin, and all our other lumber, 
Uterary and political, for the same beneficial puniose. 
But, in general, I tliink it ungeutlemaoly to wound any 
person's feelings, through an anonymous publication, 
unless where conceit or false doctrine strongly calls foe 
reprobation. Where praise can be conscientiously 
nifngled in a larger proportior» than blame, there is al- 
ways some ainusement in throwing together our Ideas 
upon the works of our feNowlab«urers, and no injustice 
in publishinc them. On spch occasions, and in our way. 
I may possibly, once. or twice ayear, ftimish ray critical 
friends with an article." « 

" Sir Tristrem" waa at length published on the 
2d of May^ 1804, by Constable, who, however, cx- 
Piected so Utile popularity for the work, that the edi- 
tion consisted only of 150' copies. These were sold 
at a high price, (two guineas,) otherwise they would 
not have'been onoujiifa to cover the expenses of pa- 
per and printing. Mr. Ellis, and Scott's other an- 
tiquarian friends, were much dissatisfied with these 
arrangements ; but I doubt not that Constable was 
a better judge than any of them. The work, how- 
ever, partook in due lime of the favour attending 
itseditor'a name. In 1806, 750 copies were . called 
for ; and 1000 in 1811. After that time Sir Tristrem 
was included in the collective editions of Scott's 
poetrv; but he bad never parted with^ the copyright, 
merely allowing his general publishers to msert it 
among his other works, whenever they chose to do 
so, as a matter of courtesy. It was not a nerform- 
ance from which he had ever anticipatea any pe- 
cuniary profit, but it maintained at least, if it did 
not raise, his reputation in the circle of his fellow 
antiquaries; and his own Conclusimf^, in the man- 
ner of the orif^inal romance, must always be admir- 
ed as a remarkable specimen of skill and dexterity. 

As to the arguments of the Introduction, I shall 
' not in this place attempt any discussion.* Whether 
the story or Tristfem was first told in Welsh, Armo- 
rican, French, or English verse, there can, I think, 
be no doubt that it had been told in verse, with such 
success as to obtain very general renown, by Tho- 
mas of Ercildoune, and that the copy edited by 
Scott was either the composition of one who had 
heard the old Rhymer recite his lay, or the identical 
lay itself. The introduction of Thomas's name in 
the third person, as not the author, but the author's 
authority, appears to have had a great share in con- 
vincing dcptt that the Auchinleck MS. contained 
not the original, but the copy of an English admirer 
and contemporary. This point seems to have been 
rendered more doubtful bv some quotations id the 
recent edition of Wnrton's History of Engliah Poetry j 
but the argument derived from the eninusiostic ex- 
clamation " God help Sir Tristrem the knight— ho 
fought for England," still remains; and stronger per- 
haps even than that, in the opinion of modern philo- 
logists, is the total absencc'of any Scottish or even 
Northumbrian pecuharities in the diction. 

• The critical reader will find all the learning on iho-jnihjert 
bnjufht togetlier \vi(h much otNJity in the Prpfiic^ to " Tiie Pix^i- 
cal Romances of T/istan, in French, in An^loNonnan, and in 
Greek, eompoied in the TwelAhond Thirteenth Ceaturiu— Edit- 
ed b7 Fnmciique Michel," 3 vols. London, 1S33. i accomp^wd i 



All this controversy may be wahred here. Scott's 
object and delight was to revive the fame of the 
Rhymer, whose traditional history he had listened 
to while yet an infant among the crags of Snaiil- 
holme. He had already celebrated him in a noble 
ballad ;'" he now devoted a volume to elucidate a 
fragment supposed to be substantially his work ; 
and we shall find that thirty years after, when the 
lamp of his own genius was all but spent, it could 
still revive and throw out at least some glimrner- 
ings of its original brightness at the name of Tho- 
mas of Ercildoune. 



CHAPTEH XIII. 

aiMOVAL TO ABB BSTISL— DEATH OF CAPTAIK BOISBT 
SCOTT— MUHQO PABK — COMPLETlOlf AND PVBUCA- 
TION or Tire LAV OF THE UlST IflNSTEEL— 1804- 

1805. 

It has been mentioned that in the course of the 
preceding summer, the Lord-Lieutenant of Selkirk- 
shire complained of Scott's military zeal as inter- 
fering sometimes with the discharge of his shrieral 
functions, and took occasion to remind him, that 
the law, requiring everv Sherifi* to reside at least four 
months in the year within his own jurisdiction, had 
not hitherto been oompUed with. It tmpears that 
Scott received this communication with some dis- 
pleasure, being conscious that Wo duty of any im- 
portance had ever been neglected by him ; well 
knowing that the law of residence was not enforced* 
in the cases of many of his brother shcrifis ; and, in 
fact, ascribing his Lord- Lieu ten ant's complaint to 
nothing but a certain nervous fidget as to all points 
of form, .for which that respectable nobleman was 
notorious, as well became, perhaps, an old Lord of 
the Bedchamber, and High Commissioner to the 
General Assembly of the Kirk.t Scott, howevca-, 
must have been found so clearly in the wrony[^ had 
the case been submitted to the Secreiary of state, 
and Lord Napier conducted the correspondence 
with such courtesy, never failing to allege as a chief 
argument the pleasure which it would afford himself 
and the other gentlemen of Seikirkshire to have 
more of their Sheriflf's society, that, while it would 
have been highly imprudent to persist, there could 
be no mortification in yielding. He flattered him- 
self that his active habits would enable him to 
maintain his connexion with the Edinburgh Cavalry 
as usual: and, perhaps, he also flattered himself, 
that residing for the summer in Selkirkshire would 
not interfere more seriously with his business as a 
barrister, than the occupation of the cottage at Lass- 
wade had hitherto done. '' 

While he was seeking about, accordingly, for 
some 'Modge in theForest," his kinsman of Harden 
suggested that the tower of Auld Wat might be re- 
fitted so as to serve his j^urpose ; and he received 
the proposal with enthusiastic delight. On a more 
careful inspection of the localities, Jiowever, he be- 
came sensible that he would be practicaMv at a 
greater distance from county business of all kinds 
at Harden, than if he were to continue at Lass- 
wade. Just at this time^ the house of Ashestiel, 
situated on the southern bank of the Tweed, a few 
miles from Selkirk, became vacant by the death of 
its proprietor, Colonel Russel. who had married a 
sister of Scott's mother, and the consequent disper- 
sion of the family. The younff laird of Ashestie], 
his cousin, was then in India, and the SherifT Cook 
a lease of the house and grounds, with a small fiann 
adjoining. On the 4th May, two, days after the 

• fiiwili^ nihi4irr4v^, i>»ifiiitt iMJtp wpI rv p uo. 

r I ri'iijvniS'r if.iiii mwh mnuuiij with w, n.^ii^iice of Lord 

> .| II T^ iiii>4.'ijuir4 111 miif/M ttiaUc^. miTiT '1 111 I lie late Lady 

I- Lhr ii\ r^.tiiii^iJiTTo tiniAjtijrn-. J . - ... ^ndy Napiar 

I ' ' -nio' 'iM iMtViuikt wnbliiF irit<^tiii4'i' I ■. irw a wocJt I 

I - I.I Ll iiixriiniiT l^( wA*4AanitncMl ihht ii « ul _ .. <i r)ca hod qc- 

( '■''. w huh It n^iitjr'nitl jT j*iJhi'i n*4iMn^ J!}^r LiHJii Vf II 'urn without 

I rib i^H'ij <»^iT w TPi x^ ikirkikthM^" II WJL. I I poaaftile for 

) -' -,-r* *:r.-,*^H nr^ fii-'i,. r r ^i 1 .n .Ti. n .lf i be moment. 



ncckcluUHi 
ihirta they 



uigiiizea oy 'v^jv>'v>''^ 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



93 





TVisCiem had been published, he savs to EUU: "l 
have been engaged in tfiivelling Seckwards ana 
forwards to Selkirkshire upon little pieces of busi- 
ness, just important enough to prevent my doing 
anyiHingto purpose. One great matter, however, 
I have achieved, which is, procuring myself a place 
oi residence, which will save me these teasing mi- 
grations in future, so that though I part with my 
jigM lillje coUasjc on tiie banka &f ihc Esk, y 111 
^^^tadatA this samm^r in the very eantr^" of il e 
dHMit Be^lpe^ in a decern farnihLiLik! ov( rh 1 ri ■ he 
6«Tv«ed, and SLtuni^i m n wild paNUirnt *■ 
Aj]^ i^^nin, on ih« l^th, \k' ihus apoiogizi- t 

b*iui4 answered a leLtijr of the lorh : — '' Kur urie 
dttn a miH^Ui luy hand was fairly it.'n^ntcfi by 
limuk which, though strictly uastoral and rurtiL 
m^Iieilh^ liicrar>^ noi poetic jjI. Ij*jtit^ ukr-tp, and 
j4prf ^44p, And fNp^, anii ^imTfua-^^ and ^j^jt^, i^od 

** had maae a pt^rffCt aheopfold of my un- 

, which is hardly yet cU-flrt-d of therii.* 

_ ^^-e.EiUa will t:Iap a Lridio on her imagiji- 

Bttiick FortiBi boaata findy shaped hillB 
J cfeftf romantic mrcam^; but, alaa! tht^y are 
'btfe to wa!jdn«»^ and denudtHl of the beaurLlLd 
mninl Wflod with which they wera foniiej-Iy shtideii. 
Jt }» ittortilying to nee ihatt though w[Lt:ri'vt.T ihe 
^te^ an excluded, tht? copse naa iuimcdiaiily 
in abundance^ so tlt^t ineIo^uri:d mdy 
ig i*> restore the wood wherever it micbt 

lot ornamental, ret hardly a proprietor I109 
.._ .ad to givt it fair play for a rfHurrection. * 
VovMC we reckan jjO!»itivdy on yoti— the njore Ijl- 
tmm 0m ATch-tritic JefTrey tf^Hs mG that he met 
Tm m LoiiiJon» and faund you 5ti11 inchned for a 
^vaeditm irip. AU our wise men in the north are 
■I'jMiinril At tne pros^pcct of acem;^ George Elliot, If 
Toode^af your journey till July, I ah all then be tt-Q 
4(ih6 Courts of Law, and will m^et you upon rhe 
Bip^ St whati'^ver iidv you enter." 
^bemidnes^ pan oCihi^9eh\tA;n refers to Scott's 
bfOllut Daniel, who^ as he enpresHeft it, "havmg 
^bsbfttHl to the inercantiEe liriE^t had bi^n ohligt-J, 
)if HMiw uniowarJ circumslanteaj parUrularly an 
MQQldbrac conn<.^xii>n with an artful woman, 10 
IHjiJTiUIIIiTmiiiiIi for Liverpool, and m\v to be ca^^- 
|lft1v tT^ towards Janiaua.'^ Seutt re^^UK^^'S 
Mm 10 ))Hp hint if hv. usn« by intrnduciti;? him to 
■BBiaf hj» own friend a or q gents in that iabnJ: 
miEmBtattiUBhed him accordingly with kttcrf to 
Xb Blukburne. a fnLnd nrrd hro titer t^oprielor, 
wlfltppfftfv to havf^ paid Dan id Scoit every {.>uFih:t- 
%|fnMlliaai and soon proviJod him with vmUlAe 

mm on a h^soLth^pQi't of hia f'»tat6jt. F^rt 

r low tastes and Ifabit^ which hnd reduet \ 
_ . rtymie y^utig nitin to ihs neciiasity of tx- 
mtiajg. hitnsclr^ r^urred afier a brief season uf 

liw ^Bft Bcd order, and contiouod tmiil ho had ai> 

tiiililni il xreat ntlliction upon all hi3 famiEy, 
Jm the 10th of June, 1804, died, at hii^ geat u( 
Hi»«nk, Captain Robtirt Scott, the aff(^ciio;un.) 
Vl^itho^ name has ofti^n occurred in this nartii- 
iiifct "H« Wfls.^* sayi* hia nephew to Ellits, on ttirj 



wiLb ScuU in tW <umTnor ot i«mi, 

_ . _ tlw iocialiptf pf ttji^ irvuttirif!, lIw (!*'• 

^ w* ltl» diflrsreat biivdt uF tltuvih tltit c^ir-.j 

. brirof ajwnj^i fnllfd ^Ad*ftc>rt iittep, and ih*; r-hi-^t't 

Jmi^ ^lef^. tbo tI}VFiul*v ut tbAt i>fno4l run i^» ry fi,>.'ii 

— ^-"^IjJr iwjfiU oiVaf N jMr. Hwlt, vrJiN hM ^.m.? 

itutjici [d [iirrM.Ti:K what rmfitn^nL'* iivi)>eii^i<^J "t 

WW nitJier tciTr^*! wini p^imji^tirir qiiii<itj*'iri.' nf 

" 8i?n. So fii lonfth. rmUJns on Un m> n-t 

_ . fce uirnpti ten Sir wolU*! HifjfTu tLtHl 

Hi ■ I'm rrfEirdj/>f^ Hi*' iniTtU af iJua r^r\f mi- 

tio'iv tMt|r ini33i! a h<]i4*i'''ri unuulliF ni<'a-<'iJF^' *'i 

— "BikiitiDn of n If^fiff *hf*p f Mf. litji\''\,- 

, ^ of bit hrtJl, rjcitbiT fMT7t:ivt<l ijy; qrn' n .f 

_ to AMtWifr wiUi fn^t *iPiCA>rity^. "ll'i (]j« n^H. , 

Uurt vtni\\ tmJ the tl^jj-t ■ftrtii hn's rhr^ lanf, 
DTf* Jmt ktrirt (t' nQrn'4 n'l' jfiV itM^m U^n:' Mr. 
^jfraerrc tiM iTTiivfrfBia? of mn^'i r4i^i"tji4.it4»i:i -. It 







' Ffi'iAtnJtiiit oi' ihi) 



S«oC« IHmijjih* w tliM A]iiiit>i T find - — 



18th, " a man of universal benevolence, aod great 
kindness towards his friends, and to me individually. 
His manners were so much tinged with theniabits 
of ceUbacy as to render them peculiar, though by no 
means implcasingly so, and his profession (that of 
a seaman) gave a high colouring to the whole. The 
loss is one which, though the course of nature led 
me to expect it, did not take place at last without 
considerable pain to my feelings. The arrangement m 
of his affau's, and the distribution of his^small for- 
tune among his relations, will devolve in a great 
measure upon me. He has distinguished me by 
leaving me a betutiftd Httle villa on the banks of 
the Tweed, with every possible convenienoe an- 
nexed to it, and about thirty acr^s of the finest land 
in* Scotland! Nptwithstandin^, however, the 
temptation that this bequest oflers^I continue to 
pursue my Reged plan, and expect vo be settled At 
Ashestiel in the course of a month. Rosebank ia 
situated so near the village of Kelso as hardly to b« 
sufficiently a coimtry residence ; besides, it is hem 
med in by hedges and ditches, not to mentioii 
Dukes and Lady Dowagers, which are bad things 
for Uttle people. It is expected to sell to great ad 
vantage. I shall buy a moan tarn farm with th# 
purchase-money, and be quite the Laird of the Caim 
and the Scaur." 

Scott sold Rosebank in the eourse of the year for 
.£5000 ; hp share (being a ninth) of his uncle'a 
other property, amounted, 1 believe, to about X600; 
and he had besidea a legacy of ^100 in his auaUty 
of trusts This bequest made an important change 
in his pecuniary position, and influenced accord- 
inglv, the arrangements of his future life. Inde- 
pendently of practice at ^he bar. and of hterary 
profits, he was now, with his little patrimony, hia 
Shetinship. and about X20O per annum arising nropi 
the stock ultimately settled on his wife, in ijossesaion 
of a fixed revenue of nearly, if not quite, .£1000 
a-year. 

Dn the ist of August he writes to ElUs from 
Ashestiel— 

" Having had only about a hundred and fifty things t« 
do, I have scarcely done any thins, and yet coiud not giva 
myself leave to suppose that I baa leisure to write letters. 
1st, I had this farm-house to furnish from sales, from 
broker's stibns, and from all manner of hospitals for in 
curable furniture. 2dly, I had to M ray cottage on the 
banlcs of the Esk. 3dly, I had to arrange matters for the 
sale of Rosebanic. 4thly, I had to go into quarters with 
our cavalry, which made a very idle fortnight in the midst 
of all this business. Last of alL I had to superintend a 
rMDOvai, or what we call Vijlittm§^ which, of all bores 
under the cope of Heaven, is bore the moat tremendous. 
After all these storms, we are now most comfortably 
settled, and have only to regret deeply our disappoint- 
ment at finding your northern march blown up. Mr e had 
been projecting about twenty expeditions, and were 
pleasing ourselves at Mrs. Ellis's expected surprise on 
finding herself so touilly built in by mountains^ as I am 
at the present writing hereof. We are seven miles firom 
kirk and market. We rectify the last inconvenience, by 
killing our own mutton and poultry ; and as to the former, 
finding there was some chance of my family turning 
pagans, I hate adopted the goodly practice of reading 
prayers eveir Sunday, to the areat edification of my 
nousetiold. Think of this, vou that have the happiness 
to be within two steps of the church, and commiserate 
those who dwell io the wilderness. I Sliowed Charlotte 
yesterday the Catrail, and told her that to inspect that 
venerable monument was one main object oryour In- 
tended journey to Scotland. Bhe is of opinion that ditches 
muat l>e more scarce in the neighbourhood of Windsor 
Forest than she had hitherto had the least idea of." 

Ashestiel will be visited by many for his sake, as 
long as Waverley and Marmion are remembered. A 
more beautiful situation for the residence of a poet 
could not be conceived. The house was then a 
small one, but, compared with the cottage at Lass- 
wade, its accommodations were amply sufficient. 
You approached it through an old-fashioned garden, 
with holly hedges, and broad, green, terrace walks. 
On one side, close under the windows, is a deep 
ravine, clothed with venerable trees, down which & 

fentieman ^vhoae life afibrded an unifeftn ezaiQpfe of ODosteatalp 
tioui chaittr and extcoaive benevokooe." ^ ^-^ 



94 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



mountain rivtilet is heard, more than seen, in its 
progretf to the Tweed. The river itself is separa- 
ted from the high hank on which the house stands 
only by a narrow meadow of the richest verdure. 
Opposite, and all around, are the green hills. The 
valley there is narrow, and the aspect in every di- 
rection is that -of perfect pastoral repose. The 
heights immediately behind are those which divide 
* the Tweed from tqe Yarrow ; and the latter cele- 
brated stream .lies within an easy ride, in the course 
of which the traveller passes throu^ a variety of 
the finest mountain scenery in the south of Scot- 
land. No town is within seven miles, but Selkirk, 
which Vas then still smaller and quieter than it is 
now; there was hardly even a gentleman's family 
xwithm visiting distance, except at Yair, a few miles 
lower on the Tweed, the ancient seat of the Pringlcs 
of Wbyibank, and at BowhilL between the Yarrow 
and the Eitrick, where the Earl of Dalkeith used 
occasionally to inhabit a small shooting lodge, 
which has since grown to be a magnificent ducal 
residence. The country all around, with here and 
there an insignificant exception, belongs to the Buc- 
cleuch estate ; so that, wnichever way he chose to 
torn, the bard of the clan had ample room and verge 
enoiigh, and all appliances to boot, for every variety 
of field sport that might happen to please his fancv; 
and being then in the prime vigour of manhood, he 
was not slow to profit by these advantagdi. Mean 



and be had long, solitary evenings for the uninter- 
rupted exercise of his pen ; pernapa on the whole, 
better opportunitiea ot study than he had ever en- 
joyed before, or* was to meet with elsewhere in later 

wihen he first examined Asbestiel, with a view to 
being his cousin's tenant, he thought of taking 
home James Hogg to superintend the sheep farm, 
and keep watch over the house also during the win- 
ter. I am not able to tell exactly in what raannfer 
this proposal fell to the around. In January, 1804, 
the Shepherd writes to him :— '^ I have no mten- 
tion of waiting for lo distant a prospect as that of 
being manager of your farm, though I have no 
doubt of our joint endeavour proving successful, 
nor yet of your willingness to employ me in that 
capacity. His Grace the Duke of Bucdeuch hath 
at present a farm vacant in Eskdale, and I have 
been importuned by friends to get a letter from you 
and apply for it. You can hardly be conscious wnat 
importance your protection hath given me already, 
not only in mine own eyes, but even in those oi 
others. You might write to him, or to any of the 
family you are best acquainted with, stating that 
such and such a character was about' leaving his 
native country for wiittt of a residence in the farm- 
ins Hne.'' I am very doubtful if Scott— however 
willing to encounter the risk of employing Hogg as 
his own grieve^ or bailiff— would have felt himself 
justified at this, or, indeed, at any time, in recom- 
mending him as the tenant of a considerable farm' 
on the Duke of Buccleuch's estate. But I am also 

Suite at a loss to comprehend how Hogg should 
ave conceived k possible, at this period, when he 
certainly had no capital whatever, that the Duke's 
Chamberlain should agree to accept him for a te- 
nant, on any attestation, however strong, as to the 
exo^ence of his character and intentions. Be that 
as it may, if Scott made the application which the 
Shepherd suggestf d, it failed. So did a negotiation- 
which he certainly did'entcr upon .about the same 
time with the late Earl of Caernarvon, (then Lord 
Porchesterp through that nobleman's aunt, Mrs. 
Scott of Harden, with the view of obtaininjg for 
Hogg- the situation of oailiff on one of his Lord- 
ship's estates in the west of England ; and such, I 
believe, was the result of severafotber attempts of 
the same kind with landed proprietors nearer home. 
Perhaps the Shepherd had already set his heart eo 
much on taking rank as a farmer in hid own district, 
thai he witnessed the failure of any such negotia- 
tions w>th indifference. As regards the manage- 



ment of Ashestid, I find no trace of that proposal 
having ever been renewed. 

In truth, Scott had hardly been a weekm posses- 
sion of his new domains, before he made acquaint- 
ance with a character much better suited to hu 
purpose than James Hogg ever could have been. 1 
mean honest Thomas Purdie, his faithful servant- 
his affectionately devoted humble friend from thu 
time until deatn parted ihem. Tom was firs 
brought before him, in his capacity of Shenfi, on i 
charge of poaching, when the poor fellow gav< 
such a touching account of his circumstances— i 
wifft and I know not how many children dependinj 
on his exertions— work scarce and grouse abundant 
—and all this with a mixture of odd sly humour,- 
that the Sheriff's heart was moved. Tom escaped 
thepenaltyof thelaw— was taken intoemploymcn 
as shepherd, and showed such zeal, activity,^ aiw 
shrewdness in that capacity, that Scott never ha< 
any occasion to repent of the step he soon after 
wards took, in promoting him to the position whicl 
had been originally offered to James Hojgg. . 

It was also about the same time that he took mt 
his service as coachman Peter Matbieson. brothet 
in-law to Thomas Purdie, another faithful servani 
who never afterwards left hkn, and still survives hi 
kind master. Scott^s awkward conduct of the littl 
phaeton had exposed his wife to more than one peri 
lous overturn, before he agreed to set up a close car 
riage, and call in the assistance of this steady cha 
rioteer. 

During this autumn Scott formed the personal ac 
quaintance of Mungo Park, the celebrated victim c 
Athcan discovery. On his return from his first en 
pedition, Paric endeavoured to establish himaelf a 
a medical practitioner in the town of Hawick, btj 
the drudgeries of that calHng in sa^h a disthet soo 
exhausted hia ardent tamper, and he was now Hvir^ 
in seclusion m his natrve cottage at Fowlsheils a 
the Yarrow, nearly opposite Newark Castle. Hi 
brother, Archibald Park, a man remarkable ro 
strength both of mind and body, was the sherifP^ 
officer of that district, and introduced the travellc 
to his principal. Tbey efoon became much attache 
to each other ; and Scott supptied qome interestin 
anecdotes of their brief intercourse, to the late Mi 
Wishaw, the editor of Parkas posthumous Jouma 
with which I shall blend a few minor circumstar 
ces which Igathered from him in conversauon Ion 
afterwards. " On one occasion," he says, " ih 
traveller communicated to him some very remark 
able adventures, which had b^llen him in Africi 
but which he had not reGanW in his book." O 
Scott's asking the cause of tms silence, Mungo an 
swered, " that in all cases where he had informatio 
to communicate which he thought of importanc 
to the public, he had stated the facts boldly, leavin 
it to his readers to givesach credit lohisstatemeni 
as they might appear justly to deserve ; but that h 
would not shock their faiih. or render his travel 
mntfi marvelloifs, by introducing circpmstancei 
whi<:h, however (nie, witc^ of litilf^or no momen 
as ihcy rilfiTtT^i solely to his u\xn pi. nsonal adventure 
and psfnpte/' This rtply sHuck ScoU aa hi^hl 
chnraricn&lic nT tha man; und thouf;h atrOn^ 
tenipird 10 act d(?wn some of ihtyf niarvela for wL 
Wi><ljaw'!ni8«i hcon reflt^^tmn nb;^ ruined fix>m doin 
so, holding it unfair lo reconi wh:jt_theadventun 
hftfi <ji4ihemkly cho&Eu lo atifprt t-.H in his own nai 
radvc, !to confirms the Bccouni given by Park' 
bioLTiiphtir of his cold flftd rt-^erved manners I 
stniiisrcrp; and in rfiJ'ii<^ii^«*"i of In ^disgust with tfc 
in di red (jm^BiJonp nhich i.nirioiis visitors would ofte 
put to htm upon the Biibjeci of hi^ travels. " Th, 
praciim^* said Mungo, * exposes me to two riaki 
either tnat I may not utidt^rstand the questior 
meant to hu put^ or that my aoauers to tliem ma 
bt Tiu?:f onfiSrutiJ ;'* and be contrasied such condw 
with the frankness of Scoit's revered friend, D 
Adam FeiTRUSon, whojthe very first day the trave 
ler dined with him at Halhrard& spread a largo ma 
of Africa on the table, and made nim trace out h 
progren thereupon, inch by inch, questioninft hii 
minutely as to every step he had taken. " Her 



LIFE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



95 



• says Scott, " Dr. P. was umng a privi- 
lege to which he was well entitled by his venerable 
age and hi^h literary character, but which could 
sot have been exerdsed with propriety by any com- 
QDO stranger." 

CalltnA: one day at Fowlsbeils, and not finding 
Park at home, Scott walked in search of him along 
the banks of the Yarrow, which in that neighbour- 
hood passes over various ledges of rock, forming 
(kfp pools and eddies between them. Presently he 
discover^ his friend standing alone on the bank, 
phmghag one stone after another into the water, 
aiKi watching anxiously the bubblds as ihey r#se to 
thesur&ce. "This," said Scott, "appears but an 
idb amusement for one who has seen so much stir- 
ring adventure." " Not so idle, perhaps, as you 
si^jpose," answered Mungo. " This was the man- 
ner in which I used to ascertain the depth of a river 
m Africa brfbre 1 ventured to cross it— judging whe- 
Vixt the attenrot would be safe, by the time the bub- 
bles of air took to ascend.". At this time Park*8 
rateation of a second expedition had never been 
nrrealed to Scott ; but he mstantly formed the opi- 
ajoa that these experiments on Yarrow were con- 
narted with some such purpose. 

Hu thcMu^tshad always continued to be haunt- 
ed with Afoca. He told Scott that whenever he 
awoke mddenly in the night, owing to a nervous 
disorder with which he was troubled., he fancied 
himsel/ stfl! a prisoner in the tent of Ali ; but when 
the poet expressed some surprise that he should 
design again to revisit those scenes, he* answered, 
that be would rather brave Africa and. all (ts hor- 
rors, than wear out his life in long and toilsome 
ndei over the hills of Scotland, for which the re- 
BHineration was hardly jenough to keep soul and 
body leather. 

Tffwards the end of the autumni when about to 
jm his country for the last time. Park paid Scott a 
unwell Tint, and slept at Ashestiel. Next morning 
^!u»% aocotnpaniea him homewards over the wild 
cImb of hills between the Tweed and the Yarrow. 
Pift talked much of his new scheme, and mention- 
etf bis determinatbn to tell his familV that he had 
tme business for a day or two in Edinburgh, and 
Kodtheni hia blessing from thence without return- 
i^ t)D take leave. He had married, not long before, 
t pictty and amiable woman ; and when they 
t«4cbed the WtlUamhope RidgU, '* the autumnal 
BBst floating heavily and slowly down the valley 
cf the Yarrow,** presented to Scott's imagination 
' a soikms emblem of the troubled and uncertain 
pTMpect which his un^taking afforded." He re- 
maiaeiL howeve^, unmaken, and at length they 
reached the spot at which they had agreed to sepa- 
rate. A small ditch divided the moor from the road. 

abled, and 
1 the She- 

^ _— . answered, 

Esulins, " F'rtiis (omens) follow those who look to 
thcm.*'^ With this expression Mungo struck the 
spurs mto his hors& and Scott never saw him again. 
H» parting proverb, by the way, was probablv sug- 
gested by one of the Border ballads, m which spe- 
aes of lore he was almost as great a proficient as 
ihe Sheriff himself ; for we read m "Edbm & Gor- 
don,"— 

" Tbem took to fireitt* my niaiter dear, 
Thea freits will feOow tbem." 

I must not omit that George Scott, the unfbrtu- 
t»cs fadrapaDioa of ^Park's second journey, was the 
son of a tenant on the Buccleuch estate, whose skill 
.n drawing having casually attracted the Sheriff's 
itienton, be was recommended by him to the pro- 
f^siion of the famils^ and by this means established 
is a respectable situation in the Ordnance depart- 
iDflot or the Tower of London ; but the stories of 
hm M acquatntanoe Mungo Park's discoveries, 
Mntade such an hnpression on his fancy, that no- 
tkiBtf conld preterit his accompanying him on the 
SitSsxpedition of 1806. ^ ^ . , . « 

1^ brocfaer of Mungo Park remainea m Seoirs 
en^>toTm«nt for qiany years, and was freqtMfitly hia 



rate. A small mtcn aiviaea me moor irom i 
tad, in goins over it, Park's horse stninb 
a-arlr fell. I am afraid, Mungo," said t 
T)S, ^\h9t is a ha<J omen." To which he ai 



companion m his moi^ntain rides. Though a man 
of the most dauntless temperament, he was often 
alarmed at Scott's reckless horsemanship. "The 
de'il's in ye, Sherra," he would say, *' ye'll never 
halt till they bring you hame with your feet fore- 
most." He rose greatly in favour, in consequence 
of the gallantry with which he seized a gipsy, ac- 
cused of murder, from amidst a group of similar 
desperadoes, on whom the Sheriff and ne had come 
unexpectedly in a desolate part of the country. 

To return to^the Lay of the Last Minstrel :— Ellis, 
understanding it to be now nearly ready for ine 
press, writes to Scott, urging him to set it forth with 
some engraved illustrations— if possible, after Flax- 
man, whose splendid designs from Homer had 
shortly before made their appearance. He answers, 
August 21— 

**I should hare liked very ranch to have had ^pro- 
prtate embelUahmentd. Indeed, we made aome attempts 
of the kind, but they did not succeed. I ■honld fear 
Flazman's genius is too classic to Aoop to body forth my 
Gothic Boraerert. Would there not be some risk of 
their resembling the antique of Homer's heroes rather • 
than the iron race of Salvatorl After all, perhaps, no* 
thing is more difficult than for a painter to adopt the 
author's ideas of on imaginary character, especially when 
it Is founded on traditions to which the artist is a stranger. 
I should like at least to be at his elbow when at work. 
I wish very much I could have sent you the taj wliile 
in M8., to have had the advantage or your optnion and 
corrections. But Baltantvne galled my kibes so severely 
during an unusual fit ot activity, that I gave him the 
whole srory in a sort of pet both with him and with It. • 

. . I have lighted upon a very good amanuensis for , 
copying such matters as the Lay le Frain, Ac. He was 
sent down here by some of the London bookseUers in a 
half-starved state, but begins (o pick up a little. . . I am 
just aboiif to set out on a grana expedition of great im- 
portance to my comfort in this place. Yon must know 
thrflMr. Ptntnmer^ my predecessor In this county, was ^ 
good antiquary, and left a valuable coHectkm or books^ 
which he entailed with the estate, the first succesaohi 
being iliree of his sisters, at least as old and musty aa 
any Cazti« or Wynkyn de Worde in his library. Now I 
must contrive to coax those watchful dragons to gIVe roe 
admittance into this garden of the Hesperidea. 1 sup- 
pose they trouble the volumes as little as the dragon did 
the golden pippins; but they may not be the more easily 
aootned on that account. However, I set out on my guetti 
like aj^eujr ehivaUer^ taking care to leave Camp, for dir- 
tying the carpet, and to carry tho greyhounds with me, 
whose arosaranee will Indicate that liare-soup may* be 
forthcoming ia due season. By the way, did I tell you 
that FitzCaiaip is dead, and another on the stocks 1 As 
our stupid postman might mistake Regedy address, as 
per date, Aslieatlel, Selkirk, by Berwick." 

. I believe the spinsters of Sunderland hall proved 
very generous dragons ; and Scott Hved to see them' 
succeeded in the guardianship of Mr. Plummer's 
Uterary treasures by an amiable young gentleman of 
his own name andf family. The halr^starved ama- 
nuensis of this letter was Henry Weber, a laborious 
German, of whom we shall hear more hereafter. 
With regard to the pictorial embellishments con- 
templated for the first edition of the Lay of the Last 
Minstrel, I believe the artist in whose designs the 
poet took the greatest interest was Mr. Masquerier, 
now of Brighton, with whom he corresponded at 
some length on the subject : but his distance from 
that ingenious gentleman's residence was inconve- 
nient, and the Dook sellers were probably impatient 
of delay, wjien the MS. was once known to be in 
the hands of the printer. 

There is a circumstance which must already have 
struck such of my readers as knew the author in his 
latter days, namely, the readiness with which he 
seems to havo communicated this poem, in its pro- 
gress, not only to his own familiar friends, but to 
new and casual acquaintances. We shall find him 
following the same course with his MarmioB— but 
not, I think, with any of his subsequent works. His 
determination to consult the movements of his own 
mind alone in the conduct of his pieces was proba- 
bly taken before he began the Lay) and he soon re: 
solved to trust for the detection of minor inaccura- 
ciet to two persons only— James Ballantyne and 



LIFE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT. 



William Erskine. The printer was himself a man 
of considerabe literary talents ; his own style |iad 
the incurable faults of pomposity and aflfe'ctation. 
but his eye for more venial errors m the writings or 
others was quick, and, though his personal address 
was apt to give a stranger the impression of insince- 
*rity, he was in reality an honest man, and conveyed' 
his mind on such matters with eaual candour and 
delicacy during the whole of Scott s brilliant career. 
In the vast majority of instances he found his friend 
. acquiesce at once in the propriety of his suggestions; 
nay, there certainly were cases, though rare, in 
which his advice to alter things of much more con- 
sequence than a word or a rhyme, was frankly ten- 
dered, and on deliberation adopted by Scott Mr. 
Erskine was the referee whenever the poet hesitated 
about taking the hints of the zealous typographer, 
and his refined taste and gentle manners rendered 
his critical alliance highly valuable. With two such 
faithful friends within his reach, the author of the 
Lay might safely dispense with sending his MS. ,to' 
be revised even By George Ellis. 

Before he left Ashestiel for the winter session^ the 
printing of the poem had made considerable pro- 
gress. Ellis writes to him on the 10th Novemoer. 
complaining of bad health, and adds, " Tu quid 
agisT I suppose you are still an inhabitant of Ke- 
ged, and being there it is impossible that your head 
should have been solely ocpipied by the ten thou- 
sand cares which vou are likely to have in common 
with oilier mortals, or even by the Lay^ which 
must have been long since completed, but must have 
started during the summer new projects sufficient 
to emplov the lives of half-a-dozen patriarchs. P^ay 
tell me all about it, for as the present state of my 
frame precludes me from mucn activity, I want to 
enjov that of my friends." Scott answers from Edin- 
burgn : " I fear you fall too much into the sedentary 
habits incident to a literary life, like my poor friend 
Plummer, who used to say that a walk from the 
parlour to the garden once a day was sufficient ex- 
ercise for any rational being, and that no one but a 
fool or a fox-hunter would take more. I wish you 
could have had a seat on Hassan's tapestry to have 
brought Mrs. Ellis and you soft and fair to Ashestiel, 
where with farm mutton at four p. m., and goats 
whey at 6 a. m., I think we could have re-establirii- 
ed as much tmhonpoint as oughrto satisfy a poeti- 
cal antiquary. As for my country amusements, I 
have finished the Lay, with which and its accom- 
panying notes the press now groans : but I have 
started nothing except some scores of naresi many 
of which my gallant greyhounds brought to the 
ground." 

Ellis had also touched upon a hterary feud then 
raging between Scott's allies of the Edinburgh Re- 
view, and the Iste Dr. Thomas Voung, illustrious 
for inventive, genius, displayed equally in physical 
science and in philoloracal literature. A northern 
critic, whoever he was, had treated with merry con- 
tempt certain discovenes in natural philosophy and 
the mechanical arts, more especially that of the un- 
dulating theory of light, which ultimately conferred 
on Young's name one of its highest distinctions. 
" He had oeen for some time," says Ellis, " lp<^urer 
at the Royal Institudon; and having datermmed to 
pubUsh his lectures, he had received from one of the 



.booksellers the offer of JGlOOO for the copyright. He 
was actually preparing for the press, when the book- 
seller came to him. and told nim that the ridicule 



Dviioi uaujo %.\t uiiu, cuju tutu uiui Miai uii> iiui«^uic 

thrown by the Edinburgh Review, on some papers of 
his in the Philosophical Transactions, had so fright- 
ened the whole trade^ that he must request to be 
released from his bargain. This consequence, it is 
true, could not have been foreseen by the reviewer, 
who, however, appears to have written from feelings 
of private animosity; and I still continue to think, 
though I greatly admire the good taste of the litera- 
ry essays, and the perspicuity of the dissertations 
on poUtical economy, that an apparent want of 
candour is too generally the character of a «^ork 
which, from its independence on the interests of 
booksellers, might have been expected to be parti- 
cularly free fr'vin this defect." Scott rejoins : "1 1 



am sorry for fhe very pitiful catastrophe of Di 
Young's publication, because, although I am alto 
gethcr unacquainted with the merits of the contro 
versy, one must always regret so very serious a con 
sequence of a diatribe. The truth is, that thea 
gentlemen reviewers Mjght often to read over thi 
fable of the boys and frogs, and should also remem 
her it is much more easy to destroy than to build 
to criticise than to compose. While on this subject 
I kiss the rod of my cniic in the Edinburgh, on thi 
subiect of the price of Sir Tristrem; it was not mi 
fault, however, that the public had it not cbeaj 
enough, as I decHned taking any copy-money, o 
share in the profits, and nothing surely was as rea 
son able a pharge as I could make." 

On the 30tb December he resumes : " The Ltay i 
now ready, and will probably be in Longman an< 
Rees's hands shortly after this comes to yours, i 
have charged them to send you a copy by the firs 
conveyance, and shall be impatient to know wbethe 
you think the entire piece corresponds to that whici 
you have, already seen. I would also fain send \ 
copy to Gifford, by way of introduction.— My reasoi 
i& that I understand he is about to publish an editioi 
of Beaumont and Fletcher,' and I think I could oflfe 
him the use of some miscellaneous notes, which J 
made long since on the margin of their works.^ 
•Besides, I nave a good esteem of Mr. GifTord as i 
manly EngUsh poet, very different from most of oui 
modern versifiers.— We are so fond of Reged tha 
we are just going to set out for our farm in th^ 
middle of a snow storm ; all that we have to comfor 
ourselves with is, that our march has been ohlere^ 
with great military talent— a detachment of mincer 
pies and brandy having preceded us. In case mv\ 
are not buried m a snow-wreath, our stay will b 
but short. Should that event happen, we muat 'wai 
the thaw." 

Ellis, not having aii yet received the new poem 
answers on the 9tn January, 1805, " I look daily ant 
with the greatest anxiety for the Last Minstrel — o 
which I still hope to see a futlu-e edition decoratet 
with designs h la Flaxman. as the Lays of Hom^ 
have already been. I think you told me that St 
Tristrem had not excited much sensation in Edin 
burgh. As I have not been in London this age, ] 
can t produce the contrary testimony of our metro 
polls. But I can produce one person, and that on^ 
worth a considerable number, who speaks of it wiU 
rapture, and says, * I am only sorry that Scott haj 
not (and I am sure he has not} tola us the Airhole o 
his creed on the subject of Tomas, and the othei 
early Scotch minstrels. I sinpose he wa^ afraid o 
the critics, and determined W say very httle men 
than he was able to establish by inconteftabh 

E roofs. I feel infinitely obliged to him for what h< 
as told us, and I have no hesitation in saying, thai 
I consider Sir T. as by far the most interesting worl 
that has as yet been published on the subject of oul 
earliest poets, and, indeed, such a piece of literary 
antiquity as no one could have, d priori^ supposec 
to exist.' This is Frere— our ex-ambassador foi 
Spain, wl)om you would delight to know, and wh< 
would delight to know you. It is remarkable tha 
you were, I believe, the most ardent of all the ad- 
mirers of his old English version of the Saxon Ode ;i 
and he is, per contra^ the warmest panegyrist o; 



Ti irathii Ktfi*ringer Vtat GiJIbril imA nl th« trme fa huid 



Kit FVn J(^»n fiiJh^iv^I, avfl thru bb t^oid. fit]in« 1 



k^chett And m 
lilcnme* <wi 



tii.ikatNbA.rOj but w the gnavoiu mkiAHtaiw is^ Ii1cn{jjin« * 

Vthit l'H^^l^]f^fl^j3L''Cli1^■l ^tytm i^ Fwumoni uid FJddbdr. 

^ " 1 h4vt: mh nbL'i, 11] mt Km.*nrht!t inio thcma jto-nen/" vtStji^ 
£■ i.'i in 1 *:.!>, "' with otw pDitm, ^liicli,*if ii hmi brmi pRtaici^ k4 
• ' il'^ not bwe Ii«m d«tccMlon inlcfoiJ artdiBga. 14 

ii -'ffig upoD ih» yjetoo At BnumBpfaansli. InaalftlMJ 

lUfi. i'ofirtf. vol. 1. p. 91 The mrj>jriij>1ithed ffdiTw leljit oa, limi 
thl^i liKrr mmpiUiT vt^ta wqj iiiti^r]«c} sj m i^ltntiim tif lib* >tf id 
and IvFiruttiro <tfw ibiutii-nth <^<-fiiurj, and WM wnUvn «Iuna4 
thi'^ nKktmruny DC€iJiionp43 bf tbi? pooim aitTibulcd Ui Row ley i 
Mr. l^tlia ad^, * thm n»i<k>r wllj p^oMilr ^ftr wttlt khm saqp«l*« 
Ukj( thij finfuUr intaDce ^ enUcal Unicnuilj wiam IM MoinT^ 
■Tj<jii nf ftu £1011 AdKMttie^/ ' VJlMW m M^iem ^fh* Jn^ 
cum Biniad^v. ^gitized by V^DOgrC 



EivsiOP 81B wALnm aocfrr. 



fmm Cki^dmtim, whkih ho , _ ._^._.,, _ 

uAms to be tfi« ¥ary best imi&doii of old 
at present ezistiog. J tmnk I can trust you for 
having concluded the Last Minstrel with as much 
spirit as it was begun-4f you have been capable of 
any thiogiuiworthy of your fame amidst the high- 
est mountains of JS^ged, there is an>end of all 
inmiration." 

Scott answers—** Frere is so perfect a master of 
the ancient style of composition, that I would rather 
have his surniigo than that of a whole synod of 
your vulgar antiquaries. The more I think on our 
systedl of the origm of romance, the more simptidty 
and uniformity it sefems to possess: and though 1 
adopted it late and with hesitation, I believe 1 shall 
never see cause to abandon it. Yet I am aware of 



qusries have considerably injured their claims to 
confidence, bv attempting to detail very remote 
events with all the accuracy belonmng to the facts of 
yesterday. You wiy bear one of them describe you 
the cut of Llywarch Hen's beard, or the whittle of 
Urien Reged, as if he had trimmed the one, or cut 
Mb cheese with the other. These hkh pretensions 



sih the wheat froni the chaff, and give us a good ac- 
oount of their MSS. and traditions. Pray, what is 
become of the Mabinogion? It is a proverb, that 
children and fools talk tnith^ and I am mistaken 4f 
Bven the same valuable quahty may not sometimes 
be extracted out of the tales made to entertain both. 
I presume, while we talk of childish and foolish 
lafes, that the Lay b already with you, although, in 
hese pointa^XiOn^-manum ut errare. Pray inquire 
or your copy." 

In tbe.nrat week in January, 1805; **The Lay" 
vas publiahed : and its success at once decided that 
iterature should form the main business of Scott's 
ife. 

In his modest Introdudian of 1830, he had him- 
lelf told us all that he thou^t the world would 
irer desire tq know of the origin and progress of 
his his first great original production. The present 
Hemoir, however, has already included many minor 
particulars, for which I believe no student of htera- 
ure will reproach the compiler. I shall not mock 
he reader with many words as to the merits ef a 
toem which has now kept its place for nearly a 
hird of a century i but one or two additionid re- 
narks on the history of the composition may be 
tardoned. 

It is carious to trace the small beginninga and 
rradual development of his design. The lovely 
^ountess of Dalkeith hears a wild rude legend oif 
Sorder duibttrie^ and sportivelv asks him to make 
t the subject of a ^allad. Ho had been alreadv 
abouring in the elucidation of the *' quaint Inglis 
scribed to an ancient seer and bard of the same 
iistnct, and perhaps completed his own sequel, in- 
ending the whole to be included in the third volume 
f the Minstrelsy. He assents to Lady Dalkeith's 
equest, and casts about for some new variety of 
liction and rhyme, which might be adopted without 
mproprietr in a closing strain for the same collec- 
ion. Sir John Stoddart's casual ^citation, a year 
»r two befor^ of Coleridge's unpublished Christ* 
ibel, had fixed the music of that noble fragment in 
lis memory; and it occurs to him, that bv throw- 
3^^ the story of Qilpin Homer into somewhat of a 
imilar cadence, he might produce such an echo of 



be later metrical romance, as would serve to con- ^. . 

eel hJB Canehuian of the primitive Sir Tristrem ^inrii.tendernpBs. and beau ly, 
rith hu imitations of the common popular ballad In ^'it- closine htiea— 
I the Gray Brother and Eve of St. John. A single 
cene of feudal festivity in the Hkll of Branksome, 
isturbed by some pranks of a nondescript goblin, 
ras probably all that he contemolated ; but his ac- 
idental confinement in the midst of a volunteer 
amp gave^nm leisure to meditate his theme to the 
ound of the bugle ;-^«nd suddenly there flashes on 
13 I 



him \h(- lat^n ot f^xt^ndmg hk limpid outline, to ^ i 
lo PTnbrti«# a vivid ptinarqmH of That dd Border Ufe 
of war and nmuiit, and all tinnuHt pMJ*ion8, with 
whjch hid researches nn (he '' Mirieirelsy^' iiad by 
degr«i-» fi^d hifl imadnatton, uniil t^rtry tbc mitiacasc 
fen tu re bad been rakcn hcm^ and realized with un- 
eon«4!ioys mteaaeness of »fnipath/i eki that W 
had won for himself in thei f»it»t anoiber world, 
hardly lesa compleic or faimhar ihan the present* 
flr^ktn^ or Cranatiiuri «iigg{.e[0 that he would do 
wirii to> divide the poem into e^iULfA, aiid prefix to 
o^ch uf tht^m a mono explanatory of the action ^ ■ 
rifuT tj^jij fashjoa of Sjitiitter in the Faery Queeti. 
He \muM.B for a momoDi— and the happiesL codc^- 
uun of ibe framework of n picturesque narrative 
thjtt f^ver occurred to any poot—ont^ (bat Homer 
might have envied— the isrealJon of the ancient 
hafP4?r aiartK to hfe. By ^uch stii^pa did ihe '' Lay 
of Lhe Lost MinatrcF^ ^jow out of the " M ins ire ley 
4>f the Scotlbh Border 

A word more of jia felicitoua tnachinery* It was 
at Eowhill that the Cotuitefta of Dalkeith rEqucrsted 
jj ballad on Gilpin ptirner. The ruintd castle of 
Newark clowly adjoine that w^^t, and ia now mdi^ed 
]Tiduded wirhin its pha^ance. Newark had be«n 
ihfj chosen rei^idenee of ihe firflt Ducheaa of Buc 
cieuch, anc| he accord itigly ahadows mil his own 
l>e4»uliiiil friend in the person of her lord's ances- 
(re«a, the laat of the oriii^nal stock of ihai gr^st 
hoLisG ; hirnaelf the favoured in male of Bow hill, in> 
trodiicad i^'rtainty to the fi&inilianiy of ka circle to 
consequanoe of hia devotion to the poeirv of a by- 
past aga, in that of aa 8^t?d iiiinMret^ ^' the last of 
aJl the racei'* seekioR shefier at the eate of Newark, 
m dnys when many an adberent of ihe fallen cnuae 
of Stuart — his own bearded ancestor, irAo had 
/mt^hX at KiliitJcr^nku^ Among the reatt^^Wed 
Ebeir safety to her who 

"In prJde efpfiw^r^ In beauty '9 bloomy 
Umi iv«pt o'«r MonmDUth^i bloody tocabr" 

The itch allutftona which run through all these 
JniroductiojiK^ v^'ithout in the least LnieiTiiptlnR the 
ifUth and graceful pathos of thdr piain irnpTe«Hmn, 
aeem loitie ex^ui»it<;ly cbaracterisiic of ScoU^ whose 
iJniliKht and pnde was to play with the gemuj which 
ii(.venlielesis tnaatererj hiiii at will. For, in truth, 
what ia it that gives to all his works their unii^ut 
and marking chftnn, cJtci:pi ibe niaichleaa efltcts 
whicli Eudden efTuaiong of the purest heart hlood of 
nature derive from their beiiiff pour id out, to all ajl- 
l^ea ranee involuntmily^ a^iiast diction and aenti- 
nifAXt cnat equally in the mould of the bwsy woHd« 
jirid rhtj ijeentinfsly babituoJ desire to dwell on 
frothing but what nii^ht be Ukely to exejt4? eurioaitj, 
uubuul too mucli diaiurbing deeper feeltngs in the 
eaJoona of f«)hshed life? Such out burst* come 
fcirth dratnaticolly in all his wrjiint^s; but in the 
interludea and ptiwfflonaie porenthes^a of the " Lay 
of the Lnet Mtnatrel," we nave the poeTsown itinef 
pi ml jiml lempetuiutii! hid b^re and throbhiog b^ore 
tuH :— eveo hc^re, itideod, he haa a ninak, and he trusts 
it -hut fortutjtttely it ia a trancpareiit uj*e. 

Many minor periMinal alluaione huve bet^n explain- 
ed in the notes lo the laftf edititin of tho " Lay," It 
uaa httrdly nLiceaeary even then to say that tho 
choice of the hero had been diet n tod by llie poct^s 
affection for the hving dest^undants of the Baron of 
( 'mnstoun t and tiow— none who have perused ths 

Iirceedinj? pdit^ can doubts that he had drc«sed out 
if-* Margaret of Branksome in the fortn nnd fea- 
tures of hifl own first love. This poem may be ooti- 
M<li rtd na the " hrif^ht eonsurnnmte flfi'wtr," in 
U'hieh all the dearest dreams of hi^ youthful fancf 
hiid nt length found ejcpnrisioti for tht'jr stivngthj 



IlDshSlift thdharp — the Minntr^l f<3iie ; 
And (t»(t h<^ wijinipr Tonh alonu 1 ^ 

A tun L', liii iijidjif''ncp a.i;«] o^e. %> 

TnlJUf^erauthlaj vilf ri rr« a^Q ^ 
No 1 — c1q9>i3 hen Pith pmuct KfWmrk's tfnfif 
Arote tile Sfinwirel'i tlumble bower," At— 

ih€se charminff lin^ ^i^^f^^^fO^^ 



Lfim or rat wiLvai scxm*. 



I Ifil) at t^e tlnM wltmi he j»«ntied them, xht chkf 
da/drpam of Aihif^UfL Ffosri ihe niombnit that 
flisundt:'? dealh ^ilaeeJ a comsidcmblo turn of teM- 
dy moocy ti his commcLnd, hta pleaAed hiniaolf, 119 
««MTe f#en, wiih (he idea of buvin^ a moim(4iii 
fim^ and hetiominR noi only tho ^'fllu^nfl,*' U^ Ue 
k$d m former day a dehj^htt^ Co call him«eln but 
'*the taird of ihn cairri nnd ihe scintr," While he 
W6M *'' labounng dcNicemtfnf al the Lay.^' (aj in one 
^ hk i^i&n h^ ax^ffitsc* iu during (ha r«ce«a of 
18^ Ctreumfiia»cc0 rencltir^l it next la cf^tain tbnt 
tb« small i^tate of /iraac/»if(uL->uy, pituau^ jiii^t 
o^et Hf^invL the nmiH of Newark, on iht; tiOTth^ni 
bank of lb*5 Varraw^ ^ould>>i^[i be psjiOfied losalf ; 
and many a lime <lid ht! rid^«? round it in compunf 
viib Lord and Lady D^^Ike^iih. 

' Wficn BUininrr midUclJ on swept BowhtU," 
anrvL'^ing ihe heautillit little domain Mriih wistTnl 
eyea, and antidpaiing thai 
^ ^ '* T^f rf wo [)ld he lirif ac hi <: wemen t liJitk 

I _ AufI ci re maaiaoi: ^ of t: hivntf^^ 
T» Tfll ttiH 'npl tfav filer wautcj iuyf, 

I ^orgtifUl of thp ctnnkigcJa^t ; 

Aud noble ^TAuthri, ihe itrruu in haaTf 

F(v%et rHo hunUnc of the fletr ^ 

Ana VuTOw^ia h*' rftJNKi atooc, 

fiotr bai^n to ihi? Kin^iri^Va fn^nf/^ 
I conHidtir it as, in one point of vioWt thefirDateEt 
iDlafiorianti of bin life that thi» viaion was not tv^lit- 
ed ; but the^ snecess of th« poem itself changed 
** the spirit of hb draam '^ The favour which it at 
0i}Da attained, had not been eQualkd in the oase of 
inf doe po«m of fonfiderabfti length diinng nt ba^t 
iwo^ent'tatioiifl : it ciertainEjr had not berjo. approach - 
od in the dhm of any narrative poent since tno days 
of Dry den. Befon.- H wai »uat t^ tha preai^ it had 
rftceivf^J wartii commendation from the ahlegi and 
moit inHutntial critic of the time; but when Mr. 
JeffrK^y'a reviowal appeal cd, a monili aftt>r rublica- 
tion, laudatory as itilEinguase waa, it: scarcely came 
tip to thfl opinii/n which had already lakiim root in 
Ihe pubhi^ mind^ It, however, quite satiBfiwl the au- 
thoft and Wert 1 at liberty to in pert froine letters 
Trhith pasBed between them \n thycouTse of iheaum- 
mer of IROlj, it would be eet^n that their feelines to* 
Tvards each othnr were thoae of mutusi confidence 
and craiitude. Indeed, a §ovi*rG domes tic afHicibn, 
^hich about this time beft'}! Mr /efTrov, called out 
the eipresjion of eucb wentimonls on 00 ih sidcfl in 
a vury touohiiK? manner, 

r nbptain from irsn^cnbrnp the better* which 
convey ed to ii^cott the private opinions of per- 
sons them»ch-c0 cmincnuy destinpitiilui! in poet< 
Tfi bat I think it just to state; l^at I tinve 
i^ot discovered in any of them— no, not even 
in those of Words worth or Compbdl^a if train of 
approbation hif^her on the whole than that of the 
chief proR'^^aaional reriewef of the period. When 
the happy day^ of )fotnh arc over, evtn the tnost ge- 
nial Slid gfntrrons of mindi* are seldom able 10 cnt^r 
kito the strains of a tit w pf«?t wiih (hat full unci 
vpen ddijisbt wliicb he awakens in the bosoms of the 
nainf; eeneration al>oiTt him* Tin ir d«*p nnd eaj^ir 
tyTapatniee have alreftd) bet^n drawn upon to an ejc- 
tent of which the i^ro^aic part of the i^ccies can 
never hj^fe any conception ? and when the fit of 
creative mspifntion haa sub^fidedf they are a^t to be 
rath«r<5dd critics^ even of iheirown noblest appeals 
tn the fimple pnmary fwlin^ of their kind. Mi^s 
S«W!*rd*e Jaf tcTi on this occasiton, has been since in- 
rlifdfd in tbe printed eollaclion of hot correvpon- 
dencf ; but peniaps the reader may form sufii- 
cieni notion of ita tenor frf>id the po<?t-| anawoi^- 
ifbich. at oil evenly he vtill be amused to compare 
Wttit tm Introduetjon of 1 &30 1— 

TV Mitw Sf«^afdy Lkf^d. * 

'^£dtahar«h, ^Irtt Manh, 18U&. 
* My detr 7H*^ Seward, 

" lam truly huppy thai won (aqtid mf ifiiui«in«tit in 
tb« 1^7 «f tUti LMt MioarreJ. It bat arGiii Ali i lt< of wt 1 i c ii 
■o tine tan 4mi lAora aimflible tima J uii mx't'lt: Ab^iV'i 
all, it k dcJIcknt in tbnt sort of eotnlnuU; wlikb a »Lurt 
M#it to bkf ^ and i^kiht mn It is wdie ofudn^ I wewl^ 



it B*l 



Itl'lMflBAIld 

tntii% f ^c(fpg ti 
CtM bottom of 



likeoiiflUimpl«s«satoo«i(r7,g^C(fiif to0iatop«f f 

to BOO a prosi»eet, and to ctM boHom of aooUier 10 tn^j m 
shada, aod what wonder If 017 coarse haa been de«loa» 
and desuliory, and many of my excursions altosetber tili- 
mrofltable tf) the advance of mr Joamey. The Dwarf 
race Is dso an ezcrescencejana I plead guilty to ail tbe 
censures coocemtng bidt The truth is, be has a Mstory, 
sad It is this : The story of Gilpin Horner was told bj SB 
old/entfemsn to Lady Dalkettn, snd she, much dlvftxted 



with his sotusllyv belieTiflg so sroCss<|ue a tale, insisted tbal 
I should make il into a Border oaUsd. I don't know if ev«r 
you saw my lovely chieftainess—ifyou have, you musl b« 
aware tbat it is impotsibU for any one to reAis»ber re- 

auest, as she has more of the aogel in iace and temper 
lan^my one alive ; so thaf if she liad asked me to wrii e 
a ballad on a broomstick I must hsve attempted It t be- 

EiD a few versSB, to be called the Goblin Pitfe ; and thmj 
y long by ma, till the applause of some frieods whoBs 
Judsment I vslued induced me to resume the poem ; 
on 1 wroto, knowing no more than the man in the aao< 
how I was to end. At iensih the story sf^ared so on- 
couth, that I was lain to put It into the mouth of my old miD- 
strel— lest the nature of it should be misunfierstood, and 
1 should be suspected of setting up s new school^ of poe- 
try, instesdof a feeble attempt to imitate the oM. In tb« 
^ocess of the romance the page, intended to be a firto- 
eipal person in the work, contrived (from the bsseaeaw 
01 his nstuzal propensides I suj^se) to sliok dowD stairs 
into the kttohsn, snd now he must e'en abide there. 

I mention these eircnmstances to you, and to any oma 
whose applause I value, becauae I am unwilUnf yoo 
should suspect me of trifling with the public In wuUice 
prtperue. As to the herd of critics, it is impossible fbx 
me to pay much attention to them ; for, as fbey do not nli* 
derstand what I call poeti7, we taft in a foreign laogojif e 
to each other. Indeed, many of these gentlemen appear 
10 me to be a son of tinkers, who, unable to wiakg poca 
snd psns, set up for ms a d ers of tbsm, sod God kno^na, 
often maks two oolss Inpatehiag one. The sixth canto to 
altogether redundant : tor the poem should certainly hn^a 
c l os e d with the uoioo of the bvera, when tha interest, if 
any, waa Stan end. But what could I dot 1 had my book 
and my page still on my hands, and must get rid or tliem 
at all eventa. Manage them as I would, their cslsstropha 
must have been hmufltcient to oceupy an entire eaato ; 
so I wss Ikin to eke It out with the songs of ibe minaQrela. 
I will now deacend from the confessional, which I thlak 
I have occupied kmg enough for the pntisBce oT my ^ir 
confoasor. lam huppy you are disposed Is g^9iiMslM»> 
lotiooj notwithstanding all my >ina. 

'* We havs a i^w poet come lorth amongst ua— Jaosen 
Graham, author of a poem called the SaoDath* whieli 1 
admire very much. If 1 can find aa opportunky, I vrlli 
aend you a copy. Tour aflfectiooate bumble aenranc, 
Wai/mn Scort.'* 

Mr. EUia does not saeia to have writtan at na^ 
length on the aubjeet of the Lay, until ha ba4 p^ 
maed the article in the Bdwbnigh Re!¥iew. Hetbea 
saya, 

** Tboogh I had previously made ap my minii or rather 
perhaps because 1 had done so, I was verv anxtoua «• 
compare my sentiments with those of the Bdinburgh cri- 
tic, aod I found that in general ws were perfectly agreedi 
though there are parts of the subject which we conaidnr 
from very dUbrent points of view. Frere, with wbooi I 
had not any previous communicstion about it, agrees 
with me ; and trusting very much to the justice of his po- 
etical feelings, I feel some degree of confidence In my 
own judgment— though in opposldon toBfr. Jefl^y, wbon« 
critloisra I admire upon the whole extremely, as belQg 
equslly souls snd impartisl, snd as exhibiting the folrcsa 
judgment respecting the WOTk thst could be formed by 
the mere assistance of good sense and general taste, wUh> 
out that particular sort of tsste which arises from the 
study of romantic compositions. 

** What Frere and myself think, must be stated la th« 
dispc of a Aypir-cn'n'cism— that is to say, of a review of 
the reviewer. We say that the Lay of the Last lOnalrel 
Is a work nd gentria^ written with the mfsntisw of ex- 
hibiiing what our old romances do hideed.exhibk \n point 
of foct, but isddentally. and often without the wiah, or 
rather cootrsry to the wish of the author ;— via. the man- 
ners of a particular sge ; snd that therefore, if K does 
this truly, and Is at the same time capable of keephigtha 
steady attention of the reader, it is so *far perfect This 
is also a poem, and ouriit therefore to contain a greatderi 
of poetical merit This indeed it does by the sdmisslon of 
the reviewer, and it must be sdmltted tnst he has ahosm 
much real taste hi esthnsting the most beautiful nsamgiip ; 
but he finds Ihok wkh msnj of tha Unea as c aw i a si ^ with 



hOfk dt^ iiift WiuMR uo9t¥. 



PdRWMJ 



lyf the M|in«tTel cl'Iqpl>flulinul^ U vould Uvr^ 



i«r«uiki'n. At. Ac. To 



Cfi Ojiy ktc« ftf the. M|in«tTel cl'Iq[h>flulinul^ 

17 ft* fh*rfitcL, ia'J u(hrr.krLD ui tlv> work* lu lull y v^tjNiutT I 

*r *i'i7 Jjuli? wtiutd tpc lost, ihoiidli the lurrt'l.^ 

pvri finitMiaf fntlYrt wert in p]iliiptt)a?^ Ltic n- 1^ ir r r 1 ii 

Jadml. «l)At» iRi nnoNntwl ** Dry (Seal It nmy b<' »J4l (hu I 
IM wu Aut JntpiukMiaOy act — build be r^y «n«M>/A la very ^ 
oAitt. [b hv Jain« ; mn^l tJii:'U(;b this ahogld tn; utiKttl?d tu 

dtrii poorik, thoff iUi L^- do dr^uSt w^iTk retpect to the 
A<4««ii(f of lubfe^iLaf yoafitifl'y tliv \9itP-T jkiili (If ft i« 
0«e> tn iLTj luiiCDLllrJii or«n«r>c1i?AE modtL %|, Tbn«l|ti It )< 
bitufllhr tiji titi 4ri:]H'cu^l E^at mitiy rcaitrrv will <j xpi^ct tn 
^' lAHi liiAnlte< Kt:ilniHJflftr>q nf lot^itifnir In ■ runion^?, 
Iltfinly bvcAUt^ TiHil«r4 tn grptm^ml barL' Acqijifoii all 

nid ■ ft/TB(g of m«Lrical «ioiri«« TJ^^r; 



fNptbtnf #Hefi4i4fto ftroiitwico w&a, tliut u utioLjM t.ia 



tl' -,...:' 'ii^4'e']itecuqiiilnIedk[i«oai«oCi>uriLuc:ienlfi:! utuj- 
c> s.i ..' trwlLiJad liad of noariK njiK^rib'itd to fvury 

pn-'s: ' .T. ,!jr\rnr n pi'M nomh^T inf ccmqusirl^ inrj tli* 
micj'^tri'^i wuuLd h%t*^ bp^^nthr^nit^Uftellclml if, In a varUk^ 
i«fl» h* Jmrl omlU<?i:t unir iciitjFiiry evemr ftirt iti ii(ti*?r tm- 
p«eta a papirlcif of iticffleai Id Ih« |frt)«nftl rhtractvrlii^c 
of Dur iw^irjiLrnl funnik. 'Mj WUh rasfwct 10 the Oublin 
IWe^ it i»hj no mfsiQ#iiec«HU7 thit tti(» liuperftltttifi gn 
which tii\a U rododed iboukl b« univorMdly dt areu «- 
uenllj cttsreaL U teqtitte «u(!ici«at fhAL It ilmnld 0JiJ4C 
•OKiewTiete ir« Hit nei^lilkonrlior'^tH^f (hm cuallc vh^TC tt1.tr 
tclhae i£ plucntl ; &nr): it caniicit fiiirlv Ijh.' rcLjmrcii tti&t bC' 
riin<»(<i th4? gobltTi la mljC^Jiif'TEiOi., afl tiin inrl(B» Ahnnld br 

Af K^'^'^i^'^''* wiiM"" ta^aT4} bffti, tlial Ihi-r weru <?trt*rotiftU» 
acU*c, ijiil ua-eleBH about th'^ mlflclilirf the^ pnvkic^dt 
jnoher tb«ipmTl4pQlMll)r ouJjritiUA. 

** We thfTtflhre it i, Frere •n-d rnj*i>[() <$i4Knt fpooi tJ] 
t)i« reviciwctr'fl objectiODfi to tXieif^ ^'.ir&uuiJtti^ccs in the 
HAT rati Vft ; but w<^ «rtl<^rt&l]j «tjdk' Jokibte liw^ut the pri> 

frl^ty of 4wi^tlln{«o Vth$ oa th'^ MlihEtid arjnge in Vftc. lui 
.^*n(o. t fa.j Wf? fSmtbi^ b'T'tuu**? *£ Jiif tjoI awnrc of 
y^mr >iavjn|jf fttiniVnt/ n.^i^'Aori/'y for Burha irrar.tlre; hijl 
f hOTiJth I lie tittEiipt itrsjo k hol^f vn^^ itmsi^nti^h 4)t |1 Is not 
^uitiAL to alSJ n wIkfIc r4iitn 10 4 tfory whtch t« alrcALfy 
fiatitth«(l, vv &re far ffEim nlaiiltv ihiit y&a had Jf^fl ft un- 
Kttf[iii>ti?d< t uinifl fell you the •bswat of a (thilosophcir 
(^r IJrury £o((leti«i<J) to b frifl4»1 <if hla wl»a Vhm criti- 
cising thi! obacLLiiL^ uf the lB]i4^UB|f<? ui«d in tfie MuMnre^b 
■*! rtid Unlc poetry, an^i ofttEj wii jn dJouM whether I 
ei*ctJj <jB(lcr#t4n^f Uio iKict'* m^^^ing ; but I fotiincl, 
4Avr riF4ifTini; tfi^ Ml n Href thrp<^ tlni^i^ thai ( iini?rr9toi:»r{ 
k tU pf.'rrfrtW • " Three (Iiihe^h V rfprkd hb fHend. 
' Yni^ corialnly^ fhr firsit tjmff^ I ilJNcavf'rt^tf that iherr 
'«!■■ a vrem licAL of mpunioR' In U ; a a^conil w^kiM hnv^f* 
4lMr*d it allufh btttthat t wu run awray wth brtlie tmu- 
ltf«| pwi^tea, wliicU iJI«trBJC(6d: my simnlloik; Xhe l^iirJ 
tlitial akippcU avei ibeaQn aa<1 only itEf ocfer! t<» tFir* iit,^h0ai« 
4li4 •{iiiotuni of the p^ieoi, with wlikl) t Jun dtlifrbt^.' 
1,1 m}[a eoDYfTMl'^n ! wim prciriciit, %i\t\ t^ou^bt ruuMuut 
%«'lp Huinti^ A\ ^Ir n^ni^*^ mod9 of rt^aiirnspoflr^t wu 
pl«a*F«| to ftru Ihe d«f;rt« of lR[«re«t ivhicl^ he tmk In 

I fancy irioal of mv reaftere will iprw^ with mp in 
tbinking tUnt Sir Hatify Enfllofit'lrl's irtethod of 
'jig and enjoy^fi^t pooiry was Jiion? to be titivied 
_ flmiJ^ nt ^ and Id dmibtirig wJu'iher ;>(<rfiicnty 
-_1 «»OT diapuitr obot]f ibti: '* vrnprielv'' of I he Cfinio 
wh'icii icieluiit'<i the Ballad oi Koaabcil<! unA the Re- 
guiem of Mflroeiv The fiietKlIy ^vfj^rm^irt B«4?mt 
I coiifeBs, to havo j lidded ihe poieui on prjocipleit 

* Mfc Mnhritt bK^KM utk tbtt hs wfH iMn^mIv<n tli« dfamnr 
«tort w e«ivi>iHUun oofUVPtd. mnA ttdftlo Mr BIM« hfr> cmlt^ 
tad w y^ lerMtl tbf Iv^ thiiur that Sif Hvrr Ervlefiehl mif, in 
r ta QAf! flf <b« DJt ifindrum Dentium^ wlioaiidc hiin^c-ir 
the f<7v«^tT of liij <Aiunir« aa th« fierliat irMP^Aum 



fiOOHiauiw tvT th 




_ , -Mr 4 

1 U^viMK M feoJubiiTT 



wtiirh M 



!ica»fi4 

■hortlj after MOipbtirv vhi* fnr.»Ji I 
rrian ttax\tz or Cint FtfPT, t»^« il Pi-tiinbiffr. He 
«ul>jc-ct **ir rtffFbralficf Ikst^ ttf Marcut AuirlUi In 



, " WW mnvmL 1 
I avlmfH at K<Hn4^ ihartij 
_ «<i^i«triQn itatije of k^jEdr FftPT> t»o^ il Pi-tunbiff^. He 



fkr il^4i*ir4t1. wd ra£nt«d ovt a> mimr AiuHji in U am qwt t Jncker 

" I 01 an aruRi^ no wi* abwjt to [UrvhiuKn Bui taini«lignt caftK 

or Kmr nin « kn t*rij«^ h hnn be «raj about. Ui o<iocliidt lim 



lH>uf ivwM of ttulff'- and ep 
•jfeWnv^^ttii «»" ' 
tUiatr in7&t££r gnc ceite vilaint- bSit ti ivt viwtit, t 



qT tatffn and eroiuf hia own 
beit ti ivt v< wtM^ ti fu£ Eg 



not tp!!s;ied)intic, iHjough of another ktnd pf pf^4rt- 
xjy. Than thoM irhjcb mdnrerf (he rHtic m jjro- 
notincc' that ito tpeat pT«vaiiin|{ biot oiij^nnti^d in 
ibaiitf? '* local paittRlmea of rbir author^" whj<^hhnd 
it^ditced him totupcci j^fncral intcrt?i1 And oyniipafbY 
fr'f )*ii( h iwrBoTfim ts bis ** Jobetfm''3, EUti^ia, ano 
ArriL-^tronj^*." Mr. Scolf," said J^ffrry " imi^t 
riihr-T unmHtie hU Borddr oTftJndW^, m tmvud iiis 
rriidtTH in the i>tHer pirts of tbp ffmpiirp.'^ It mie^ht 

Border ctani? flftt^red after all on b BCi^n*:? at It^ani ni 
wideaa the Troadj and chat tUtir chiefa were not 
perbopa mfHfioij wihtsr in mnk or pow^pr^ to the mn* , 
jorit^ of 'he Hottirtic kings; but ty^n iho mosl 
teoloua of iia «dtairari amonR the pro(«i?(n?H litert- 
101* C)f the day Wf>uld hardly nnv^ venriiTwi to aua- 
P<*cl that the \a^ of th^ Laat Minstwl might h«ve 

30 T^^reiiidirfs lo enroll otcT but thdr own. It waa 
*'Stiiifi(l 10 nhftrni tJOi only th<* Bnlish etnpire, biit 
th^ wholo dvilixed world \ ftiid Kndt m fnet, mhi- / 
bi*<?d ti TT>o™ H<rmerie |^«nm9 tban anjf reffula/ «^io 
wnte the days of Homer, 

**li would be ffrt?at niteciaiLori/' mvh (be Intro- 
d^Ption of ISWI, ^' not to own ihat tbe author v%- 
pecietl *omp Buccoaa froni the Lay f»f ihe Laat Mm- 
»trdi. TliJ9 attempt to rcttjm to d ti^ure ^ttiitdi* and 
Diiiural etyJe of pot try wa« likelj^ t*> be welcomnJ, 
at a liina whsn tbppt.tblic had bi!icome iiretl of heroic 
hetanwlan^ with aU ibe bnrkr^tu and binditt^ that 
belcmff to them in modern dayn. Hut wtiaitiver 
mtftht haYebMinlri£ioKi:%''Ciationi)T wht^tb^r niodecratB 
or nDrciaonnbta, Iho r^rault left ihem far behind 1 
for amotiR those who snuUd on ilu? adventurona 
tnmetrdT wen? nvnjbi^rod the Hrint naiiic^^^of William 
Pitt and Charles Fox. PfdtWwaa iht extt^ni of 
the Bale jnfer*or to th«? character of the judata who 
rvoHved Iha putiiti wilb approbation. Upward a of 
3t\000 copies warvi dispose*! of by the trad*^ j and 
(be author had lA porfrjrm a taak oifTicult to human 
vanity^ wJion callfKl upon to niak^ ib« n«ee«aary 00- \ 
(Juctiona from hiu ownm^^tHf in a calm ai^teaipt to 
account for ti« poptilarity." 

Thruuitb what channel or in what terma Iiqi 
made known hja opin^ti of the Lay, I have failed to 
nacertain^ Piu'8 praiae, a a eiprctfsi>d t4> hia nichtx'i 
Lady Htster Stanhope^ wlilurt afuw wt^cka afitr the 
po*>f n app^'fi red H w a s r ori ta t txl b y h ^ r to M r, W i 1 1 lain 
Stewart Rjom, who, of course., oommunicatec it 
forthwith to tbo author; *iid not long altcT^ th« 
Miniakr, in conversation with Stotf'a early frieiid^ 
the RiKht Hon. William Dundasii ajgntfiril that k 
would fcivf* him p] ensure to fiiid aotma ofi^portojiin 
ot adyancitTR the forturtea of weii a wriier. " I 
remember/' wrttiM thia B<nt!einap^ **flt Mr. Pt«*# 
table m ^80^ the CharK>ellor aisk^d tof; about rOf 
and yoxir then Bitualmn^ and after 1 bad anvw«»a 
liitti, Mr* Pitt obcfirved,— ' be can't remain a» bMo,' 
and dtajred me to ^ l<tok to h,' He then repnt«d 
adilie lines from the Lay deaoribinp the old harptr'a 
embarraaamvnt when aaited to play, and ewd, — 
'Tbia ia a sort of thing whirb 1 mif^ht have tOEpeot- 
od in painttoRt hot e^niTd never have fancicid capahl? 
of being; fiivon in poetry.' "• 

It la agreeable to know that thia fs^eai atateaman 
and aecomphshed acbolar awoke atlenat once from 
hia «uppo»iid apathy aa to the elegant literature of ^ 
bja own titne^ 

The poet baa utidor-eptimated even the patetttanci 
tanfpbl^ evident;e of hi« atincaiM. Tbo 6r»t edit ion 
of tlif? Lay waa a maenificent quarto, T60 copiifa i 
but thia was mioxi oinausttHJ. ai^d thi;re followed 
an ot^iavo impreiaior* of li-OOj m I'^W, two tnore, 
on« of ^2000 copi(f?v another of L^tiO \ in 1307, a fifui 
edition of sfKXi, and a atitb ui ^Otx) \ m vm^ s&eot 
in ISOQ^ 3000^a am alt edition in quarto Cthe batlada 
anil lyrical pitN^a being then onneied to it^)— and 
another octavo (*diuon of 32S0] in l€il, 3000; in 
IS12, 3000 J in 1*516^ 3000 I in \^2Z^ lOOOi A fonr* 
teenth JAwreaaion of 2000 foolscap appearvd tn l^afr * 
and beffldas all lhi«i. before the end of iti3fi, tl,fidOoo- 
PKB had gone furtn in the coUecieii edhiona of hia 



* Letter dflied April viIih tail _ 



Xe^^'mgi!^. 



m 



UFfi OF SIR W/ILraa aOQTT. 



/ I 



ptieiiqal work*. Thul^ nemrly htiy-faut iJn 



and 



copies had bc^en di:fi posted of in tbi« countrj:', nnil hv 
tbe UjpLimDte trade aJont^ ber<;tr(? Jib supcnfiiLmiiea 
ihe coition of i630, lo which his biofifnphkal iniro- 
dtictiona were pre^Jt^'d- In th^ history of Uritiab 
Poetry norhing had evc-r eimalied Ihe demaiid fjf 
lh« Lay of ibe Last Min«LrJl. 

ThE publifthera of Lhti first edition wctc Loagtnan 
Am Co, of London, And ArchibaJd Constable; nnd' 
C&. &£ Giiinburgh; whidi In^t house, howi^vcr, hail 
but » smalJ share in the adv^iiiarc* The profiis 
w^jru t<» b^ dividiMj «iLi^Uy between the auibor and 
Hi# publiahtrs ; ami Scoti'a moiety was i^lfiS, ds. 
Me^mrft. Ltin^nian, when q sf^cond ediEiop wa^ called 
for, o^i-TLtl JE^oOf} for the copyright ; this wiu HCcn>t- 
tdf but they Qfterwarde, a& the Ititroductjon ijayis, 
^' addt^ £ LOO in tbeir own uneofieited kiaJne^s^ Jt 
waa hand^omdy ^v&n in iupply the loss of a fine 
horaii whictt broke dawn suddenly whila the author 
wa3 ridmfl with ooe of rhe worthy pubhahtr^" 
This worthy publisher was Mr. Owen Rees, uud the 
gallant Htoed, to whom a dt.'flperate leap in tbo 
cowrfliriK-fif Id provi^ fatal waa, I belie ve* Capt<ttnt 
the imrnc^diaie i^ucct'ei^or of J^tnort^ as Seott'd char- 
ger in the voluntc^T eavaLry i Captain was rtJi] laced 
by Liiii^eno/i/. The sumoi^a whole aharet lhen» 
in the profit a uf the Lay^ came to S7tt%^ Bn. 

Mr. Reea^ viaii (d AahesticI occurred in the ati turn n* 
The ««cceaa of fbe poem had ulready b^eii detiBive; 
and fbeib negotiaiioaa of mofe kinds than one w^re 
at this time in proKt^sa between Sc«tr and variona 
book sellers* housev^ both of Ethnburgh and London. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

rAftTNlMHIP WITH lAinU BALLAin'TNB—LinRAST 
VaOJSCTt— XDITIOV OF TH« BEITX8B POBW— »DI- 
TIOK OF THS ANClXSrr XN0LI8H CHSONICLXS, &C 
dbc. — BDITION OF DB7DBN trnDBBtAXSN— BABL 
tfOISA COMMAIf DXB OF THE FOltCBB IN SCOTLAIVD— 
' SHAX BATTLBS—ABTIOLU IN THX XDIKBUBOH BB- 
YZBW— COMMXNCXMXirr OF WATXBLBT— LBTTXB OW 
086lAir—MB. 8KBVB*8 BBMINISCXNCteS OF A8HBS- 
TIBL — KXOUBSlOSr TO CVHBEBLAND — ^ALABM OF IN- 
▼A8I0N— VI8IT0FMB. 80UTHXT~C0BBX8P0NDXNCX 
ON DBTDXN WITB fLLU AND WOftI>aWOBTB~1805. 

Mb^ BAtLANTTNB, io kls Memorandum, says, 
• that veiy shortly after thfe publicacion of the Lay, he 
fcnmd humdf obtiged to apply to Mr. Scott for an 
advance of money; his bwn capital being inade- 
«Dftta for the bnaineBa which had been accumulated 
m his prea% in eonaequenoe of the reputation it had 
■oqmred for bcHUity and coneotneas of execution. 
Already, aa we haTeaeen. Ballantyne had received 
*a liberal loan;" '•and now/' aaya he, "being 
compelled, mangre all delicacy, to renew my apph- 
oanoni he candidly answered that he waa not quire 
aure that it would be i^radent for him to comply, 
hut m order to evince ma entire confidence in me, 
he waa wtHm^ to make a suitable advance to be ad- 
mitted aa a Uwrd-sharer of my busineaa." In troth, 
o.... I L .. « 1. . . lalmost 



j;j 

which he had a few months before designed lo in- 
vest m the purchase of Broadmeadows. DisaUter 



I have, many pn^As bark, hinted my 8u?i«icion 
that he had formed ^mo di^rant n&tion of such nn 
alfaanee, as early oi^ the date r>f Knllj^ntyrie'd pro- 
jected remoyal frtfni Kai^o to Edinburgh ; ancf his 
MtroducnoB to the Lay, in l^rm, Dppi?ars to I en re 
little doubt that thf hope of u Mima ttly succet'dirig 
at the Bar had wn^Sf^dvcry faint, bcforo the rhtrt 
^o|uimeof the Min-trday wa? bronffht out in iai3. 
When that hopeu]ii;nateIy vauishtd oUogetheri pcrr- 
haps he himself wiKjld not havt fuund it onsy to tdl. 
Tve most important of nun* a opinion«t views, and 
proieeta, are sometifnea taken up m so vet-y grndual 
• mmner, and afttT «o many p^tt^i;^ of hesitanon 
and of inward retriictaNon, that they them selves 
an. at a lossm uaco in reiroapcet all the BtaRea 
tnrcmgh which thdr rmnda have paaacd. We nte 



plainly that Sfott 1^ wvm bean fond of hit pio- 
£b88iod, but that, consdaua of hia own partevenn^ 
dili^Cence, he aaoiibed his aoanty aocoeaa m ic 
nkamly to the prc^ices of the Sicotch aoKeiton 
against employinfL m weighty caasea at least^^any 
barrister supposed to be strongly imbued with the 
love of literature ; instancing the career of his firiend 
Jeffrey as almost the solitary instance* within his 
experience of such prcjiuaices being entirely over- 
come. Had Scott, to nis strong sense ana dexte^ 
roua ingenuity, hia well-grouadea knowledge of the 
jurisprudence of his country, and hia admnabie in- 
dustry, added a brisk and ready talent for drimte 
and declamation, I can have no doubt that hia 
^umphover the prejudices alluded to would have 
been aa complete as Mr. Jeffrey's : nor in truth do 
I much question that, had one really great and inte- 
resting case been submitted to his sole care and 
management* the result would have bejBn to pleoa 
hia profesaional character, for akiil and judgment, 
and variety of reaource, on so firm a basis, that eveo 
his rising celebrity as a man of letters could not 
have senously disturbed it. Nayi I think it quite 
pK>Bsible, that had he been intrusted with one aoch 
caae aftiBr his reputation waa established, and he 
had been compelled to do hia abilities some measme 
of justice in his own secret estimate, he might have 
displayed very considerable powera even aa a fo- 
rensic speaker. But no opportimities of this eoan- 
ging kind haviiig ever been presented to him — Biler 
he had persistea for more than ten yeara in a weep- 
ing the floor of the Parliament House, without 
meeting with any employment but what would have 
suited the dullest drudge, and seen himself lerinly 
and yearly more and more distaneed by eontempo- 
rariea for whose general capacity he eonld have had 
little respect— while, at the aame time, he already 
felt his own position in the eyes of society at larna 
to have been signally elevatea in consequence of Km 
extra-professional exertiona-rit is not wonderfid 
that disgust should have gradually gained upon him, 
and that the sudden blaze and tumult oU renown 
which surrounded the author of the Lay should have 
at last determined him lo concentrate all his ambi- 
tion on the pnrsuits which had alone brought hira 
diatinction. It ought to be mentioned^ that the bu- 
siness in Geor^s Square, once extensive and lucra- 
tive, had dwindled away m the bands of hisbrodier 
Thomas, whose variea and powerful talents were 
unforttmately combined with some tastes by no 
means favourable to the successful prosecution of 
his prudent father's vocation ; so that very posaibly 
even the humble employment of which, during bs 
fvst years at the bar, Scott had at least a sure and* 
respectable allowance, was by this time much re- 
duced. I have not his fee-booKs of later date than 
1803 : it is. however, ray impression, from the whole 
tenourof his conversation and correspondence, that 
aifter that period he had not only not advancea as a 

{professional man, but had been retrograding in near- 
y the same proportion that his literary repuution 
advanced. 

We have seen that, before he formed his contract 
with Ballantyne, he was in possession of such a fix- 
ed income as might have satisfied all his deairea, 
had he not found nis family increasing rapidly about 
him. Even as that was, with nearly if not oniie 
£1000 per annum, he might perhaps have retired not 
only ftom the Bar, but fi'om Edinburgh, and settled 
entirely at Aaheitiel or Broadmeadows, without en- 
counierirtK whai imv man of hjs elation nnd habit* 
ou^zbt to have com»FUt^red an an nnprudeot riak. He 
had, however, no wish to c«t hrmwlf off from the 
busy and inieibgient aodety to which he had been 
hitherto ace ur^iomc^J ; and rt^'jkcd noi Eo leave the 
bar uniij hf shouhi Un\^. at lensr n^ed bis best efR>rts 
for obtaimrikft in nddition ro his ShneviJty, oneof 
thoste clurkah!(»B of the ptiprctnr court at Kdinbui]gb,^ 
#hich are usually considfefcd as honourahle letira- 
ments hiff advocated who, at a cttttain standing^ 
fiualjy* i^ve up all hopes of reachinE ihy dignity of 
the bencli. *^ i dclermined/' he aay.% " tliat litera- 
ture should be my staff but niit imr /eru^eik and that 
the profits of my lii«ei!^tyt!k>teiWi^*#l«r^nvembt 



LfM OP SlU WAEiTKR fiC&TT. 



' m 



. ^hosld n^ if I could help it, becoma 

OMessary to my ordinary expenses. Upon such a 
^ott an author might hope to retreat, without any 
perceptible alteration of circumataneea, whenefer 
die time should arrive that the public grew weary of 
hia eodeavoim to please, or he himseli should tire 
of the pen. \ possessed so many friends capable of 
aansting: me in this object of ambition, that I could 
l^idly over- rate my own prospects of obtaining the 
Dreferment to which I limited my wishes ; and, in 
ttct, I obtained, in no lone period, the reversion of 
a Btaation which completely met them."* 

The first notice of this affair that occurs in his 
fionespondenoe, is in a note of Lord Dalkeith's, Feb. 
ibeSd, 1B0&, in which his noble friend says, '*My 
btber deitires me to tell you, that he has had a com- 
raunication with Lord Melville within these few 
days, and that he thinks your business is in a good 
tram, iiumgh not certain" 1 consider it as clear, 
then, that ne began his ne;;oliations concerning a 
seat at the clerk^ table immediately after the Lay 
was pobUshed ; and that their commencement had 
been resolved upon in the strictest connexion with 
his embarltation in the printing concern of James 
Ballamyne and Company. Such matters are sel- 
dom speedily arranj^ed ; but we shall find him in 
poaaesiion of his object before twelve months had 
elapsed. 

^Mcan while, his design of quitting the bar was 
£viilged to none but those immediately nteessary 
for tte purposes of his n^oiiation with the govem- 
BKOt; and the nature of his connexion with the 

E'nting company remained, I believe, not only un- 
own. but tor some years wholly unsuspected, by 
any of nis daily companions except Mr. Erskineu 

Hie forming of this commercial connexion was 
one df the most important steps in Scott's life. He 
eoDtinuad boudd by it during twenty years, and its 
JDflaence on his Hterary exertions and his worldly 
fortunes was productive of much good and not a 
Iktle evil. Its effects were in truth so mixed aryl 
b^anced during the vicissitudes of a long and vigo- 
rous career, that I at this moment doubt whether it 
OQ^t, on the whole, to be considered with morft of 
•au^ction or of regret. 

With what zeal he proceeded in advancimg the 
views of the new copartnership, his correspondence 
bean ample evidence.' The brilliant and captivat- 
ing genius, now acknowledged universally, was 
soon discovered by the leading booksellers of the 
time to be united with sush abundance of matured 
information in many departments, and, above all, 
with such indefatigable habits, as to mark him out 
for the most valuable workman they could engage 
for the furtherance of their schemes. He had, long 
balbre this, casta shrewd and penetrating eye over 
the field of literary enterprise, and developea in his 
own mind the outlines of many extensive plans, 
which wanted nothing but the comiiiand of a suffi- 
eient body of able Bubalterns to be carried into ex- 
ecution with splendid success. Such of these as he 
ffrai>pled within his own person were, with rare ex- 
ceptions, carried to a triumphant conclusion ; but 
the alliance with Ballantyne soon infected him with 
the proverbial rashness of mere mercantile adven- 
tare— while, at me same time, his generous feelings 
for other men^f letters, and his characteristic pro- 
pRisity to over-rate their talents, combined to hur- 
ry lum and his friends into a multitude of arrange- 
ments, the results of which were ^en extremely 
embarrassing, and ultimately, in the aggregate, all 
hot disastrous. It is an old saying, that wherever 
there is a secret there must be something wrong ; 
and dearly did he pay the penalty for the mystery 
in which he had chosen to involve this transagtion. 
It was his rula from the beginning, that whatever 
be wrote or edited mast be printed at that press ; 
%od had he catered for it only as author ana sole 
editor, all had been well ; but had the booksellers 
known his direct pecuniary interest in keeping up 
and extending the ^occupation of those types, toey 
would have tMen into account his lively imagina- 

•imwd u u tk iotetheLyofthiLMtaiiiMtitl-lsai^ 



Th 



tion and sanguine temperament, as well 4s hia 
taste and judgment, and considered, far more deli* 
berately than they too often did, his roulti£irioua 
recommendations of new hterary schemes, coupled 
though these were with some dim understandiajg 
that, if the Ballantyne press were employed, hie 
own literary skill would be at his friend's disposal 
for the general superintendence of the undertaking. 
On the other hand, Scott's suggestions were, m 
many cases, perhaps in the majority of them, con- 
veyed through Ballantyne, whose haoitual deference 
to his opinion induced him to advocate them with 
enthusiastic zeal { and the printer, who had thus 
pledged his personal authority for the merits of the 
proposed schema must have felt himself commit- 
t£d to the bookseller, and could hardly refuse with 
decency to take a certain share of the peeuoiary 
risk, by allowing the time and methpd of his own 
payment to be regulated according to the employ- 
er's convenience. Hence, by degrees, wins woven 
a web of entanglement from which neither Ballan- 
tyne nor bis adviser had any means of escape, ex* 
cept only in that indomitable spirit, the mainmriog 
of personal industry altogether unparalleled to 
which,^ thus set in motion, the world owes iu most 
antic monument of literary genius. 
The following is the first letter I have found of 
Scott to bis f ABTNBa. The Mr. Foster mentioned 
in the beginning of it was a literary gentleman who 
had proposed to take on himself a considerable 
share in the annotation of some of the new editionM 
then on the' carpel^among others, one of Dryden. 
Tb Mr. James BaUantjfnef Prinler, Edinburgh. 
" Ashestiel, April 12tb, 1906^ 
** Dear Ballantyne, 

"I have duly received your two. fiivours— also FW 
ter*8. He still howls about ths expense of prioUDf , bat 
I think we shall fiosUy seUle. His argameat Is that yon 
print too fine, aUas too dear. I intend to stick to toy 
answer, that I iraow nothing of the matter ; but that setUe 
It how you sod he wlH, it must be printed by you, or can 
be Qo coucem of mine. This gives you an advantage in 
driviaa the borfsin. As to every thing else, I think we 
shall do, and 1 will endeavour to set a few volumes acolag 
on the plan you propose. 

** I liave imagined a ^Nsry superb work. What think 
you of a complete edition of British Poets, ancient and 
modern 1 Johnson's is imperfect and out of print ; so Is 
Bell's, which is a Lilliputian thihg ; and Anderson's, the 
most complete in point of number, is most contemptible 
in execution both of the editor and printer. There is a 
scheme for yon I At least a hundred volumes, io be 
published at tho rate of ten a-year. I cannot, however, 
be ready till midsummer. If the booksellers will give 
me a decent allowance per volume, say thhrty guineas, 
I shall hold myself well paid on the teriting hand. This 
is a dead secret. 

^ 1 think it quite right to let Doing* have a share of 
Thomson ;t but he is hard and slippery, so settle vour 
bargain fast and firm— no loop-holes ' I am glad you nave 
got some elbow-room at last. CTowan will come to, or 
we will find some fit place in time. If not, we must 
build— necessity has no law. I see nothing to hinder you 
from doing Tacitus with vour correctness of eye, and I 
congratulate you on the fair prospect before us. When 
you have time yon will make out a litit of the debts to be 
dischargedLat Whitsunday, that we may see what cash we 
shall have in bank. Our book-keeping may be very 
simple — an accurate cash book andlegerisall that is ne- 
cessary ; and I think I know enough of the maUer to as- 
sist at making the balance slieet. 

" In short, with the assistance of a little cash, 'I have 
no doubt things will go on d merveille. If you could take 
a little plessuiing, I wish yon could come here and see 
us in all the glories of a Scouiib spring. Tours truly, 

W. SOOTT." 

Scott opened forthwith his gigantic scheme of the 
British Poets to Constable^ who entered into it with 
eagerness. They found presently that Messrs. Ca- 
deil and Davies, and some of the other London 
publishers, had a similar plan on fuot^ and after an 
unsuccessful negotiation with Mackintosh, were 
now actually treating with Campbell for the Bio- 
graphical prefaces. Scott proposed that the Edin-< 



m 



Lov or msL vfAJum scmr. 



borgh And London lig^aaa should joit^ m Uie ni:;vi rt- 
ture, ftnd ihnt (be odiroriul tusk should he sliari'*.! 
in^iweeJi hfm self (Mid his broth tT[kx*£. To I his both 
Bfj'^sta. Cadel! iidd Mr, Cainpbi.ll warmly asienkd ; 
but tht'de^iflrn uhimatefy lAl to thf pToiind ui cofi,-'! - 
q,UJ!ince of lliebo'iks^^ilerv rofuauic lo adrmt ctiriajn 
wudlf which bjih Sc*>tt uo<i Camftheli in^isit^l 
\jpcin. Sucht a fid from a.nalo^ue> cau**.*?. huh btun 
the fme of vannus similar ^chornea bolh beJFore and 
Since- But the; piibha hndnatnTisl catiipi'tis^aLjcjii 
upori the preamt (H?Ci^au»r^, einee the fa! km of lU^. 
gri-:inNt projef!t Ifd Mr. CaiijpbLll ifiirrifp&re for ihf 
prtsa ihrMtt^' SpedmHisuf EnijViKh PoLHrj'/* wbis;h 
he iltusi rated wiih ski^trhcH of birjgjTupby and vriu- 
€:al (*»ftyi, alike hc*DOutabltj lo hi9 jo^irmri^ nml 
tHNt*; whue Sc*)1t, Mr* Fuster ultinmitly atandirif; 
ori^ tflNik on hitnstlf the. whol*! btirdeo ijf ft new odl 
twn, as wwll as btography, of DrydtTi. Tht^ Ihj 1 
of book^lkrB mcjiTi vvhite ccimbintd in whiii th 



Bdl) eaU|t) a funeral f^jViim of tUa Knglish Pne s. 
under tnl vupenntejideace of onii i^f iheir j w j i < i r t' < 
»t»et TBSUiBi Mr. Aieistirk't C halm or?. 



Pftrcisoly ai the litne whwi Sc^iit'? ^i. 



.l| :im- 



mv . _ _ . _ 
bitbn had been ntitiiulafed by the firM 
ujijTcrtftJ Bprlaufpj ami when hi? Vis* tunit.ii- rin-r 
en^a^enieillR witll BQllnntync which involved ^o 
lur^'p nn accei*Bii>n of litflftiry l^ibnnrs, as \i'<*ll aaof 
prjcuniary carea and repnonBihihtipa, a frr?ih impf- 
tiia wnn gt^etj lo iht*. vomnlepr rnani'i in Scotland, 
by tho appomimt'ni of the late Knrl of MflimtidFtPt- 
ward.} Marquts of H astini?^) to th^ 4?hief mititary 
csommaad in that part of the empiR^, Thi* Earl hau 
martuid, the year before, a Scotti^ P6ere(i!|, the 
CoiuittMdi of LotJiion, and t^nttfred with f^^at ■li.a.i 
mio llir sympathy wtih the pntriotic cnihip»i»9m oe' 
h^ooontryinon. Edmbtireh was convertt^d into [l 

, catttp} independenily of a \nrf^>^ garrii^otiof rpf^iihir 
troopHi TV^fly lOLOOO fpncibli^ and voJuiiteLrB w^rTe 
alma»t constantly undr-r artrvs. The lawyer watc 
hi 14 unifonil tindcir hia ^own i the ahoplteepcT mea- 
Btir^d out hb w*re» in scarlet; in Hhurtf the ddzcn^ 
of all ilaaspa made mare itu for i^cveral t^ioniha of 
th*. mihmry than t^f any oiher ^re^a \ a ad t ho new 

. coniinindor' in-chief consuUftd! «qu«Uy hii own gra- 
liGdalion and thpirsy by drviainc a »u€e(>:$sion of 
mancsiivrc^s whi^-h prfseiit^rd a vjvjd itnn^to of the 
art of war nondTirtpfi vm n hr^'pnTrff !!f»tpfifffT<**rnb' 
In ih'' .-■'■■ ' ' ' • ' . ■ - - — r, ; . 

other formidable positions in the neighbourhood of 
Edinburgh, were the scenes of many a^dashing as- 
sault and resolute defence ; and occasionally the 
spirits of the mock combatants— EuKlish and 
Scotch, or Lowland and Highland— brcame no 
much excited, that there was some difficulty in pre- 
venting thorough mockery of warfare from passing 
into its realities. The Highlanders, in particular, 
were very hard lo be dealt with ; and once, at least, 
Lord Moira was forced to alter at the eleventh hour 
hi** orogramme of batlle, because a battalion of kilt- 
.ed fencibles could not or would not understand that 
it was their duty to be beat.^ Such days as these 
must have been more nobly spirit-stirring than even 
the best specimens of the fox-chase. To the end 
of his life, Scott delighted to recall the detoils of 
their conntermorches, ambuscades, charges, and 
pursuits, and in all of these his a^«sociatcs of the 
Light-Horse agree that none figured more advan- 
tageously than himself. Yet these military inter- 
ludes ^eem only to have whetted his appetite for 
closet work. Indeed, nothing but a complete pub- 
lication of hia letters could give an adequate notion 
of the facility with which he already combined the 
conscientious magistrate, the martinet quartermas- 
ter, the speculative printer, and the ardent lover of 
literature for its own sake. A few specimens must 
suffice. 

7\> Oeorgt EUit^ Esq. 

•« Edlnbdrgh, May 26, 1605. 

•Myd«rE«lis 

** Your sUence baa been so nrxg and or-inionative^ 
that r am quite authorised, as a Border ballad-monrrr, 
to addr'isa you with a—' Sleep you, or wake you V What 



has bacome of the Bowancea, whiot^I have t,,,.^ 

anxfously a^ my netghbourb arouad me have vstched lot 
the rain, which waa to bring the grass, which was to fieed 
the hew-cahred cowi, and to as Uttle purpose, for both 
Heaven and yoa have otMtfnately delayed your frvoara 
After idling away the apring months at Aahastiel, f aa 
iust returned to tcDe away the .aammer here, and I hate 
latf^ly lighted upon rather an intereating article m yow 
way. If you will iurn to Barbour's Bruce, (PiakeTtoa*t 
edition, p. 66,) youVrill find that the Lord of Lorn, seeini 
Bruce c<yverine the retreat of his followera, compel^ 
him to Oow InacMorn, (Macpherson's Gaul the eon of 
Moml.) This vimilitude appears to Barbour a disparage- 
ment, and lie saya, the Lord of Larn mi^ht more man- 
nerly have coinnared the Kina to Oadefeir de L^wrraa 
who waa with the mighty Duke Betys when he asaalled 
the forayers in Oadderia, and who in the retreat did maeJi 
execution among the pursuent. ovenhrowiag Alexander 
and Thelomier and Danklin. altlMagh he waa at lecu^ 
slain; and hero, saya Barboar, the resemblance faus. 
Now, by one of those chances wliich favour the antiquary 
once in an age, a single copy of the romance alluded io 
haa been diacovered, containing the whole history of this 
Oadefeir, who had hitherto been a stnmblinc- block to the 
critics. The book was printed by Arbuthnot, who flour- 
ished at Edinburgh in the aeventeenth century. It is a 
metri<;al romance, called 'TheBuik of the Moat Nobis 
and VauUant Comiuerour, Alexander the GriL' Tbe firK 
part is cAlled the Foray of Gadderia, an incident suppo- 
sed to have taken place while Alexander waa besieging 
Tvre ; Gadefeir is one of the principal championa, and 
after exerting himself in tile manner mentioned by Biar- 
hour, unlioraina the persons whom he named, he is at 
length slain by Emynediis, the Earl-Marabal of the Bffc»- 
donlan conqueror. The second part is called the Avovte 
of Alexander, because it introduces the oaths, which kc 
and others made to the peacock in the ^chalmer of Venus,' 
and gives an account of the mode in which they acco<i»- 
pHahed them. The third is the Gy:at BaUell of Elfeaoum 
m which Porus makes a distinguished figure. This von 
are to understand ia not the Porns of India, but one or his 
sons. The work is in decided Scotch, and adds semetliiiif 
to our ancient poetry, being by no means despicable im 
point of compoaiiion. The author says he translated it 
from the JFVancA, or JZomoncs, and tliat he arcompUalasd 
his work in 143d-9. Barbour muat therefore have 0180* 
ted f^om tbe French Alexander, and perhaps hia rraiscs 
of the work excited the Scottish translator. wiU yoo 
tell me what you think of all this, and whether any iraa- 
acrfpts will be oi use to you 7 I am pleased with the ac- 
cident of ita casting up, and hope it may prove the fbrr- 
runner of more discoveries in the dusty and ill-arranged 
libraries of our country gentlemen. 

" I hope you continue to Ulce the Lay. I have had a 
flattering assurance of Mr. Fox's approbation, mixed wiih 
a censure of my eulogj on tbe Viscount of Dundee 
Although my Tory principles prevent my coinciding with 
hfs political opinions, I am very proud of bis approbatioQ 
in a Mlerary sense. 

" Charlotte joins me, Ac. Ac. W. &" 

In his answer, Ellis aaye— 

" I/>nenian lately informed me that you have projet^sd 
a General fldiiion of our Poets. 1 expressed to him my 
anxiety that the bookKellers, who certainly can ultimately 
sell wfmt they nicase, tsbould for once undertake some- 
thing CHlculatcti lo please intelligent readers and ibst 
they should confine themselves lo Ihe selection of paper. 
types, Ac. (whirli they possibly may understand,) imd 
by no means interfere with the fiterory part of the burf. 
ness, which, if popularity be the object, they must leave 
exclusively to you. I am talking, as you perceive, abooi 
I yuur plan, witiiout knowing its pxtanl, or any of tts de- 
laiU ; for these, therefore, I will wait— 'after confeaatsg 
that, much as I wish for a cor ptu poet arum, edited as yon 
would edit it, I should like aiill hcuer another Minstrel 
' Lny by the last and best Minstrel; and the general de- 
I nmnd'ibr the oocm seems to pfove that the public are of 
my opinion. If, #)wever, you don't feel dispNfised to take 
* a second ride on Pegasus, why not undcrtaJce somethinf^ 
j fir less infra die. tluin a mere edition of our poets 7 Why 
' not undertake what Gibbon once undertook— an editioa. 
I of our historians 1 I have never been able to look at a 
I vulutne of the Benedictine edition of the early French 
historians without envy." 

Mr. Ellis appears to have communicated all hm 
notions on this subject to Meaars. Longman, for 
Scott writer to Ballantyne, (Ashealiel, Septembers^) 
" I have had a visit from Reoa yesterday. He is 
anx ous about a corpus hiMtoria/iim^ or full edition 
of the Chronicles of England, an iaimenae work. 
I proposed tobim b^nnin^j^^^pahed, aod 



um 0» am WiOinM lOiTr. 



f Aiak theworiiwiU baateand fi>rfOBrvtMfeM. I 
wngfafnHte you on Cbrendoiif whicht under Tliom- 
joiri diracdoiit will fa|( a glorioni publication/'* 

The printing'office in tne Ganongate waa by thia 
time in veiy great request ; and tne letter I have 
been quoting contains evidence that the partners 
had afreadyiband it neceasary to borrow fresh ca- 
pital—on the personal security, it need not befidded, 
of Scott himaeif. He says, As I haw fi\ll confi* 
4nee in your applying the accommodation deceived 
6offl Sir William Forbes in the most convenient and 
I pradent manner, I have no hesitation to return the 
bonds aubscribecJ, as you desire. ThiswiU put you 
in cash for great matters." 

Bat to return. To Ellis himself he says, "1 have 
bad booksellers here in the plural number. You 
have set little Rees*s head agog about the Chroni- 
dea, wliich^ would be an admirable work, but 
sboold, I» think, be edited by an Em;lisbman who 
can have acoeea to the MSS. of Oxford and Cam- 
bridge, aa one cannot trust much to the correctness 
of printed copiea. I will, however, consider the 
matter, so far as a decent edition of Hollinshed is 
concerned, in case, my time is not otherwise taken 
op. As for the Bntiah Poets, my plan was greatly 
too liberal to stand the least chance of being adopt- 
ed by the trade at larae^ aa I wiahed them to begin 
with Chaucer. The fact is, I never expected they 
would agree to it. The Benedictines had an infinite 
advantage over us, in that ctprit du corps which led 
them to aet labour and eicpense at defiance, when 
the honour of the order was at stake. Would to 
God your English Universities, with their huge en- 
dowments, and the number of learned men to whom 
they give competence and' leisure, would but imitate 
die monka in their literary plans. Bfv present em- 
plofment ie an edition of John Dryoen'a Works, 
which is already gone to press. As for riding on 
Pegaaos, depend upon it, 1 will never again cross 
him in a serious way, unless I ahoulabv some 
strange accident reside so long in the Highlands, 
and make myself master of their ancient mannera, 
80 aa to paint them with aome de^ee of accuracy 
b a kind of companion to the Minstrel Lay. . . . 
. . I am interrupted by the arrival of two gerttU 
haefulcrM^ whom, Kke tne Count of Artois, 1 must 
despatch upon some adventure till dinner time. 
Thank Heaven, that will not be difficult, for aU 
though there are neither dragons nor boars in the vi- 
doity, and men above six foet are not only scsrce, 
bat pacific in their habits, yet wa have a curious 
brMd of wild-catSy who have eaten ail Charlotte's 
chickens, and against whom I have declared a war 
at ouiroTUT, in which the assistance of these if ents 
demoiseaux will he fully as valuable as that ot Don 
(huxote to Pentalopin with the naked arm. So, 
if Mrs. Ellia takes a fancy for cat-skin fur, now is 
the time." ^ ^ ^ 

Already, then, he was seriously at work on Dry- 
den. During the same summer, he drew up for the 
Edinburgh Review an admirable article on Todd's 
Edition of Spenser ; another, on Godwin's Fleet- 
wood ; a third, on the Highland Society's Report 
concerning the Poems of Ossian j a fourth, on 
Johnea's Translation of Froissart ; a fifth, on Col. 
Tltom ton's Sporting Tour— and a sixth, on some 
cookery books— the two last being e:xcellent speci- 
mens of his humour. He had, besides, a constant 
auccession of minor cares in the superintendence of 
multifarious works passing through the Ballantyne 
press. Put there is yet another important item to 
Se indnded in the list of his literary labours of this 
period. The General Preface to his Novels informs 
as, that " about 1805" he wrote the opening chap- 
ters of Waverley ; and the second title, ' Tu SUty 
Yean since, selected^ as he says, *' that the actual 
date of pnbhcation might correspond with the period 
in whicn the scene was laid," leavea no doubt that 
he had begun the work so early in 1805 as to con- 
template publishing it before Christmas.t He adda, 

• AneditkxiofClanodonhadbeemil nemt, oootemplated bjr 
flMtf* ftfend. Mr. Thooiaa Thammm. ^ ,,. . 

1 1 ha«« Meerumed iioee this pAffe waf written, that a imall 
Mt of th0 Bia of Wavfflef i* oa paper bearifif tba watennark 
^rw»--tbe leat oa paper of 1819L 



■I tha attne pt^ tkat he waa ithltloecL by tha £i* • ' 
▼onrable receptionof the Ladrof the Lu&^fo think ^ 

of giving aome of his recoUectiona of Highland 
scenery and customs iux prose ; but thb is onlV one 
instance of the inaccuracy aa to mattera o/ date 
which pervadea all thoae delightful PreAicea. The # 

Lady ot the Lake waa not published until five jeaia 
after the firat chaplera of Waverley were written ; 
its success, therefore, could have had no share in 
suggesting the original design of a Highland novel, 
though no doubt it principally influenced him to 
take up that design after it had Seen long suspendod, 
and almost forgotten. Thus early, then, had Scott 
meditated dee^y such a portraiture of Highland 
mannera as mkht " make a Sort of companion" to 
that of the old Border life in the "Minstrel Lay;" . 
and he had probably begun and sospended his Wa- 
verley, before he expressed to Ellia his feeling that 
he ought to reside for some considerable time m the 
cpuntry to be delineated, before seriously oammilting 
himself in the execution of .such a task. 

" Having proceeded," he aava, " as far as I think 
the seventh chapter, I showed my work to a critical 
friend, whose Opinion waa unfavourable ; and hav- 
ing then some poetical reputation, I was unwilling 
to risk the loss of it by attempting a new style of 
composition. I therefore then threw aside the 
work I had commenced, without either reluctance 
or remonstrance. I ought to add, that thoogk my 
ingenuous friend's sentence was afterwarda reveia- 
eoTon appeal to the public, it cannot be consideved 
aa any imputation on hia good taste ; for the speci- 
men subjected to his cnticism did not, extend be- 
yond the departure of the hero for Scotland, and 
consequently had not entered upon the paft of the 
atory which was finally found most interesting." A 
letter to be quoted under the year 1810 will, I believe^ 
aatiafy the reader that the firat critic of the opening 
chaptera of Waverley waa William Erakine. 

The following letter nraat have been written in 
the course of thia autumn. It is in every respect a 
very interesting one I but I introduce it here as illus- 
trating the courae of hia refiections on Highland 
aubjecta in fwneral, at the time when the first out- 
lines both of the Lady of the Lake and Waverley 
must have been floating about in his mindt — 
To Mi99 Sevard^ Lid\fUld, 

**AshesUel [18(».) 
" My dear Mita Seward, , 

" You recall to me some very nlcasant feelinfa of 
my boyhood, when you ask ray opinion of Oaslan. His 
works were first put into my hands by old Dr. Blacklock^ 
a blind poet, of whom you may have heard ; he waa the 
worthiest and kindest of human beinfs, and particularly 
delighted in encouraging the pursuits, and opening (m 
minds, of the younf people by whom he was surround* 
ed. I, though at the periotl of our mtimaey a very youiw 
b<^, waa fortunate enough to attract his notice and kind- 
ness ; and if 1 have been at all soccessful iri the paths of 
literary pursuit, I am sure I owe much of that success to 
the books with which he supplied rac, and hfs own hi- 
8tructk>n8. Ossian and Spenser were two books which 
the good old banl put into my hands, and which I devour- 
ed rather than perused. Tlieic tales were for a tong time 
so much my delight, that 1 co6ld repeat without remorse 
whole cantos of the one and duans of the other ; and wo 
to the unlucky wigRt who undertook to be my auditor, 
ftirin the height of my enthusiasm I was apt to disregard 
all hinta that my recitations became tedious. It wa^ a na- 
tural consequence of progress In taste that my fondness 
for these amnors should experience some abatement. Os- 
slan's poems, in particular, have more charms for yonth 
than for a more advanced stage. The eternal repetition 
of the same Ideas and Imagery, however beautiful in 
themselves, la apt to pall upon a reader whose taate haS 
become somewhat feati'Iious ; and, although I agree entire- 
ly with you that the question of their authenticity ought 
not to be confounded with that of their literary merit, jet 
scepticism on that head lakes away their clalna for Indul- 
gence aa the productions of a barbarous and remote a^e : 
and, what la perhaps more natural, it deslrpys that feefc 
inf of reality which we should otherwise combine with < 
our sentiments of adtifiratlon. As for the great dispute. I 
should be no Scottishman If I had not very aiienilvelv 
considered it at some period of my studies ; and, indee<^ 

1 h.T. r«. -m. •"•^D^l^ld'brCSl^gl^" 



Um OP SK WALTflSr 8009T. 



bailde mo tmulatioDS of pome twenCj or Chirty of Che 
nnqaeotlofted orlflnalt of Oflgion's poems. After mldng 
erery allowance for the disadTantages of a literal tranda- 
tkm, and the poeiible debasement which those now col- 
lected raaj have suffered in the ^reat and violent change 
which the Highlands have undergone since the researches 
of Maephersoo, I am compelled to admit that incalculably 
the greater part of the English Osrian must be ascribed 
to Maepherson himseIC andthat his whole introductions, 
notes, dec Sec. are an absolute tissue of forgeries. 

" In all the ballads I ever saw or could hear of, Fin and 
Ossio are described as natives of Ireland, although it is 
not unusual for the reciters sturdily to maintain that this 
Is a corruption of the text. In point of merit I do not think 
these Gaelic poems unich better than lliose of the Scan- 
dinavian Scalds : they are very unequal, often very vigo- 
rous and pointed, often drivelling and arawlingin the very 
e^remity of tenuity. The manners of the heroes are 
those or Celtic savages ; and I could point out twenty in- 
stances in which Maepherson has very cunningly adopted 
the beginning, the names, and the leading hicidents, 4x. 
of an old lale, and dressed it op with all those ornaments 
of sentiment and sentimental manners, which Arst excite 
our surprise, and afterwards our doubt of its authenticity. 
The Higlilanders themselves, recognising the leading fea- 
tures of tales they had heard in infancy, with here and 
there a tirade really taken from an old poem, were readily 
seduced into becoming champions for the authenticity of 
the poems. How many people, not particularly addicted to 
poetry, who may have heard Chevy-Chase in the nursery 
or aiVdhool, and never since met with the ballad, might 
be Imposed upon by a new Chevy-Chaae, bearloc no 
resemblance to the old one, save in here and there 
a stanza or an incident ) ' Besides, there is sometliiog 
in the severe judgment passed on ray country men— ' that 

. if they do not prefer Scotland to truth, they will always 
prefer it to inquiry.' When ooce the Highlanders had 
adopted the poems of Ossian as an article of national faith, 
you would far sooner have got them to disavow the Scrip- 
ture than to abandon a line of the contested tales. Chuy 

' thev all allow tliat Maepherson's translation is very un- 
ikitnful, and some pretend to say inferior to the original ; 
by which they can only mean, if they mean any thing, 
that they miss the charms of the rhythm and vernacular 
idiom, which pleases the Gaelic natives ; for in the real 
attributes of poetry, Macpherson's version isiar superior 
to any 1 ever saw of the fragments which he seems to 
have used. 
" The Highland Society have lately set about invest!- 

Ettng, or rather, I should say, collecting materials to de- 
nd, the aothenticity of Osstan. Those researches iMtve 
only proved that there were no real originaUh— using that 
word as is commonly understood— to |l>e found for them. 
The oldest tsle they nave found seems to be that of Dar- 
thula ; but it is perfectly different, both in diction knd 
story, from that of Maepherson. It is, however, a bean- 
tiftil specimen of Celtic poetry, and shows that it obtains 
much which is worthy of preservation. Indeeo, how 
should it be otherwise, when we know that, till about fifty 
years ago, the Highlands contained a race of hereditary 
poets 1 Is it possible to think, that, among perhaps many 
hundreds, who for such a course of centuries have found- 
ed their reputation and rank on practising the ari of poet- 
ry in a country where the scenery and manners gave 
such effect and interest and imagery to their prodoctiona, 

t there should not have been some who attained excel- 
lence 1 In searching out those genuine records of the 
X^eltic Muse, and preserving them from oblivion, with all 
the curious information which they must doubtless con- 
tain, I humbly^ink our Highland antiquaries would merit 
better of their country, than by confining their researches 
to the fantastic pursuit of s chimera. 

"I am not to deny that Macphenion's inferiority in 
other compositions is a presompUoo that he did not ac* 
tU4l3j *>pjjij.iu.-,i' L:i='it ^!.Hji,i=. But we are to consider his 
Adirania^e wb«n tin im ovtu jjound. Blacpherson was a 
ni|liCaiLdur^ feficl liAi) ittJi UiiajT I nation fired with the charms 
of Gel lie p^irtry fruia hU *i ^y infancy. We know, from 
cnoHCAiii, ^vprrir^uciit tW ti>'ist Highlanders, sfter they 
hav? h4^ciMin} coiT3fpU:[n tfiBMiers of English, continue to 
thitiJt ill ittf i( ovtn laiifliiAitr , And it is to me aemonstrable 
th4t Afact^hfir^oa thwtAt a.hi.o%t every word of Os^n in 
Oadie, ilit^fitjptb he istrntu ii iiown in English. The speci- 
mtdjr itf IM rntiy imfftry wti:ch remain are also deeply 
ttQ£i?d with ih^ iirfruLiVUki of the Coltic diction and 
charaiJl^r } no tEia,r, in Crict. tni might be considered as a 
UiRKJAiiJ jptTct, «vcn if Ite '*>.id not left us some Earse 
tran^lAUmna (or orlf 1daJ>a of O. ilan) unquestionably written 
Dj NoiiLrf Thr^e cirruu^tt ^nccsgave a groat sdvanUige 
ta b\m Iq ^>rrnin£ the *1,vk uf Ossian, which, though ex- 

• AlWti sihI moiljll^:''^ acc'iniiin^ In Macpherson's own ideas 
of iniKfrrn trtsie^ i« tni^reQi part^ut upon the model of the 
talra f^r th«r Senoacliies and Bards. In the translation of 



HooMr, he not only lost tboM advactafM, but Hhe istrenia- 
■taocea on which they were founded were agrset detf«- 
^ent to )Us undertaking ; for altliougb such a dreea wwm 
appropriate and becommg for Ossiso. few people cared Co 
see their old Grecian friend disguised in a tartan pldd mmmI 
phllabeg. In a word,' the style which Maephersoo had 
formed, however admirable fn a Highland tale, ifas not 
cslcutated for translating Homer : and it was a great nila> 
take in him, excited, however, by the general applauae 
his first work received, to suppose that there was any 
thing homogeneous betwixt his own ideas snd those of 
Homer. Maephersoo, in his way, was certainly a man of 
high talents, and his poetic powers ss honourable to hia % 
country, as the use which ne made of them, and 1 fesur | 
his personal character, in other respects, was a discredit 
to it 

" Thus I have given you with the utmost sincerhy my , 
ereed on the great national question of Ossian ; it hsus 
been formed after much deliberation and inqulrv.< I 
have had for some time thoughts of writing a Uigttland 
noeni, somewhat in the style of the Lay, giving as Ikr aa 
I can a real picture of what that enthusiastic race adoally 
were before the destruction of their patriarchal govern- 
ment. It is true, I have not quite the some facilities as la 
describing Border manners, where I am, as they say, 
more at home. But to balance my comparative defi- 
ciency fn knowledge of Celtic manners, you are to consi- 
der that I have from my youth delichted in all the High- 
land tradidons which I could pick froof the old Jacobaea 
who used to frequent my ftuher's house ; and this win, I 
hope, make some amends for my having less immedisite 
opportuniiics of research than in- the Border tales. 

" Agreeably to your advice, I have actually read over 
Madoc a second time, and I confess have seen much 
beauty which escaped me in the first perusal. Yef (Which 
vet, by the way, is almost as vile a inonosylUble as ImO 
I cannot feel quite the interest I would wish to do. The 
difference of character which you notice, reminds me of 
what by Ben Jonson and other old comedians were call- 
ed humourgf which consisted rather in the personifipa-> 
lion of some individual passioB or propensity than oTaa 
actual individual man. Almo, I cannot give up my objec- 
tion, that what was strictly true of Columbus, becomes aa 
nnpleasant falsehood when Urid of some one else. Suppose 
I was to write a fictitious book of travels, I should cer- 
tainly, do III to copy exactly the incidents which bcfd 
Mungo Park or Bruce of Kinnaird. What was true of 
them would inconteatably prove at once the falsehood and 
plagiarism of my supposed journal It Is not but what 
the incidents are natural— but it Is their haring already 
happened, which strikes us when they are transferred to 
imagina/y persons. Could any one bear the story of a 
second city beins taken by a wooden horso 1 

" Believe me, I shall not be within many miles of Lich- 
field without paying my personal respects to you ; and ' 
yet I should not do it in prudence, bei:aTue I am afraid 
you have formed a higher opinion of me than I deserve ; 
you would expect to see a person who had dedicated him- 
self much to literary pursuits^ and you would find me a 
rattle-sculled half-lawyer, hali-sportsman, through whose 
head a regiment of horse has been exercising since he 
was five years old : half-educated, halPcrazy, as 1«l» 
friends sometimes tell him ; half every thin& but entirely 
Miss Seward's much obliged, affecuonate, and &lthfid 
servant, 

Waltib Scott." 

His correspondenoe shows how largely be was ex- 
erting himself all this while in the service of authors 
less fortunnte than himself. James Hogg, amonfC 
others, continued to occupy from time to time hia 
attention ; and he assisted regularly and assiduoua- 
ly throughout this andth^ succeeding year Mr. Ro- 
bert Jameson, an industnous and intelligent anti- 
quary, who had engaged in editing a coUection of 
ancient popular ballads before the third volume of 
the Minstrelsy appeared^ and who at length publish- 
ed his very curious work m 1807. Mean lime, Ashes- 
tiel, in place of being less resorted to by literary 
p'-^T-PT? thnn Lasswade cottage bad been, shared' 
iilMjiuiduiFy in the fresh attractions of the Lay, and 
•' booksi'llcrp in the plural number" were preceded 
riiii folio wf^(i by an endless variety of entnusiastio 
" scntii biiclirlors,** whose main temptation from 
\\yv simtW h-^l been the hope of seeing the Borders 
lit compony \Mth their Minstrel. He still writes of 
liuns<liiis *' ill ling away hia hours f* he had alrea- 
ih' teiirim] to appear as if ho were doing so, to all 
wfii» \ini\ nri PLirticular right to confidence respecting 
tb flK'ifiiiiiHi oT his privacy. 

Btii the most agreeable of all bis viaitantB were his. 
Digitized by VjOOQIC 



r 



UilB OF SOL WM.TBBI aOdR. 



M 



o«t«liifiuiiifiir fmaia, and one of Umm kts fiir^ 
■lied me with • fketeh of the TOtomn life of Aihee- 
iid, qC which 1 ihall now aTiil nnreelf. Scott'e in- 
-^*-*^'^ -'-I in theee terms :— 



7> Jamet Skme, B*q, qf Mubi$taw. 

" AtbMtiel, 18th Aqi«M,'1806. 
"Dwr Skene, 

■IhaTe prepared another edition of ihe Lay, 1500 
enag. oioTed thereunto by the &ith, hope, and charity 

«f the London bookeellera If you conld, in the 

taceriffl, find a fnoment to spend here, you know the way, 
tad the ford ia where it wa^ ; which, by the way, to more 
ibao 1 expected after Baturday laat, the moat dreadful 
«om of thunder and lightninx I erer witneaaed. The 
iftuntnf broJie repeatedly in our immediate vicinity, t. e. 
bereijrt us and the Peel wood. Charlotte resolved to die 
IB bed like a food Christian. The servants said it was the 

Skce to the end of the world, and I waa the only person 
t maintained my character for stoicism, which I asaure 
jua had aome merit, aa 1 had no doubt that we were in 
real du^er. It was accompanied wHh a flood so tremen- 
dsos, that I would have aiven five pounds yon bad been 
i a aketeh of it The little Glenkinnon brook 



hereto 

«M iflopaaaable for all the next day, and indeed I have 
been ^tt(ed to send aU hands to repair the ford, .which 
was coQverted Into e deep pooL Believe me ever yours 
•flectranatdy, 

i W. a" 

Mr. Skene says, ** I well remember the ravagei of 
the atom end flood described in this letter. The 
fi>rd of Aehestiel was never a good one, and for 
seme time after this it remained not a little perilous. 
% was himself the first to attempt the passage on 
Us ftvoufite black horse Captoiri, who had scarce- 
bantered the river when be pronged beyond his 
«ptb, and had to swim to the other side with his 
mden. It reqaires a good horseman to swim a 
itep and rapid stream, but he trusted to the vigour 
of Ats steady -trooper, and in spite of his lameness 
kept his seat manfully. A cart bringing a new kit- 
chn range (as I belteve the grate tor that service 
ntechnimlr called) was shortly after upset in this 
tq^ford. The horse and cart were with difficulty 
fMcmt, but the grate remained for some time-in the 
oiiddle of the stream to do duty as a horse-trap, 
taA famish subject for many a good joke when Mrs. 
Scott happened to complain of the imperfection of 
ber kit(»ien appointments." 

Mr. Skene soon discovered an important chanf2[e 
itkieh had recently been made in his friend's distn- 
faotion of his time. Previously it had been bis cus- 
tom, whenever professional business or social en- 
gagements occupied the middlepartdf hisday, to seize 
some hoars for study after he was supposed to have 
letirsd to bed. His physician suggested that this was 
TCfy likely to aggravate \t'n nervous headaches, the 
only malady he was subject to in the prime of bis 
maabood ; and, contemplating with steady eye a 
eoone not only of unremitting ^t of increasing 
isdottry, he resolved' to reverse his plan, and earn- 
ed hie purpose into exect^tion with unflinching en- 
eny. In short, he had now adopted the habits in 
wfateh, with very slender variation, he ever after 
persevered when in the country. He rose by five 
o'eieck, Ut his own fire when the season required 
one, and shaved and dressed with great deliberation 
-^r he was a very martinet as to all but the mere 
^coxcombries of the toilet, not abhorring, efleminate 
dandyism itself so coraially as the slightest ap- 
proach lo personal slovenliness, or even those ** bed- 
gown and slipper tricks," as he .called them, in 
which hterary men are so spt to indulge. Arrayed 
in his shooting- jacket, or whatever dress he meant 
to n^ till dinner time, he was seated at hi? desk by 
■X o'clock, all his papers arranged before him in the 
Biost accurate order, and his books of reference mar- 
shalled around him on the floor, while at least one 
£ivoQrite dog lay watching his eye juBt beyond the 
hi» of circumvallation. Thus, by the time the fami- 
ly a««enibled for breakfast between nine and ten, he 
md done enoo(;h (in bin own language) '* to break 
tk* narJtr of the day's workr After hfeakfast a 
coaple of hours more were piven to bis solitary 

tasks, and by noon he was, as he used to say, ** his i 



own man." When the wMther waa had he wotiU 
laboor incessantly all the morning; but the general 
mle waa to be out and on horseback by one o'clodL 
at the latest; while, if any more distant excursion 
had been proposed over night/he was readv to start 
on it by ten; his occasional rainy days of nninter- 
mitted study forming, as he said, a fiind in hi^ fa- 
vour, out 01 which be was entitled to draw for ac- 
commodation whenever the aim shone with specj^^ 
brightness. 

It was another rule, that every letter he received 
should be answered that same day. Nothing ^<*e 
could have enabled him to keep abreast with tho 
flood of communications that in the sequel put his 
good nature to the severest test— but already the de- 
mands on him in this way also were numerous ; and 
he included attention to them among the necessary 
business which must be despatched before he had a 
right.to close his wridng-box. or, as he phrased it, 
** to say oui damned spot, and be a gentleman." In 
turning over his enormous mass of correspondence, 
I have almost invariably found sonae indication that, 
when a letter had remained more than a day or two 
unanswered, it had been so because he found occa- 
sion for inquiry or deliberate /consideration. 

I ought not to omit that in those days Scott was • 
far too zealous a dragoon not to take a nrincipal 
share in the stable duty. Before beginning nis desk- 
work in the morning^ he uniformly visited his fa- 
vourite steed, and neither Captain nor Lieutenant^ 
nor the lieutenant's succeBsor,Broim Adam^iso call- 
ed after one of the heroes of the Minstrelsy,) liked 
to be fed except by him. The latter charger was 
indeed altog^her intractable in other hands, though 
in his the most submissive of faithful allies. 'The 
moment he washridled and saddled, it was the cus- 
tom to open the stAble door as a signal that his mas- 
ter expected him, when he immeotately trotted to 
the side of the teaping-on-stone^ of which Scott 
from his lameness found it convenient to make u^e, 
and stood there, silent and motionless as a rock, 
until he was fairly in his seat, after which he display- 
ed his joy by neighing triuniphantly through a bril- 
liant succession of curvettings. Brown Adam ne- 
ver suffered himself to be backed but by his master. 
He broke, I believe, one groom's arm and another's 
leg in the rash attempt to tamper with his dignity. 

Camp was at this time the constant pai'lour dog. 
He was venr handsome, very intelligent, and natu- 
rally very fierce, but gentle as a lamb among the 
children. As for the more locomotive Douglas and 
Percy, he kept one window of his study open, what- 
ever might be the state of the weather, that they 
might leap out and in as the fiancy moved them. He 
always talked to Camp as if he understood what was 
said — and the animal certainly did understand not a 
little of it ; in particular, it seemed as if he perfectly 
comprehended on all occasions that his master con- 
sidered him as a sensible ar^d steady friend, thegrev- 
hounds as volatile young creatures whose &eaf» 
must be borne with. 

** Everyday," says Mr. Skene, "we had some hoars 
of coursmg with the greyhounds, 6r riding at random 
over the hills, or of spearing salmon in the Tweed 
hy sunlight ; which last sport, moreover, we often 
renewed at night by the help of torches. This 
amusement of Intrninff the tcater^ as it is called, was 
not -without some, hazard, for the large salmon 
generally lie in the pools, the depths of which it is 
not easy to estimate with precision bv torqhlight, — 
60 that not unfrequently, when tne sportsman 
makes a determined thrust at a fish apparently 
within reach, his eye has grossly deceived hWn, and. 
instead of the point of the weapon encountering 
the prey, he finds himself launched with correspond- 
ing vehemence heels over head into the pool, both 
spear and salmon gone, the torch thrown out by 
tne concussion of iho noat. and quenched m the 
etmam, while the boat itself has of^ course receded 
to some distance. I remember the first time I ac- 
companied our frirnd he went right over the gun- 
wale in this manner, and had I not accidentally 
been close at his sid& and made a successful grasp 
at the skirt of hip jacket as he plunged overboard,' 



UFE or I 



WMLTtti SCOffK. 



y 



W wast ftt least have liad an awkward dhne for it 
wish are the contmganciea of bttmiHg the water. 
Tie pleasures consist in being penetrated with cold 
and wet, hating your shins brol^en against the 
stones in the dark, an4 perhaps mastering one fish 
out of every twenty you take aim at." 

In all these amusements, but particularly in the 
burning qf the tpater^ Scott's most regular com- 
panion at this time was John, Lord Somerville, who 
united with many higher qualities a most enthusi- 
astic love for such sports, and consummate address 
in the prosecution of them. This amiable nobleman 
then passed his autumns at his pretty seat oi All- 
wyn, or the Pavilion, situated on the Tweed, some 
eight or nine miles below Ashestiel. They inter- 
changed visits almost every week ; and Scott did 
not fail to proflt largely by his friend's matured and 
well-known skill in every department of the science 
of rural economy. He always talked of him, in 
particular, as his master in the art of planting. 

The laird of Rubislaw seldom failed to spend a 

f>art of the summer and autumn at Ashestiel, as 
ong as Scott remained there, and during these visits 
they often gave a wider scop6 to their expeditions. 
" Indeed," says Mr. Skene, there are few scenes at 

, all celebrated either in the history, tradition, or ro- 
mance of the Border counties, which we did not ex- 
plore together in the course of our rambles. We tra- 
versed the entire vales of the Yarrow and Ettrick, 
with all their sweet tributary glens, and never failed 
to* find a hearty welcome from the farmers at whose 
houses we stopped, either for dinner or for the night. 
He was their chief-magistrate, extremely popuhir in 
that official capacity, and nothing could be more gra- 
tifying than the frana and hearty reception which eve- 
ry where greeted our arrival, however unexpected. 
The exhilarating air of the mountains, and the heal- 
thy exercise of the day, secured our relishing home- 
ly fare, and we found inexhaustible entertainment 
in the varied display of character which the affabili- 
ty df the Sheriff drew forth on all occasions in ge- 
nuine breadth and purity. The beauty of the sce- 
nery gave full employment to my pencil, with the. 
free and frequent exercise of which he never seem<Ml 
to feel impatient. He was at all times ready and 
willing to alight when any object attracted my no- 
tice, and used to Seat himself beside me on the brae 
to con over some ballad appropriate to theoceasion, 
or narrate the tradition of the glen— sometimes, 
perhaps, to note a passing idea in his pocket-book ; 
but this was rare, lor in general he relied with con- 
fidence on the great storehouse of his memory. And 
much amusement we had, as you may suppose, in 
talking over the different incidents, conversahons, 
and traits of manners that had occurred at the last 
hospitable fireside where we had mingled with the 
natives. Thus the minutes glided away until my 
sketch was complete, and then we mounted again 
with fresh alacrity. 
" These excursions derived an additional zest from 

} the uncertainty that often attended the issue of our 
proceedings ; for, following the game started by the 
dogs, our unfailing comrades, we frequently got 
entangled and bewildered among the hiils, until we 
had to trust to mere chance for the lodging of the 

« night. Adventures of this sort were quite to his 
taste, and the more for the perplexities which on 
such occasions befell our attendant squires, mine a 
lanky Savoyard, his a portly Scotch butler, both of 
them uncommonly bad horsemen^ and both equally 
sensitive about their personal dignity, which the 
niggedncss of the ground often made it a matter of 
some di^culty for either of them to maintain, but 
more especially for my poor foreigner^ whose seat 
resembled that of a pair compasses astride. Scott's 
heavy lumbering heauffetier had provided himself 
against the mountain showers with a huge cloak, 
vehich, when the cavalcade were at gallop, streamed 
at full stretch from his shoulders, and kept flapping 
in the other's face, who, having more than enougli 
to do in preserving his own equilibrium, could not 
think of attempting at any time to- control the pace 
of his steed, and had no relief but fuming and peet- 
ine at the tacri mante^Ut in' language happily un- 



imaUiefalatottaweanr. JfewandtbaiMlii»litflK 
or torf fence rendered it uraiapenaable to adirouians 
on a leap, and no farce conld nave been more amus- 
ing than the display of politeness which then oo- 
curred between these worthy eoi^strians, each cour- 
teously declining in favour of his friend the honour 
of the first experiment, the horses fretting impatient 
beneath them, and the dogs clamouring encourage- 
ment. The horses generally terminated the dispute 
bjr renoiincing allegiance, and springing forward 
without waiting the pleasure of the ridenK who bad 
to settle the matter with their saddles as they be«t 
could. 

" One of onr earliest .expedi^ona was to visit the 
wild scenery of the mountainous tract above Mo0at. 
inchiding the cascade of the * Gray Mare's Tdl,' aiMi 
the dark tarn called ' Loch Skene.' In our ascent 
to the lake we. got completely bewildered in the 
thick fog which generally envelopes the rugged fea- 
tures of that k>nely region ; and, as we were grop- 
ing through the maae of boss, the ground gave way, 
and down went horse and norseraen pell-mell into 
a slough of peaty mud and black water, out of 
which, entangled as we were with our plaids and 
floundering nags, it was no eas^ matter to get ex- 
tricated. Indeed, unless we had prudently left onr 
gallant steeds at a farm-house below, and borrowed 
hill ponies for the occasion, the result might have 
been worse than laughable. , As it was, we roae 
like the spirits of the oog, covered cap-d-ota whh 
sUme, to free themselves Rom which out wily ponies 
took to rolling about on the heather, and we had 
nothing fat it but following their exailiple. At 
length as we approached the gloomy loch, a huge 
eagle heaved himself from the margin, and 



right over us, screaming his scorn of the ininidera ; 
and altogether it would be impossible to picture anr 
thing more desolatelv savage than the scene whioa 
opened, as if raised oy enchantment on pnrpoae ta 
gratify the poet's eye ; thick folds of fog rolling in- 
cessantly over the nee of the inky waters, but rent 
asunder now in one direction, ana then in another— 
so as to aflferd us a glimpse of some projecting rock 
or naked point of land, or island bearing a few 
scraggy stumps of pine — and then closing again in 
universal darkness upon the cheerless waste. Mock 
of the scenery of Old Mortality was drawn from 
that day's ride. 

** It was also in the course of this, excursion that 
we encountered that amusing personage introduced 
into Guy Mannering as 'Tod Gabbie,' though the 
appellation by which he was known in the neigh* 
bourhood was * Tod Willie.' He was one of ihoae 
itinerants who gain a subsistence among the moor- 
land fanners by relieving them of foxes, polecatBb 
and the hke depredators — a half-witted, stuttering^ 
and most ori^nai creature. 

" Having explored all the wonders of MofTatdala, . 
we turned ourselves towards Blarkhousc Tower, 
to visit Scott's worthy acquaintances , the Loidlaw^ 
and reached it after a long and intricate ride, having 
been again led off our course by the- greyhounda. 
who had been seduced by a strange dog that joined 
company, to engage in full pursuit upon the track of 
what V e presumed to be either a fox or a roe-deer. 
The chase was protracted and perplexing, from the 
mist that skirted the hill tops ; but at length we 
reachcxl the scene of slaughter, and were much dia- 
treseea to find that a stately old he-goat had been 
the victim. He seemed to have louftht a stout 
battle for his life, but now lay mangled m the midst 
of his panting enemies, who betraVed, on our ap- 
proach, strong consciousness of delinauency and 
apprehension of the lash, which was administered 
accordingly to soothe the manes of ine lucklese 
Capricorn — though, after all. the dogs were not ao 
much to blame io mistaking his game fli^vour. since 
the fogs must have kept him out of view till the last 
moment Our visit to Blackhouse was hi>!hly inte- • 
resting ;— the excellent old tenant being still in life, 
and the whole family grpup presenting a perfect pic- 
ture of inno<>ent and simple happiness, while the 
animated, intelligent, and original conversation of 
our friend William waa quite ohfu-ar' — 
Digitized by VjVJt 



un OF SIR Walter sootf. 



* 9fAdM^ Fenmna and tha Ettnik Shapherd 
vmofthe partf that explored Loch Skene and 
baotHl the aofoitiinate be-goaU 

" I need not tell you that Saint Mary^e Loch, and 
(iieLoehof the T^wea, were among the moat fii* 
iMriia MeDes of our excoruonf, aa bia fondneM for 
th«meontinued to his last da va, and we have both 
Viatel tbem many times together in his company. 1 , 
mar say thesameof theTeviot, and the Ailf, Borth- j 
wid-water, and the lonely towers of Buccleuch j 
m Hanleo, Minto, Roxburgh, Gilnockie, Ac. 1 
thiokit was either in 1805 or 1806 that I first explored > 
tbeBorthwick with him. wfen on our way to pass : 
ifeikat Langholm with Cord and Lady Dalkeith, 
apoB iriuch oecaaion the otterhunt, so well des- 
enbed in Ony Hannerinff, was ffot up by our noble 
host; audi can never forget the delight with which i 
Scott observed the enthnsiasm of the hish-spirittd j 
reomen, who had assembled in multitudes to par- t 
tike the sport of their dear young chief, well mount- 1 
ed,Md dashing about fVom rock to rock with a reck- 1 
le» ardoor, which recalled the alacrity of their | 
ibiefitherf in following the Buccleuchs of former I 
dart ibroagh adventures of a more serious order. 

Whateter the banks of the Tweed, from its ! 
loaice to its termination, presented of interest, we 
freqaeqtlf visited j and I do verily believe there is 
not a mile ford m the whole course of that river 
which «e have not traversed together. He had an 
amasagfoadoess for fords, and was not a little ad- 
TefituoBsinpIunmng throu^, whatever might be 
UM state of the flood, and this even though there 
uppoied lo be a bridge in view. If it seemed pos- 
me to acramble through, he scorned to go ten 
yndi aboat, and in fact preferred the ford ; and it 

■ to be remarked, that most of the heroes of his 
tabaoem tohavebeeq endued with similar pro- 
peaatied-eTen the White Lady of Avenel delights 

■ the ford. He sometimes even attempted them on 
VOL though his lameness interfered considerably 
*uh hia progress among the BlippeTj stones. UpOn 
JMoccanon of this sort I was assisting him through 
the Etthck, and we had both got upon the same tot- 
Ming itooe in the middle of the stream, when some 
^ abobt a kelpie occurring to him, he must 
««« atop and tell it with all his usual vivacity— 
«J 1^1, laughing heartily at his own jokcL he slip- 
pw hia foot, or the stone shuffled beneath him, and 
w»nhe went headlong into the pool, pulling me 
war him. We escaped, however, with no worse 
^ a thorough drencbin/^ and the loss of bis stick, 
•hid floateddown the nver ; and he was as ready 
ai em for a similar exploit before his clothes were 
i^ dried upon his back." 

Ahout thiatime Mr. and Mrs. Scott made a short 
<*«»aon to the Lakes of Cumberland and West- 
"Boreland, and visited some of their finest scenery, 
a wmpany with Mr. Wordsworth. 1 have found 
JJ*"J^'i narraiive of this little tour, but I have 
Jn« heard Scott speak with entlhisiastic delight of 
^.foeption he met with in the humble cottage 
yjjh his brother poet theq inhabited on the banks 
J«JTasniere ; and at least one of the days they 
yot together was destined to furnish a theme for 
JlJ^erae of each, namely, that which they gave to 
J^^ntof Helvellyn, where, in the course of the 
rfw»tig apring, a youm? gentleman having lost 
J»wiy, and perished by lalfingover a precipice, his 
™J»ms were discovered, three months afterwards, 
"Wij^tcbed by "^ a faithful terrier-bitch, his con- 
Jn'Wtfiijdani during frequent rambles among the 
yPJf/* This day they were accompanied oy an 
W^S Pbilosopher, who was abo a true ooet— 
rj iJWil have been one of the greatest of poets 
Jr.* chosen i and I have heard Mr- Words- 
vonn tij, that it would be difficult to express the 

* ^ aotfeie pceflzed to the aoof— 

k c-i**** ** '^^ ^'^^ '^ ^ »lft>«r Helrtllyn," tc, 
yg^'i Poeiicbl Wodu, sdiL 1184, toL i.. 870 ; and 



'MUie «f ■ monntnln dwlllng, 

-Jboi iw,t •lomb aWfl, and ncM, 

"fB tbc vateh-tovcn of UdWilm, 

^ **»1, dtllcbtcd, and ainaiad," *c 

'"oawfltxHJi PottitttiWwk$» 



8to. BdiL Vol Ui p ai. 



with which he^ whj> io often hjid dimbtd 
...veliyn alone, found hknaelf atanding on it* 
summi^ with two such men as Scott am Davy. 

After leaving Mr. Wordaworth, Scott carried his 
wife to spend a few days at CKlsIand, among the 
scenes where they had first met ; and his reception 
by the company at the wells was such as to make him 
look back with something of regret, as well as of sa- 
tisfaction, to the change that had occurred in his cir* 
cumstances since 1797. They wfeje, however, enjoy* 
ing themselves much there, when he received intel- 
ligence which induced him to believe that a French 
force was about to land in Soctland :~the alarm 
indeed had spread far and wide; and a mighty ga- 
thering of volunteersi horse and foot, frorn the Lo- 
thian and the Border conntry, took place in conse- 
quence at Dalkeith. He was not slow to obey' 
the summons. He had luckily chosen to ac- 
company on horseback the carriage in which Mrs. 
Scott travelled. His good steed carried him to the- 
spot of rendezvous, full a hundred miles from Gils- 
land, within twenty-four hours ; and on reaching it, 
though no doubt to Iiis disappointment, the alarm 
had already blown over, he was delighted with the 
general enthusiasm, that bad thus been put to the 
test— and, above all, ny the rapidity with wh^ch the 
yeomen of Ettrick forest had poured down from 
their glens, under the guidance of his good friend and 
neighbour, Mr. PringTe of Torwoodlee. These fine 
fellows were quartered along with the Edinborvh 
troop when he reached Dalkeith ajid Museelburgn ; 
and after some sham battling, and a few evenings 
of high jollity, had crowned the needless muster of 
the beacon fire&-* he immediately turned his horse 
again towards the south, and rejomed Mrs. Scott 'at 
Carlisle. j 

By the way, it was during his fiery ride from Gils- 
lana to Dalkaith, on the occasion above mentioned, 
that he composed his Bard's Incantation, first pub- 
lished six yeara afterwards in the Edinborgh An- 
mial Register :— 

"The foreat of Glenmors is drear. 

It is all of black pine sod the dark oak'tn^a," &c.~ 

and the verses bear the full stamp of the feeliags 
of the moment. 

Shortly after he was re-established at Aahestiel, 
he was visited there by Mr. Southev ; this being: I 
believe, their first meeting. It is alluded to in the 
following letter; a letter highly characteristic in 
more respects than one. 

7b Gecrgt BUi*^ Esq. Simningkitl 

«• Aahealiel, 17th October, 1806. 
"Dear Ellis, 

" More than a month has glided awaj in this busy 
solitude, and yet I have never sat down lu answer jrour 
kind letter. I have only lo plead a horror of pen and 
ink with which this country, in fine weather, (and ours 
has been most beautiful,) regularly affects mo. In recom> 
pense, I ride, walk, fish, course, eat and drink, with might 
and main, from morning lo night. * 1 could have wished 
sincerely you had come to Reged this year to partake her 
rural amusements ;^thb'only comfort I have is, thai ysur 
visit would have been over, and now 1 look, forwanl to it 
as a pleasure to coChe. 1 shall be infinitely obliged to vou 
for your advine and assistance in the course of Dryden. 
1 fear liule can be procured for a Life be>ond what Ma^ 
lone has compiled, but certainly bis facta may be rather 
better told and arranged. 1 am at present busy with the 
dramatic department. This undertaking will make my 
being in London in spring a matter of absolute necessity. 

"And now let me tell you of a discovery which I have 
made, or rather which Robert Jameson has made, in 
copying the MS. of ' True Thomas and the Queen of Elf* 
laud,' in the Lincoln cathedral The queen, at parting^ 
bestows the gifts of harping and carping upon the propheti 
and mark his reply— 

'To harp and carp, Tomaa, where ao ever ye gen— 

Tomaa, lake thou these with thee.' — 

'Harping,' he said, »kenl nane. 

For Tong is chefe of mynstrelsie.' 

If poor Rltson could contradict his own system of ii^U- 
rialism by rising from the grave to peep into tola MS., 



•See Note' 



' Alana of bvasjoo,** Anti^iary, 

Digitized by 



^ytJ;6Sgie 



loe 



UFE OP atR WALTOR SCOTT. 



hewoiddttiaklMekaAalntaidodfeoiiaiiddismaf. TMere 
certaioly cioqoc be mora respectable teMimoDf thtn (htf 
of True Thomaa. and you tee he deacribes the tongue 
or recitation aa the principal, or at leaat the moat diffnifi- 
e(L part of a minstrel's profession. 

" Another curiosity was brought here a few days ago 
by Mr. Southey tlie poet, who ftvoured me with a visit 
on his way to Edinburgh. It was a MS. containing sundry 
metrical romances, and other poetical composTtions, in 

»e northern dialect, apparently written about the middle 
the 15(h century.* 1 had not time to nialce an anaWsis 
of its contents, but eome of them seam highlr valuable. 
Therails a tale of Sir Gowther, said to be a Breton Lay, 
which parfly resembles the history of Robert the DeTtL 
the hero bein^ begot in the same way; and partly that oi 
Robert of Sicily, the penance imposed on Sir Gowther 
being the same, as he Icept table with the hounds, and was 
discovered by a dumb lady to be the stranger Icnight who 
had assisted her father the emperor in his wars. There 
is also a MS. of Sir Isanbras ; ilemj a poem called Sir Ama* 
das — not Amadis of Gaul, but a courteous knight who 
being reduced to poverty, travels to ^^nceal his distress, 
and gives the wreck of his fortune to purchase the rites 
of burial for a deceased knight, who had been refused 
them by the obduracv of his creditors. The rest of the 
story is the same with that of Jean de Calais, in the Bib* 
liothdque Bleue, and with a vulgar ballad called the Fac- 
tor's Garland. Moreover there is a merry tale of hunting 
a hare, as performed by a set of country clowns, with 
their mastlflb, and curs with 'short legs and never a tail.' 
The disgraces and blunders of these Ignorant sportsmen 
must have aflforded infinife mirth at the table or a IVudal 
baron, prising hiuiself on his knowledge of the myMeries 
of the chase performed by these unauthorized intruders. 
There is also a biirleMie sermon, which informs us of 
Peter and Adam journeying together to Babylon, and how 
Peter asked Adam a fuU great doubtful quutum^ saying, 
'Adam, Adam, why did'st thou eat the apple unpared?' 
This book belongs to a lady. I would have given some- 
thin| valuable to have had a week of it. Southey com- 
missioned me to say that he intended to take extraats 
from it, and should be happy to copy, or cause to be co- 
pied, any part that you might wish to be possessed ef ; an 
offer which I heartily recommend to your early conside- 
ration. Where dwelleth Heber the magnificent, whose 
library and cellar' are so superior to all others in the 
world 1 I wish to write to him about Dryden. Any word 
lately from Jamaica 1 Yours truly, 

W. 8." 
Mr. Ellis, in hia answer, says, 

" Ifeber will, I dare say, be of service to you In your 
present undertaking, if indeed you want any assistance, 
which I very much doubt; because it appears to me that 
Che best edition which could now be given of Dryden, 
would be one which should unite accuracy of text and a 
handsome appearance, with good critical notes. Quoad 
Malone.— I should think .R&son himself; could he rise 
^rom.the dead, would be puzzled to sift out a aingle ad- 
ditions! anecdote of the poet's life ; but'tn abridge Malone, 
—and to render his narrative terse, elegant, and intelligi- 
ble, — Would be a great obligation conferred on the pur- 
chasers, (I will not sav the readers, because I have doubts 
whether they east in the plural number) of his very 
laborious CA)mpilation. The late Dr. Warton. you may 
have heard, had a project of editing Dryden i la Uuid ; 
that is to say, upon the same principle as the castrated 
editkNi of Cowley. His reason was that Dryden, having 
written for bread, became of necessity a most vnlamr 
now author, and poured forth more nonsense of indecen- 
cy, particularly in his theatrical compositions, than abnost 
any scribblerin that scribblinc age. Hence, although his 
transcendent genius frequently breaks out, and marks 
the hand of the master, his comedies seem, by a tacit but 
general consent to have been condemned to obUvion ; 
and his tragedies, being "printed in such bad company, 
have shared the same fate. But Dr. W. conceived that by 
a judicious selection of these, together with his fables 
ahd prose works, it would be possible to exhibit him in a 
much more advantageous light than by a republication of 
the whole mass of his writings. Whether the Doctor 
(who. b^ the way, was by no means scrupulously chaste 
and delicate, as you will be aware from his edition of 
Pope) had taken a just view of the subject, you know bet* 
ter than I ; but I must own that the announcement of a gfh 
nerat edflJon of Dry -Jeu gave me >8ome little alarm- How- 
evrr, if you can stie^est the sort of assistance you are 
desirous of receirins, I shall be happy to do what I can 

to promote your views And bo you are not 

lUspoaed to nibble at the bait I throw out I Nothing but ' a 

• Ellti had mentioned, in a recent letter, Heber'sbajrinf wmei to 
usvakie of .£1100, at tome sale be happened to attood ihisau- 



decSDt etfltton of HblBDihedr I emfbn that my |»qM 
chiefly related to the later historical works r c gp ec t*s| 
this country— to the union of Gall, Twisden, Camdei^ 
Leibnitz, Ac. ftc., leaving the Chronicles, property '■o cafr 

ed, to shUl for themselves. , 1 am ifB«raa( 

when you are to be in Edinburgh, and in that icooranca 
have not desired Blackburn, wtio is now atGtaiafo^> M 
call on you. He has the best practical understaodiog I 
have ever met with, and 1 vouch that you would be miuit 
pleased with Ids acquainUnce. And so for the preaeat, 
God bless you. 

G. E-- 

Scott*s letter in reply opens thus :— 

'*! will not castrate John Dryderi. I woukl m son 
castrate my own father, as I believe Jupiter did of yon. 
What would you say to any man who would casmK 
Sbakspeare, or Massinger, or Beaumont and Fletcher "i 1 
don't say but that it may be 'verr proper to select correct 
passages for the use of boarding-schools and colleger 
being sensible no improper ideas can be siixsested k^ 
these seminaries, unless they sre inuuded or suinggle^ 
under the beards and rufls of our old dramatists. But m 
making an edition of a man of genius's works for Hbrar.«« 
ahd collections, and such 1 conceive a complete edUkw ol 
Dryden to be, 1 must give my amhor as 1 find hint, oai 
will not tear out the page, even to get rid of (he bI«L liii> 
as I like It. Are not the pages of Swift, and even of Pope, 
Ian led with indecency, and often of the most disgustaig 
kind, and do we not see them upon all shelves and dre»^ 
ing-lables, and in all boudoirs 7 Is not Prior the most io- 
decent of tale-tellers, not even excepting I.a Fontaine, aei 
how often do we see his works in female hands 1 In Cut 
it is not passages of ludicrous indelicacy that corrupt the 
maimers of a people— it is the sontwts which a pruneai 
genius like Master Little sings virginibus pvertsgwe— tl it 
the senlimenud slang, half lewd, half methodistic, ite 
debauches the understanding, inllaines the sleepinc ps«- 
sions, and preiMures the reader to give way as sooa as t 
tempter appears. At the same time, I am not at all bapi? 
when 1 peruse some of Dryden's comedies : they are ^^ 
ry stupid, as well as indelicate ; sometimes, however, 
there is a considerable vehi of liveliness and humour, ao4 
nil of them present extraordinary pictures of the age a 
which he lived. My critical note's will not be very noiM- 
rous, but 1 hope to illustrate the political poena, as Absa- 
lom and Achitophel, the Hind and Panther, Ac. with motat 
curious annotations. I have already made a comelets 
search among some hundred pamphlets of thafpampolti- 
writing age, and with considerable succeaa, as I bava 
found seveial which throw light on my author. I am 
told that I am to be formidably opposed by Mr. Crowe, 
the? Professor of Poetry at Oxford, who is also threatett- 
ingan edition of Dryden. 1 don't know whether to be 
most vexed that some one had not undertaken the task 
sooner, or that Mr. Crowe is disfiosed to attempt it at tba 
same time with roe .-—however, I now staiKl cootmiaed, 
and will not be crowed over, if I can help it The third 
edition of the Lay is now in the press, of which i hope 
you will accept a copy, as it contains some trifling im- 
provements or additlona They are, however, very tnflfaig. 

"I have written a long letter to Rees, recounnendiag 
an edition of our historians, both Latin and English ; bot 
I have great hesiuitlon whether to undertake much of fe 
myself. What I ^n I certainly will do ; but I ahoaM 
feel particularly delated If you would join forces wfth 
me, when 1 think we might do the business to purpose. 
Do, Lord lore you, think of this grande cpu». 

" 1 have not been so fortunate as to hear of Mr. Black- 
burn. I am afraid poor DaiilBl has been very idly em- 
ployed— C^etem non animum. I am glad you still retam 
the purpose of visiting Rogcd. If you live on muuon and 
game, we can feast you ; for, as one wittily said, 1 am oat 
the hare with many (fiends, but the friend with mafty 
hares.- W. 8." 

Mr. Ellis, in his next letter, says :— 

" I wOl not disturb you by contesting any pan of yow 
ingenious apology for your intended eompUte editkla of 
Dryden, whose genius 1 venerate as much as you do. aad 
whose negligences, as he was not Hah enough to doom 
them to oblivion in his own lifetime, it is perhaps incum- 
bent on his editor to transmit to the latest ptisterity. Most 
certainly I am not so squeamish as to quarrel with him 
for hi/* immodesty on any moral pretence. Liceotiooa- 
nesis in writin£, when arcnm|)anied by wit, as in the case 
of Prior, la Fontaine, Ac, is never Hkely to excite aiiy 
poMion. because every pasftion is serious ; and the grav.* 
epistle of Eloisa is more likely to do moral inisuliief and 
convey infection to luve-sick damsels, than five huudred 
stories of Hans Carvel and Paulo Purgante ; b»« «ha^ 
ever is in point of expression vulgar— whatever Ui.'^piMa 
the taste— whstever might have been written by any fooL 



UFB OF SOL WALTER ^SOQIT. 



mik dMrefor* imwortlur of J>rfdMk-~mbaiUfvw might 
bm been •apprMKd, withooC dxckinf a motnent's re- 
pdlnthe mind of any ofhia admirer^-roif^Ai, In mj opi- 
rioa, to b« tuppresstfd bjr an j editor wno ■boold b« (fi«> 
potedto make an appeal to the public taatt apofi the wib^ 
»ct ; becaoM a man who waa perhaps the beat noet and 

bol prose writer in the language but it ia foolish to 

ny IB maeht after promising to sav nothing. Indeed I 
•«n mj/f^f ruil^ or posseaJng all his woris in a very 
iDdiiireot edition, and I shall certainly purchase a better 
one wbeoerer you put it in my power. With regard to 
jDor competitors, I feel perfectly at my ease, because I 
la eaoTioced that though yon should feneronsly ftimlsh 
itaea with sU the material^ they would not know how to 
BMtfaem.fum euir£« Aomsnton omifn^ lo write critical 
MM thst any o*e wiU read." 

AlIadioK to tbe regret whicli Scott hwd expressed 
mne tioie before st the shorineas of his Tiait to the 
inrieiof Oxford, Ellis says, in another of these 
kttert- 

"Afibnry is like a batcher's shop ; it oonlaina plenty 
ctamt, but it is aU raw ; no person liTiof—CLeydeik^ 
btittrt was only a lotir de ybrot to astonish Rltaoii} and 
lueepc the ikbysainiaos, whom I never saw)— can find a 
Bmlinittfll some good cook (mippoae yourself) comet 
in and atjt, * Sii^ I see by your looks that you are hungry : 
ikaowyoo n sfte b e patient for a moment, and you shall 
ke Miikd that you have an ejueUent appetite.' " 

I iinll not transcribe the mass of letters which 
Soott rmnred from various other literary friends 
wow mittance he invoked in the preparation of 
huofitio&of Bryden; but among them there oc- 
^ Qoe 80 adnurabWi that I cannot refuse myself 
w plnsore of in troducing it, more especially as the 
^Kvi wliieh it opens harmonise as remarkably with 
Mnc^ u thev difier from others, of those which 
Scon huDselt ultimately expressed respecting the 
mm character of his illustrious author. 

" Fi^nkle, Nov. 7, 1805, 

' ' . '^Iwaa much plaased to hear of yourengage- 
^«iUi Dryden : not that he is, s« a poet, any great 
mite of Dane : I admire his talenu and genlua buhly, 
Mt M if not a poetical geoias. The only qoaUtiea I can 
yaDryden that are csscn/totfy poetical, are a certain 
f^ Md impetuosity of mind, with an excellent ear. 
■^ teem strange that 1 do not add4o thia, great com- 
BMioriufuage: T%4U be certainly has, and of snch 
"CBife, too, ss it is most desirable that a poet should 
("MM. or rather that he should not be without. But it 
^ ■anage that to, in the highest sense of the word, 
meO. bekig neither of the imagination nor of the pas- 
*°«i' ">«<» the amiaUe, the ennobilng, or the Intense 
S"*** I do not mean to sav ttiat there is nothing of 
^Pnrdeo, bulaa little, I think, aa la possible, coast* 
«»ai kov moch he has wftaenTYao will easily under- 
when I refor to his veratficadon of 



aning, 
f^^uMAiclte, aa contrasted with the language of 
^'^'"^^ Dryden had neither a tender heart nor a lofty 
•M*of Qoral dignity, Whenever bis hnguage la poe- 
^ ioiPMsioned, it ia mostly upon nnpleaaing subjects, 
^ M the jollies, vices, and crimes 4r claesea of man or 
rtmhiais. That hia cannot be the langnage of irasgi- 
™|OnMt have necessarUy Mlowedfro^ thia,-<hat 
^i^B^iingle imsge fromnatnre in the whole body 
ISIIK" ; wd in his tranalatlon from Vhiil, where 



•^ 



ilcanbe talrly aaidto have had his eye upon his 



j,^--yden always spoils the passage. 
BQt too moch or this ; I am glad that you are to be 
hS!^ Uia political and satirical ptocea may be great- 
'7 »tt«iited by Uluslration, and even absolutely require 
jLi^'^fwct teit to the first object of an editor-(then 
iMk wS.*" ^^^f>^'^ diificolt or obscure passages ; and 
!JJJ|;*Weh is much less important, notes pointing out 
!J^ 10 whom the poet has been lndebte<l^ not tn the 
SSfk?*^ of phrase liere and phrase- there— which Is 
SSSS*?* » general practice)--bnt where he has had 
^rSrr f^taoma either aa to matter or manner, 
at A^ M of any use to you, do not fUl to apply to 
^ use thiol I may take the liberty to suggest, wMch 
kLT^*V°u com&to the tiri>les, might tt not be advlsa- 
ZrJ*w the whole of the tales of Boccace in a smaUer 
^"> ^original language 1 1f thto should look too much 
g|JL!*f'''i| » book, I should eenainly make sfich ex- 
^^^ woifld show where Bryden has most strikingly 
g gy ppoB. or fUleo betow. his original I think hb 
rjSfSv" Boeeace are the best, at least the most 
r^^hls poems. It to many years since 1 saw 
C\?^»at I remember that aigismuwla to ilot married 
"^*ntoGtiisclrd-<ibe n^esare different in Boceaee 



hi both tales, I beBeve-^rtakily In Theodare, *e.) I 
thtok Dryden has moch injqred the story by the mar* 
riage, and degraded Sigismunda's character by It. He 
haa also, to the best of my remembrance, degnded her 
still more by making her love absolute aensualuy and ap* 
petite ; Dryden had no other notion of the passion. With 
all these defects, and they are very gross ones, It to a 
noble poem. Qoisoard's answer, when first reproached 
by Tancred, to nobte in Bqccacer-oothing but this : Amor 
pud motto Did dbe ne eot »e io po»$iamo. Thia, Drrdeli 
has spoiled. He sajra fiivt very well, Hhe fauhs of love 
by love are Justified,' and thea come fbnr Itaiea of mise- 
rable rant, quite k la Masimin. Farewell, and believe 
me ever youf affectionate friend, 

William WoaoswoanL** 



CHAPTER XV. 

AlTAia or THS CLSRKSHIP OF SKSSIOIT— LlTTiaS TO 
KLLIS AMD LOaO DALXXITH— YISFT TO LOMpON— 
KABL SPKfCaa AMD MB. POX— GABOUMB, PBIMCXS 
OP WAUM — JOAMMA BAILLIX — APP0IMTJ9MT A' 
CLBBK OP BBSeiOM— LOBD MBLYILLB's TBIAL-'^a 
OWHie ACQUTTTAt.— i8<l6. 

While the first Yohimes of his Dryden ^ .e j^iaa- 
ing through the press, the affair concerning the 
clerkship m the Court of Sesnon, or^ned about nine 
or ten months before, had a^ «een neglected by 
the friends on whose cotmsr «nd asstounce Scott 
had relied. In one of his ^ ^ «ee of 1830, hebriefly 
tells the issue of this nsf^.uation, which he justly 
describes as " an importk«it circumstance in his Uik 
of a nature to relieve him from the anxiety which 
he must otherwise have felt as one upon the pre- 
carious tenor of whose own life rested the principal 
Erospects of his fiimily, and especially as one who 
ad necessarily some dependenps on the proverbi- 
ally eaprioiotts favour of the public" Whether Mr. 
Pitt's bint to Mr. WilUara Dundee, that he wonld 
willingly find an opportunity to promote the into^ 
rests of the author of the Lay, or some conTersation 
between the Duke of Buecleudi and Lord Melville, 
nrst encouraged him to this direction of his views^ 
I am not able to state distinctly ; but I believe that 
the desire to see his fortimes placed on some more 
substantial baids, was at this time partaken pretty 
equally by the three peraons who bad the principd 
influence in the distnoution of ^e crown patronagei 
in Scotland ; and ae his object was rather to secure 
a future than an immediate increase of official m- 
come, it was comparatively easy to make such an 
arrangement as would satisfy his ambition. George 
Home of Wedderburn, in Berwickshire, a gentleman 
of considerable literary acquirements, imd an old 
friend of Scott's family, had now served as Clerk of 
Sesnon fi>r upwards of thirty years. In those dars , 
there was no system of retiring pensions for the 
worn«qut ftinctionary of this claas, and the usual 
method was, either that he should resign in Ihvour 
of a succeseor, who advanced a sum of money ao* 
cording to the circumstances of his a^e aiid health, 
or for a coadjutor to be associated with him in his 

5 stent, who undertook the duty on copdition of a 
ivision of salary. Soott oi&red to relieve Mr. 
Home of all the labours of his office, and to allow 
him, nevertheless^ to retain its emoluments entire 
during his life time ; and the aged clerk of course 
joined his exertione to procure a conjoint-patent on 
these very advantageous terms. Mr. Home resigned, 
aud a new patent was drawn out accordingly ; but, 
by a clerical inadvertency, it was drawn out solely 
in Scott'e favour, no mention of Mr. Home being 
inserted in the mstrument. Although, therefore, 
the sign-manual had been affixed, and there re- 
mained nothing but to pay the £ees and take out the 
commission, Scott, on discovering this omission, 
could nol of course proceed in the DusinesB} since, 
in the event of his dying before Mr. Home, that 

gentleman would have lost the vested interest which 
e bad atiptdated to retain. A pending chaftfe of 
pecuniary corruption had compeUed Lord Melville 
to retire from office some time before Mr. Pitt's 
death ; and the cloud of popular obloquy undo- 
which he now labomed, rendered it intposiible that 



no 



unw sut wavt&c soon. 



Sooif dHHild «spett Mtifltanet from d^ mrter to 
whiek, imd«r toy other drcutnstances, he would 
naturally htre turned for extrication from this diffi- 
culty. He therefore, as soon as the Pox and Gren- 
yille Cabinet had been nominated, proceeded to 
London, to m^ke in his own person sach repre- 
sentations as nu^ht be necessary to secure the issu* 
ing of the patent m the shape onginaUv intended, 
• It' seems wonderful that he should ever have 
doubted for a 'single moment of the result; since, 
had the new Cabinet been purely whig, and had he 
been the most notorious and violent of Tory parti- 
zans, neither of which was the case, the arrange* 
meat had been not only virtually, but with the ex- 
ception of an evident official blunder, formally 
completA ; and no Secretary of State, as I must 
think, could have refused to rectify the paltry mis- 
take m question, without a derelicuon of every piin- 
ciple of hqnour. The seals of the Home Office had 
b^eif placed in the hands of a nobleman of the 
highest character— moreover an ardent lover of 
Uterature; — while the chief of the new ministry 
was one of the most generous as well as tasteful of 
mankind : and accordingly, when the circumstances 
ware expiained, there occurred no hesitation what- 
•ver on their parts. " I had." says Soott, " the 
honour of an interview with Barl Spencer^ and he, 
in the most handsome manner, gave directions that 
the commission should issue &s originally intended : 
adding, that the matter having received the roval 
assent, he raoarded only as a claim of justice what 
be would wimngly have done as an act of fisivour.*' 
He adds, " I never saw Mr. Fox on this or any 
other occasion, and never made any application to 
him, oonoeiving, that in doing so, I might have 
been supposed to express political opinions difisrent 
nom those which I had always professed in his 

Eite capacity, thOre is no man to whom I would 
• been more proud to owe an obligatioik— had I 
so diatinguisbed."* 
In January, 1808, however, Scott had by no 
meaof^measiffed either th« charaeter, the Meungs, 
or the arraogemcDta oi ^reat public lunctioiMiMs, 
by the sGandiard ^th which observation and expo- 
neoce snbse«uently fumisbed him. He had breathed 
Utherto, as fi^ as political qoeetidns of all sorts 
wave concerned, the not atmosphere of a very nar- 
row eeeoe,— and seems to have pictured to himself 
Whttehall and Dowmng Street, as oalf a wider 
ata^pe ibr the exhibition of the bitter bm fanatical 
Ncjadioea that tormented the petty circles of the 
Parhameat Honae at Edinburgh i the true bearing 
and scope of which no man in aner days more 
thorongnlgr undttsUHKl^or moss sineefenr pitied. 
The variation of his ieetingSi wkile his hasiness 
atiU remained undetermtned, wtU, however, be best 
collected fiou the correspondence abooc to be 
quoted. It was, moseover, when these letters were 
written, that he vras tasting, for the first timb, the 
foil cap of (hshionable blandirimient as a London 
Iiisn? nor will the reader £ul to observe how deep- 
ly, while he supposed his own most important 
worldly interests to be in peril on the one hand, aB4 
was surrounded with so many captivating flatteries 
on the other, he continued to mipathize with the 
misfortunes of his early friend and patron, now 
harled fh>m power, and subjected to a series of de- 
grading peraecations, from the conaequenoes of 
which that lofty spirit vras never entirely to recover. 

To Oeorge EUu^ Baq-t Sutminghm. 

** Bdiahoffgh, Jaaoavy 2itb, 1886. 
^MydesrEllis, 

" I b*ve been too long In l^thkf yon hear of m^ tnd 
my present letter is going to be a Terr telfiah one, since 
it wUl be chiefly oceapled by sn alnlr of my own. In 
which, prolNibly, yoo raaor find rery Hide eatertainment. 
I re\y, lu>wever, iqton yoar cordial good withes and sood 
advice, thougli, perhaps, you may Mf unable to afford me 
soy direct aiaistance Without more trouble than I would 
with you to take on my account Tou must Icnow. then, that 
wkh a iriew of withdnwtng enUrely ttom the W, I had 
antered into a transaction wHh an elderly and infirm gen- 



deman, Mr. Qeorge Houie, to be associated with bim k 
the office which he holds as one of th^ principal dcrka 
to oureupreme Cofut of Session ; I being to disdMrgs 
the duty gratuitouslr during IiLs life, and tu succeed hun 
arhis decease. This could only be carried into elK^t by 
a new commission firom the crown to him and me ioint^. 
which has been issued In similar cases very lately, aoa 
is hi point of Ibrm quite correct. By the interest of my 
Und and noble friend and chie( the DuIk of Baccleudii 
the countenance of g<ivenimcnt was obiaiaed to this ar- 
rangement, and the affair, as I liave every reason to be- 
lieve, is now in the Treasury. I have writtea to my 
solicUor» Alexander Mundell, Ffudjer Street, to use c^erj 
despatch in hurrying through the commission ; but the 
news of to-day giving us every reason to apprehend Pitt's 
death, if that lamentable event has not aAready happene<l,* 
maJtes me get nervous on a subieet so ioterestins to my 
little fortune. My political sentiments have betsn si ways 
constitutional and open, and although they were never 
rancorous, yet I cannot expect that the Scottish Oppo- 
sition party, ahould circumstances bring them into power, 
would consider me as an object of ftvoor; nor would I 
ask it U their hands, llieir leaders cannot regard mi- 
with malevolence, for I am intimate with many oftliem ; 
but they must provide for the Whi^^lsh children before 
they throw their bread to the Tory dogs ; and I shall not 
fawn on them because they have In their turn the aoper- 
intendence of the larder. At the same time, if Fox's 
friends come lolo power, it must be with Windham's 
party, to whom my politics can be ne exoeptioo,— i/ the 
politics of a private individual ought at any ti«ne u> be 
Qiade the excuse Ibr intetcepting me bounty of hiM sove- 
reign, when it is in the vjsry course of being bestowed. 

''The situation is roost desirable. bein| £300 a^resr, 
besides being consistent with holdlnK my sberifloom; 
and I contdaflbrd very well te waM tUiTt opened to me by 
tike death of nnr oolleafoe,^withouc wishing a mo« wortt>y 
and req>eclab|e roan to die a moment sooner ilian rip« 
nature demanded. Tl^ duly consists In a few iMCMra* 
labour in the forenoons when the Conrt sits, leaviiig tite 
evenings and whole vacation dpen for literary pursuitsu 
I wlO not relfhquish^e hope of such an ettabUshivent 
without an eflbit, if it is possible, wlthoot/lerelictian of 
my prineiplel, to attain the aeeooipllehaneat of it. As I 
have aufliered in iqy professional tine by addictiuc myself 
lo the profiMie and anprofltable art of poem-malcing, I mm 
very destooos to indemnity myself by availing lay self of 
any prepossession wldch my literary repwtatian may, 
however unraeritedly, have created in my faveor. I hare 
C»and it asefol when I applied for bthers, and I see no 
reason why I ahoold not try if It can do any Oiiaf Ibr 

OMTSelf. 



Ferhaos, after alL my eocnmiaeion vmf be fol 

i>re a change of Mlaistry, if su •■ ^^ " ^ 

place, as it seems not tar distant 



before a change of luaistry, if soeh an event slMdl lake 



If itisoclMTwIse. wiH 
yoa ne so good as to think and devise sons mede la 
which my case magr he staled lo Wladliaro or Lord Greo- 
vilitt, soppoaing Ihem to cone Inl If It is not deemed 
worthy or atteuion, I am sore 1 shall be eonlenied; boc 
His one thing to have a right to ask a thvowr, and another 
to hope that a transnetlon, already ftiUy completed by the 
private parttea, and approved of by an ejdwng admlnis- 
traUon, shall be penaUled to lUcp etfeet lo ikvoor ^f an 
uaoflfendinff iadhridual. 1 believe I shall see you Tery 
•hA(t)y, oniess I n|^ from Mnadell that the business can 
be done for certain without nqr oomlng up. 1 wiB not, it 
I can hch> it. be flayed bke a aheen for the Veneflf of some 
pettifogging lawyer or atloraey. I have stated the matter 
to you y/wf bluntly ; Indeed, I am aot asking a favour, 
but, oaleas my sel^partiaUty blinds ne. merefy tair piny. 
Youzsever, WALnaBcorr." 

T^ WaUtr BeoU^Etq^ BdMurgh. 

*> 0Mh, 6lh February, 1806. 
"My dear Scott, 

" Tou roust have seen by the lists of the new Miniatry 
already published in aU the pspers, thai, aMboairh the 
death of our excellent Miniater has been certainhr a moat 
unfortunate event, in as for as It must tend to delay me 
object of your present wishes, thdre is no cause for your 
alarm on account of the change, eseepting as for as that 
change is very extensive, and thos, perhapa, much tioie 
may elapae, before the business of every kind which was 
in arrears can be expeditied by ibe lUfw AdminiatratJoo. 
There is no change of principle (as for as we can yet 
iudge) in the new Cabinet— or rather, the new Cabinet 
has no general poBtioal oreed. Lord OrenviHe, Fox. 
Lord Lansdowne, and Addlngten, were the four norolnai 
heads of four distinct parties, which most now by soma 
chemical process be amalgamaied; all mast forgei^ 4f thej 



nm dr SKB wji/nsR fumr. 



lit 



nils Md oMlod% Mdmlto In dM 

„ , I «fa!J«et 'Bo«1kr this to i^oMlble, 

Iniaiboiriiowliii d«fre«-lhto modef Mioikrjr omi, 
if Mr joint todnanc«, comnuid a lOAJoritj tn the 
IMK of Commoiu ; how (ar they will, m§ a whaU^ be 
UMUd b^ tlie teccat influence aad power of the Crown : 
•lM(fa«r, if ooC «> iecooded, tbejr will be able to appeal 
tome tme hence to the people, ami disaolye the Fkrlia* 
mtr-ai (heee, and manj other queationa, wiU receive 
wy<ifer«ot answers from diffisreat epeculatort. Bat 
k tltt meanlime it it ael^evidenl, that every individual 
vi be eztremdy jealoua of the patronage of hie indi> 
tidflal depaitmeni; that individually, aa well aa coo* 
j«ieaj, they will >e cautious of provokinf enmity ; and 
Uil a meuare patronised by the Duke of Buccleoeh 
it •« very likely to be opposed by any member of such a 
Cibi»eL 

"I^iodeod, the object of your wishes were a sinecure, 
uiiat Uie disposal of the Chancellor (KtakineX or of the 
fnoAoAofthe Board of Control (Lord MinmX you miftht 
ton suooi cause, perhaps, for apprehension ; but what 
jw ukootdd soil lew candidates, and there furobably is 
M doe whom the Cabinet, or any person in it, would 
ied aaj MioDg tnleret/ inobii(iiui to your disadvantaac. 
Bb (tfthei; ve know that Lord Hidmouih is Uk the Cthi- 
act, 10 is Lord Erienboroush, and ihoae two are notori- 
08&; Uk Sin^$ Ministers. Now wc raav be very sure that 
i^, or sofBeolher uf the King's friencu, will possess one 
^paruaesi, whkb has im> name, but is not the less real ; 
Bttod?, ik soperviaion of the King's influence both 
ikert sBd io flcoUaod. I therefore much doubt wltefher 
ibere if tajman in the Cabinet, who, as Minister, has it 
is kuLjmf to preveiH your aciJainmeot of your object. 
Urdldfiiie, we know, teas in a gre^ measure the re> 
prweaMtie of the King^s peraunaTiofluaiiee in Scotland, 
aad Iks by DO means sure that he is no longer ao ; but 
b«ilaluitinay, it will, I am well persuaded, continue hi 
ifae hiodsof eouMoue who has not been forced upon his 
aijNQF Si one of his confidential servants. 

''OMQthe whole, then, the only consolation that I can 
Mwatly give you Ls, that what you represent as a 
fnatifd difficulty to quite tmaginar^^ and that your 
•a pwitical principles are exactly those which are most 
wiy lobe ssrrioeableto Tou. 1 need not say how happy 
im Md wyssll vouM be to see you, (we shall tBena 
tteuQik of Mureh in lioodon,) nor that, if you should be 
m to pokst out any means by which 1 can be of the 
jyww t ose in advaoclng your interests, you may em- 
PfoM without reserve. I must go to the Pump-room 
■r ay gkni of watnr-«e QoA btons yen. Ever truly 

7^ Qetrse Ettit^ Eaq., Bath, 

"LomiQn,Peb.20;l801 

'Vf tear BBS, 

"Ibars your kind lettar, and am InAnHety ebUaed lo 
I^ br TOOT sdicUude m my behaU I have Indeed been 
Otter tutuoate, for the nie which has thatterad so 
Oi&riDodly aisoaies, haa bfown my little bark into the 
v^ 4u whkh she was bound, and left me only to 
^«nt the misfortooea of mj nienda. To vary the 
n>I«. while the huge frigate^ the Moira and Lauderdale, 
^fiarcslv comMUiDg for the dominkm of the Calcdo- 
tifi Hain, I was fortunate enough t^et on board the 
*f) aNp flpencer,and lenve them Joflttle their dlipntes 
MleiiaM. U is said to be a violent ground nf controversy 
■tMSwlCkktetcy, which of those two noble hards is to 
be St. Andrew for Scotland. I own I tremble for the 
2*«9o«»ce» of » vtolent a temper as I^uderd^Ie's, 
^wd hy long disappointed amblnon and ancient feud 
*^ aU bis brother nobles. It to ft certain trnth that 
J^ Maha toslsit upon hit claim, backed by all the 
ineodftof the late administration \a Scotland, to have a 
i;^ weight h) that canntry ; and it to equally cenAin 
ikittkalUaittons awl iMderdalea have struck eat. Bn 
wre in paofila who have atoed In the nin wkhont doora 
nr K naay years, quarreUiog for th^ nearest place to 
[°^re, u soon as they have set their feet on the floor. 
*1[u VoUi, as he'alwaya has been, was highly kind and 
"^U^wi to me on thto occasion. 

li«ber it jnst come in, with yonr letter waving In his 
■J*' I •» ashamed of all the trouble 1 have given yon, 
"^ * th< stme time flattered to find your niendahip 
^ «qml to that greatest and naost disagreeable of all 
2^ the task orsoUotMion. BIrs. 8oo€t Is not widi me, 
^}*^ trafy concerned to think we ahould be so near, 
?|^the prospect of meeting. Truth is, I had half a 
Qjad to tatkt a run up to Bath, merely to break the spell 
JJ^Jhas prevented our meetlnl for these two vcars. 
■w Kndley, the collector, has lent me a parcel of books, 
5>ie^b« tostots m tm oensoltktr ^Htl|hi the Ubertie* of 
1 which I cannot find elsewhere, ae that 



the fovteMt I propone ifr 

aammtnallon and extraeHng. 



Wm he Wny 
'w long I may be 



here to very nnceitafo, but I wish to leave London on 
Satnrday se*ennight. fihoald I be so dekyed as to brtef 
my ttme of departure any thing near that of vour arrival^ 
fwUl stretch my furlough to the utmost, that I may have a 
chance of seeing you. Nothing to mhided here but do* 
mestic politics, and if we are not clean swept, there Is xuy 
want of new brooms to perform that operation. I have 
heard v«ry bad news of Leyden'a health since my arrival 
here — such, indeed, as to give room to apprehend the 
very worst. I fear he hat neglected the precautions which 
the 'Climate renders necessary, and which no man depart* 
from with Impunity. Remember me kindly and respect 
fully to Mrs. Ellis ; and believe me everyours iaitl^fully, 

WlLTin SOOTT. 

**P. 8. Poor Lord MelviUe ! How does he lookl We 
have had mi^terable accounts of hia health in London. He 
was the architect of my little fortune, fh>m oirciuastancss 
of personal, regard merely ; for any of my trifling litera* 
ry acquisitions were out of hto way. My heart bltfedt 
when t think on his situation— 

' Even when the lege of battle ceased, 
The Victor's soul was not appeased.' "* 

To the Earl of Dalkeith. 

** London, lUh Feb. 1800. 

" My dear Lord, 

" I cannot help flattering myaelf-for perhaps it to 
flauering myself— that the nobto architect of the Border 
Minstrel's Uttto fortune has been sometimes anxious for 
the security of Chst lowly e^fice, during the tempest 
which has overturned so many palaces and tf»wers. If 1 
am r^ht in my soppoaitlon, it will give you pleasure tq 
learn that, notwithstanding some little rubs, I have been, 
able to carry through the tranaaction which your lordship 
sanctioned by yovtr influence and approbation, and that la 
a way very pleaahy to my own feeuoca. Lord Spencer, 
upon the i^mre of the tranaaction bemg explained In an 
audience with which he fkvoored nie, was pleased to^ 
direct the commisaion to be Issued, as an act of Justice, 
regretting, he aaid, it had not been from the beginning hit 
own de^ Thto waa dohigthe thing handsomely^ and Qke 
an Engltoh nobleman. I hava been- verv much ftted Kf9 
oareaaed here, ahnoat Indeed to suflbcatton, but have been 
made amends by meetinc some oU firlenda. One of th« 
hkndest waaLordfionMTvQle, wbb volunteered hitroducing- 
me Ao LMtl Spencer, as nmcb, I am convinced, from res- 
pect'le yonr tordaliip's pratection and wtahea, as from a 
desire to serve roe rarsonaUy. Be aeemed very anxloun 
tade anv thing in nis power whtob might evince a wish 
to be oi^use* to yoor prategfl. Lerd Innlo waa aha In- 
finitely kind and native, and hto toflaence with Lord Spen- 
cer wottld^ 1 am convincec^ bsive been sdretched to the 
utmost in* my frvoor, had net Lord Spencer'a own view 
of the subicct been perfaetly snflloient. 

* After an, a little literary repotatlon to of seme nse here. 
I suppose Sotomon, when he compared a food name lo n 
pot of ointment, meant that it oiled the hhiges of^e hall* 
doors into which the posseasors of thai hiestimable trea* 
sure wished to penetrate, what a good name waa in Je* 
rusalem, a Anoma name seems to be in London. If yon 
are celebrated, for writing varies or for slicing cucum 
hers, for being two feet taller or two feet less than any 
other biped, for acting ptoys when you should be wUpped 
at school, or for attending schooto and institutlona when 
you should be preparing for your grave, your notoriety 
becomes a tallsmau— an 'Open Seaame* before which 
every thing gives way— tiU you are voted a bore, and dia- 
carded for a new plaything. As this to a oonanmmation of 
noteriety which I ao^ b v no means ambitfous of experi- 
enciikg, I hope I shall be very soon able to shape my 
course northward, to cnioy my good fortune at ny laienre^ 
and snap my fingers at the bar and all ito weeks. 

" There is, it Iji believed, a rude scuffle betwixt our tot» 
coumiander-in-chief and Lord Laudfrdale, for the patron- 
age of Scotland. If there is to be an exclusive admlnia- 
tration. I hope it wiH not be in the hsnds of the latter. 
Indeed, when one considers that, bv meane ef Lorda 
Sidmoutb and Elleaborough, the Kin^ poasessaa th«> • 
actual power of casting the balanee betwixt the five Gren* 
viUites and four Foxiies who compose tho Cabinet, I can- 
not thhik they will find It an eaay matter, to force nnoa 
his Majesty any one to whom he has a persohal dialike. 
I should therefore suppose that the disposal of St An- 
drew's Cross Wm be delayed tiU the new Mhilatry to n< 

••-■•' Therein 

one wpuk 



litUe consolidated, if that time ehall ever cone. 
much leose gunpowder amongst thami and 



•'^*»— *— ^D^efb^^^Obgie 



. \ 



lis 

VDvldiiMktafii^eaploikMi. FirdontheMpoUticaleflb- 
stoM ; lam infoetad By the atmosphere which I iireathe^ 
and canoot reatrain my pen from diacuatiog at^ aflaira. 
I hope ttie yovmg ladiea aod my dear little chief are now 
itocorerinf ftt>m the hoopiof-coug h, if it haa eo tamed 
out to be. If I can do any tiling knt any of the frmfly 
here, you luiow your right to command, and the pleaaure 
it will alTonl me to obe^ Will your lordahip be so kind 
aato acquaint the Buke, with erery grateful and respect* 
lUl acknowledgment on my part, that I haTe this day got 
my cummiseion from the Secretary's office 1 I diae to* 
day at IloUand-houae : I refuaed to go before, lest it should 
be thought I was aolioiting interest in, that quarter, as I 
abhor even the shadow of changing or tumbg with the 
tida _ 

" lam ever, with grateflil acknowledgment, your Lord- 
ship's much indebted, faithful humble servant, 

WALtsa BCOTT." 

To George BUie, Eeq. 

** London, Saturday, Blarch 3; 1806. 

•* My dear EUs, 

**I have waited in vain for 4he happy dissolution of 
the spell which has kept us aaunder at a distance less by 
one quarter than in general divides us ; and sioce I am 
finaUy obliged to depart for the north to-morrow^ I have 
onl^ to comfort myself with the hope that Bladud will in- 
« fuae a double influence into his tepid mrings, sod that 
you will feel emboldened, bv the quantity of reinforce* 
mem which the radical heatahall have received, to under- 
take your expedition to the tramontane region of Reged 
this season. My time haa been spent very gayly here, 
and I should have liked very well to have remained till 
▼ou came up to town, had it not been for the wife and 
Daims St home, whom I confess! am nowanxtous to see. 
AcconUngly I set oflT early to-morrow moniing— -indeed 
I expected to have done so to-day, but my companion, 
Hillantyne, our Scottish Bodoni. waa afflicted with a vio- 
lent diarrhcea, which, though hts physician asaured him 
It would serve his health In general would ceitainly have 
contributed little to his sccomplishments as an agreeable 
companion in a post-chaise, which are otherwise very 
respectable. 1 own Lord Melville's misfortunes affect me 
deeply. He, at least his nephew, was my early patxtm, 
and gave me countenance ana assistance when I had but 
few friends. I have seen when the streets of Edinburgh 
vrere thought by the Inhabitants almost too vulgar for 
Lord Melville to walk upon ; and now I fear that, witti hia 
power aqd influence gone, his presence would be account* 
6d by many, from whom ne has deserved other thoughts, 
an erobarraasment, if not something worse. AU this is 
very vile— it is one of the oceaaions when Providence, aa 
it were, industrioasly turns the tapestry, to let us see the 
>ratted enda of the worsted which compose Its moat bean* 
tUul fimea. Ood grant your prophecies may be true, 
which \fear are rather dictated by your kind heart than 
your experience of political enmltlea and the fate of fkllen 
statearoen. Kindest complimenta to Mrs. EQis. Your 
next will find me In Edkiburgh. 
^ • Waltbr Soott." 

7b Oeorge BOio, Eoq. 

••Ashestlel, April 7, 1806. 

<*MydearEUia, 

** Were I to begin by telling you all the regret I had 
at not finding you in London, and at being obliged to leave 
it before vour return, thla very handsome sheet of paper, 
which 1 intend to cover with more importaot aod biterest- 

/ ins matters, would be entirelv occupied by such a Jere- 
imade as could only be equalled by Jeremiah himself. I 
will therefore waive that subject, only assuring you that 
I hope to be in London next dpring, but have much warm- 

. er hopea of seeing you here in summer. I hope Bath 
has been of service ; if not so much as you expected, try 
easy exercise in a northward direction, and make proof 
of the virtues of the Iweed and Yarrow. We have been 
here theae two days, and I have been quite rejoiced to 
find all my dogs, and horses, and sheep, and cows, and 
two cottages full of peasants and their children, and all 
my oilier stock, human and animal, in great good health 
—we want nothing but Mrs. Ellis and you to be the stran* 
gers within our gates, and our eatablishbiem would be 
complete on the patriarchal plan. I took poasession of 
my new ofllce on my return. The duty is very simple, 
consisting chiefly in signing my nsmtf ; and as I have five 
ooUeagoes, I am not obliged to do doty except Ui turn, so 
my task is a very essy one, as my name is very khort. 
^ My prlnoiiNtt companion In this solitude is John Dry- 
4en* After all. there are some passsges in his transla* 
tioM from Ovid and Juvenal Chat wlQ hardly bear reprint- 



LBW or SIB WALTBR SCQATT. 



faub unleaa I woohl hsEV« the Blihop ^ Londsa and i^ 

whole eorps of Methodists about my eara. I wials y^f^ 
would look at the paassges I maao. One ia finoaca Cffe4 
fburth book of Lucretius ,* the other fh>ra Ovid's InnCr ac 
tions to*^ his Mistress. They are not only dooble-««^esi 
drea, but good plain sinde-entendrea— not only broad,b«i 
long, and aa coarse aa tne mainsail of a firs^rBie. ^W^ia 
to make of them I know not. bat I fear that, without ml: 
lutely gelding the bard, it will be iodiapenmble to r.hrc < 
clae him a nttle, by leaving out aome of the mo«c ot» 
noxious lines. Do pray look at the poems and decide foi 
roe. Have your seen my friend Tom Thomson, wbo ii 
iust now in London 1 He has, 1 believe, tite advantai^e o 
Knowing you, aod I hope you will meet, as he nnderatmn«fi 
more of old books, old lawn, and old history, than an^ cnma 
hi Scotland. He has latenr received an appointment xix^ 
der the Lord Register of^ Scotland, which puta all oiaa 
records under his immediate inspection aod contix^ mixi 
I expect many valuable discoveries to be the coosequeasoc 
of his hivesiigation, if he escapes betaig smothered in cl»« 



cloud of dust which his researchea will certainly i 
about his eara. I sent your card instantly to Jefflrey, from 
whom vou had doubtless a suitable answer.* I saw tlie 
venerable economist and antiquary, Maepherson, wheti In 
London^ and Waa quite delighted with the slmpUcJij nad 
kindness of his manners. Be is exactly like one of t)»e 
old Scotchmen whom I remember twenty years aeo, l>e» 
fore so dose a imion had taken place between Edinborvti 
and London. The mail-cosch and the Berwick ^rr^rm** 
have done more than the Union In altering tfur national 
character, sometimes for the better and sometimen for 
the worse. 

*' I met with your friend, Mr. Osnning, In town, nxKl 
claimed bia acquaintance as a friend ofyoArs, and twd 
my claim allowed ; alao Mr. Frere, — both delightful cofn- 
panions, for toojood for poUtica, and for wionuig and lo> 
sing placea. when I say I waa more pleaaed with their 
socletv than I thought had been poaaible on so short &b 
acquaintance, I pay them a venr trilling compliment, and 
myself a very great one. 1 had alao the honour of dinins 
with a foir friend of youra at Blackheath, an honour whicfi 



i shall very lone remember. She Is an enchantinf prin< 
caaa, who dweUs Ui an enchanted palace, and I canooC 
help thinl|Uig that her prince must labour under aome 
malignant spell when he denies himself her society* The 
very Prince of the Bkck Isles, whose bottom was marble, 
woiild have made an effort to transport himself to Mo«ita> 

Sie House. From all this you wi\l understsnd I w^ at 
ontsgue House. 

'* I am quite delighted at the faHerest you take in poor 
Lord Melville* I suppose they are determined to nnnt 
him down. Indeed, the result of his trial muat be ruin 
firom the expense, even supposing him to be hononrahlj 
acquitted. WiU you, when you have time to write, let me 
know how that matter is likely to turn. I am daefdf In- 
terested in it ; and the reports here are so various, that 
one knows not what to trust to. Even thtf common ru- 
mour of London is generally more authentic than the *■ from 
good authority' or Edinburgh. Besides. I am now fa the 
wilds, (slas I I cahnot my wooda and wilds,) and hear little 
of what passes. Charlotte Joioa me in a thousand kind 
remembrances to Mrs. Ellla ; and I am ever youra moat 
truly. 

Waltib 8c««7.»» 

I j^hiiU not dv^ at pre«>eni upon Scoit's rneihod 
af cr»itiiuct in I he circtimfitanceB of an eniinet]il>r 
popnbr nulhor, belea^^Ti^l by tbcimnortunitiei* ttf 
fasluxinble ftdmirerp: hip bearing. wWn first e^- 

thr ond, Mtid I nhdl tiHW tti'cri.i-ii»ii m iKe w-quel i > 
produce ihe tvidtncii i^l more than one tkltberat i 
obecirver* 

Cftptlin^, Prineesa of Wflka, was in those day^ 
ccm^iiiKTid mi\*>n% tlu* Toriesv wboBp poUeir^ h^ 
hU'tHind h:vJ iintFjrmly opposixiL a» the viciim of 
unirieniod miisforlunej cast aNidc, from ihe mere 
wnntcmnesa of cft price, by n Rny ami dis^iolut^ v^- 
ItJrtuBFFj wliilfl tne Pnac<?*B Whifr nSBociatea bill 
efpoiiB*?d hifl riimrrel and wt re almady. as tbeei^etil 
sVii.nv^iJ, prepured to ae:i pubhclv as wdl is plivM^ 
ly, HB if ihi'y bK^lievifd hef m be amonfi the moK 
abnndDriLxi cif her sex« 1 know not by whom 3e«i>lt 
WftA fiftit inirodni^d to h^ little Court at Black'^ 
heath; bm I thmk it was pTobabJjr ilirotigh Mi^ 
Hay man, a Jady of her bedchamber^ severtL or 
whofte notei and letters oc^ur about this time in xh% 




Tbfoarelenlflyi 



I olIufO<MTMpond0IIC6i ,, 

tr tf the Prinoeis'i manner wai obaenred by him, 
■I htTe hfiird him sa^. with much regret, as hke- 
(lo bring the purity of heart aad mind, for which 
fa gsTe her credit, into sutpioion. For example, 
whn, in tfaeooone of the avening, ahe ooodacted 
im vf himaelf to admire some flowers in a conser- 
ntonr, and, the nlace being rather dark, his lame- 
Mwoocasioned nim to hesitate for a moment in fol- 
lowmg her down some steps which she had taken at 
aAip, she turned round, and aaidi with mock indig- 
BtiiML "Ahl Alae and faint-heart troubadour I 
roBwill not trust yourself with me for fear of your 
Beck!" 

I find from one of Mrs. Hayman's letter^^ that on 
bong aaked, at Montague House, to reoitti some 
veneiof his^own. he replied that he had none un- 
poblidied which he thought worthy of her Royal 
Hjghoese's attention, but introduced a short ac- 
cNBt of the Ettrick Shepherd, and repeated one of 
the ballads of the Afountain Bard^ for which he 
WIS then endeavouring to procure subscribers. The 
Pnnoesa appears to haYe been interested by the sto- 
ry, and ahe affected, at all events, to be pleased 
vith the lines ; she desired that her name nngfat be 
weed on the Shepherd's fist, and thus he had at 
kaat one fleam of royal patronage. 

It wai ffiuing the same visit to London that Scott 
first aav Joanna Baillie, of whose Plays on the Pas- 
Bonate had been, from their first appearance, an 
eotkaiastic admirer. Ttie late Mr. Sotheby, the 
ffomtor of Oberon, Ac, Ac, was the mutual 
nieod who introduced him to the poetess of Hamp- 
um. Being asked very lately what impression he 
malBTipon her at this mterview— " I was at first," 
Be anawered, " a little disappointed, for I was fresh 
vonihe liav; and had pictured to myself an ideal 
aeguioe and refinement of feature : but I said to 
wtLlfl bad been in a crowd, and at a loss what 
{do, I abonld have fixed upon that face among a 
uoofind, as the sure index of the benevolence and 
toe ihrewdness that would and could help me in 
Q[strait We had not talked lon^ however, be- 
snl law in the expressive play of mia countenance 
V more even of elegance and refinement than I 
udmiaaedin its mere lines." The acanaintance 
taoa begun, soon ripened into a most aSfectionate 
^^OMcj between him and this remariiable woman ; 
j^uenceforUi she and her distinguished t>rother, 
% Matthew Baillie, were among the friends to 
voosB intercourse he looked forward with the great- 
^ pteasnre when about to visit the metropolis. 

loQgfat to have mentioned before, that he had 
uowQ Mr. Sotheby at a very early period of life, 
tbat amiable and excellent man havmg been sta> 
jooed for some time at Edinburgh while serving his 
J^esty aa a captain of dragoons. Scott ever re- 
^oed for him a sincere regard ; he was always, 
*o^ in London, a frequent guesyfaat his hospitable 
^jvd. and owea to him the personal acquaintance 
« Qoi a few of their most eminent contemporaries 
a micas departments of literature and art 

When the Court opened after the spring recess, 
^U entered upon his new duties as one of the 
f'ljcipal Cleriis of Session ; and as he continued 
l^aucharge them withexemplaiy regularity, and to 
i£f ^^ satisfaction both of the Judges and the 
w. dniing the long period of twenty-five years, I 
iflinx It proper to tell precisely in what they consist- 
^ tnemore so because, in his letter to Bllis of the 
25tti Jannary, he has himself (characteristically 
lH'^londerstated them. 



,^. - -^urt of Session sits at Edmbur^h from the 
i2k *8*y to the 12th of July» and agam from the 
**w w November, with a short interval at Christ- 
J«. to the 12th of March. The Judges of t^ie In- 
J^ Court took iheir places on the Bench, ui his 
^. every morning not later than ten o'clock, and 
{^''fuied according to the amount of busiaess ready 
y despatch, but seldom fCr less than four or more 
HJn «i hours daily ; during which space the Prin- 
^Clerks continued seated at a table below the 
^^ to watch the progreas of the suits, and re- 
*^ the deoiaona— the cases, of all classes, being 
15 K» 



III 

equally apportioned among their numbar. Tha 
Oouit of Session, boweiverr does «uM ait on MondaiL 
that day being reserved for the orhninal bunnesa af 
the High Court of Justiciary i and there ia ala» 
another blank day every other weeL—the 7\tu%d 
Wtdn^eday^ as it is called, inien the Judges are as- 
aambled for the hearing of tithe questions, whi<^ 
belong to a separate jurisdiction, oif comparatively 
modem creation, and having its own separate eatab- 
Ushment of officers. On the whole, then, Scott's 
attendance in Court may be taken to nave amount- 
ed, on the averaga to from four to six hours daily 
during rather less than aix montha out of the twelve. 
Not a Uttle of the Clerk's business in Court is 
merely formal, and indeed mechanical; but there 
are few days in which be is not called upon for the 
exertion of his higher feculties, in reducing the de- 
cisions of the Beinch, orally pronounced, to techni- 
cal ahape; which, in a new, complex^ or difficult 
case, cannot be satisfactorily done, without close 
attention to all the previoua proceedings and writ- 
ten documents, an accurate understanding of the 
principles or precedents on which it has been deter- 
ipined, and a thorough command of the whole vo- 
cabulary of legal forma. Dull or indolent men. 
promoted through the mere wantonness of political 

a)nage, miont, no doubt, contrive to devolve the 
er part oi their duty upon humbler assistants: 
but, in general, the office had been held by gentle- 
men of nigh character and attainments ; and more 
than one among Scott'a own colleagues enjoyed 
the reputation of legal science that would have done 
honour to the Bench. Such men, of oourae, prided 
themselves on doing well, whatever it waa theur pro- 
per function tp do ; and it was by their example, 
not that of the drones who condescended to lean 
upon unseen and irreaponaible infeaora, that Scott 
uniformly modelled his own conduct aa a Clerk of 
Seesion. To do this required, of necessity, con- 
stant atudy of \%m-v^9tst% and authorities at home. 
There vras also a great deal of really base drudge- 
ry, such as the authenticating of registered deeds, 
by signature, which he had to go through out of 
dourt ; he had, too, a Shrievalty, thoufi^ not a hea- 
vy one, all the while upon his hands t---and, on the 
whole, it forms one of the most remarkable features 
in his history, that, throughout the most active pe- 
riod of his hterary career, he muat have devoted a 
large {proportion a( his hoors^ during half at least of 
every year, to the conscientious discharge of pro- 
fessional duties. • 

Henceforth, then* ^hen in Edinburgh, his litera- 
ry woric was performed chiefly before breakfast*- 
with the aasistance of such evening hours aa he 
could contrive toreacue from the consideration of 
Court papers, and from those social engagements 
in which, year after year, aa hia celebrity advanced, 
he was of necessity more and more largely involv- 
ed s and of those entire days during which the Court 
of Session did not sit^ays which, by most of those 
holding the same official station, were given to re- 
laxation and amusement. So long aa he continued 
Saartermaster of the Volunteer Cavalry, of course 
e had^ even while in Edinburgh, some occasional 
horse exercise } but in general, nis town life henoe«> 
forth ¥018 in that respect as inactive as hia country 
life ever was the reverse. He scorned for along 
while to attach any consequence to this complete 
alternation of habits ; but we shall find him con- 
fessing in the sequel, that it proved highly injurioua 
to his bodily health. 

I may here observe, that the duties of his clerkship 
brought him into close daily connexion with a set 
of gentlemen, most of whom were soon regarded 
by him with the most cordial afiection and confi- 
dence. Among his feUow-clerks were David Hume, 
(the nephew of the historian,) whose lectures on the 
Law or Scotland are characterized with just eulogy 
in the Ashestiel Memoir, and who subsequently bch 
came a Baron of the Exchequer { a man as virtuous 
and amiaUe aa conspicuous for masculine ingour of 
intellect and variety of knowledge. Another was 
Hector Macdonald Buchanan of Drummakiln, t 
frank-hearted and generous gentleman, not the less 



tiPE OP SIR wALtfik fi'doirtr. 



lit 
u 

wkicli hi mbcritcd with tho hkh hlood of C[anrA- | 
ukd I At who^ bi^autilul fl««t of R4m« PKory, on the 
•hoTMiirLochiornond, hb wft» b&ncdbrth almont «n- 
onallr a v biter— a cifcamstiinco whioh inu ld"t ina- 
Dv b-Hcoa ^11 I he W A verify Nort^ls. A tliird, (thotj^h 
jWlievu q{ Inter appdrirmt'in,) with wlioin hU in- 
iTOnacy was nut leJa strkt, waa itie laic exceUtni 
Sir liabert Duiidftf, oi Beech wciod, Bart^ ; and a 
fourth, wfljj iliB fnoml i>f hi a l*oy|i(>o4, 'niu of the 
d<»art>Bt be t^vt^r bnd^ Co Lin MackirniKj of Porlmoi^ 
Wtlb ihe»t; MXiitiemt^itfii ftuniiiet^i ht^ end 6i« li'red in 
»ueh*iort^-taTit faiiiiliRrity of kindnsas, lUgi the ehil- 
df^n all c-alicd tbi^ir fatiiera' cfjlltna^u^a ntibciati And 
the rootb^ra of their tittL«: frit'^id^ Qunts > und in 
trutli^ the flatablishmeni was a brotht^diood- 

Scdtt^a rvojftinatLon as Qlerk oi ise^eiotJt ^pi>c:ared 
in lUft aiinifl G[iKi?lle, (Mnfch fi, iiiOfi,) Hhii^ti an- 
nounced IhcmatnlfiJuntut the Hon. Hetjry ErakiNf 
And Jotm Ck-rk of Eldm d» Lard Advoeitt^ and ^^- 
licitortjptnerfll for St-oUattd. The pmmotiim at 
Bucb a inorHtriitt of a diaurKjuialit^i Tury. miuht Wtll 
excite iht^ won4or of the ParLiatnent H<»n»e. und 
«f«fi irbeii the cir<;umst!^nceB werv estplaincdt tlie 
In^or locral adbarenta yf tho tnumpbunt cBune 
werf far from coQaid«riuff I be conduiJt of ttit'ir sttJ^O' 
licira iu ihb matt«M with fbi&luiK^ of aatiafai;; lion. T lie 
indication of such humoyr^ wtifl dei^ply rwtentcd by^ 
jiia biiup;t{tf $pnt ; and ho m tua torn ibowed ms 
irrit&lion m a manner wc[l calculaied to ex lead to 
higher qimrtfara the apleen Wklh which hbi advance- 
ment had been regarded by (>ersona whoLly unwor* 
thy of hia attention. Jn shorty it waa alnioat im- 
jatdiAldf after a Whic Mitiisiry had gt^ued hU 
appointment to art ofBce which had for twelve 
moathi formed a principal abject of hi^ ambition, 
tll»t, Miellift^ aj^aiQit ihv itnpLifd auapicion of kia 
having aoeeptcd iKimetliing hko a perdottuli olih^a- 
tiitm at the kanda of Bdv6r»» paliticmnsK h<? for ihe 
fint time put himaolf forward as a decided Tory 
pATiiaan. 

Hie impeach nocni of Lord Mtlvdlc waa aniirtK 
tiKr ifitst JYteaaurea of the iil^w govern men e ; Qiid 
nnoiia] afTection and itfatitudc grueed aa wd) aa 
heigh fen td tli^ t^jiI with which scuii watched the 
jui^ua of (bia, in bia eyoa, VLTidiciive proceeding i but, 
itbonarb the ei-miniattiir'a tiltmiatc ocKjtiaial was, aa 
to all ibtj chargifs involviAJV his personal honouf-, 
OOmpleie, it ninat now be ftllowiHJi that the iuftjiJ li- 
gation broLij^ht out marjy drouiri!?lance4»hy no meaga 
croiJitablt! tu hi* diacrHtbn ; and thtj rtooKiuge of 
hiaifiend^ ounht nou iherrjfone, to have: b^tcxi HXjrn- 
JbHyjubdant^ Svuh thi^y were, liowyver^nt Ic^avt 
in IHdinbuTKh; and S^tt took hi^ share in them 
hf indhit}Ra aoni?> wbi^h waa sung by j a rati* Bui* 
lancyn^and received with cLatnorQut» appU uses, at 
a pubbe dmt>^T giwn ui honour of the «vetu on tba 
aith af iuntv l^0<s. I r^ret that ihia pioce was in- 
tdfencntlyorniltcHi in the litlu ooUeetive tdition of 
bit fMMMical vrofka; hut liui^e such i» t^m case, I 
Donaidef my 9rJf bound tainaert it here- Howc^v^r 
be may htiYe regretted it aAer^itarda^ du authorised 



ita publicat40U in the j)e%9tpap«M of the tLen«, and 
my narrative would fad to cijnrcy a couiriete viow 
of tlianmn^ if I i^bould draw a veil oircr the e^tpri^^ 



■iorTf IhitB deUberai<ei, of m>w^ of tl|e atrongif^t pot- 
»onal feebnga that aver animated hia verae. 

*' BBALTH TO LORD MSLTtLLB. 

At»—Carrickferfu». 
** 8loc« here we are aet in array round the table, 

Five hundred good fellows well met ia a haU, 
Come lUiten, brave boys* and I'll siofr as I'm able 
How innocence triumphed and pride got a fall 
But push round the claret— 
Gome, stewards, don't spare fl— 
' 'With rspture you'll drink to the loast that I gtre : 
Here, boys, 
, Off with it nerrily— 
MmLnuM for ever, and long may be live I 

•* What were the Whigs domg when, boldly puraaing, 
Prrr banished Rebellion, gave Treason a string t 

Why, chey swore, on their honouri Ibr AAnnra O'- 

ooKiioa, [king. 

And fought bard, for DuriaD tgaioat coimury and 



Wall» tbeiv we kAe^ boyi^ , 

Pitt and Jul vtLLi were tnia bot& , 
And the teoopeit was raised by the friends «f V« Am^ 

Ah, wo! 

Weep to his mwa&ry , 
Low Hiss tile pflbtttias weathered the stotm I 

*< And pray, don't you mind when the Bhie^ fietC vfren 
raising, 
And we scarcely could thhik the house safe o'er 
our heads t 
When vfHaina and coxcombs, French political nraWng^ 
' Drore peac« from our tables and sleep m>fa oar 
beds? 

Our hearts they grew bolder 
When, musket oa shoulder, 
Stepp'd forth our old Statesman example to gire. 
Come, boys, never fear. 
Drink the Blue grenadier— 
Here's to old Babrt, endlong may he live ! 

" They would turn us adrift ; though rely, sir, upon it. 

Our own faithful chronicler warrant us that 
The free mountaineer and his bonny blue bonneC 
Have oft srone as far as the regular's hat. 

We laugh at their taunting, 

For aJI we are wanting 
Is Iteense our life ibr our country to give. 

Off vrith it merrily, 

Horse, foot, aed artillery j— 
Each loyal Volunteer, long may he live. 

** 'TIS not ns alone, boys— the Army sod Nacvr * 

Have each goc a slap 'mki their politle prsaia ; 
OonrwAUoa cashier'd, that watched wintisra to mttf y^ 
And the Cape called a bauble, unworthy of thnnlrt 

But vain is their Uunt, 

No soldier shall want 
The thanks that his country to valonr can give : 

Come, boys, 

Drink it off merrtlr,— 
flnt Darm snd PonuLX, and long may Oiey Ttf I 

''And then our revenue— Lord knows how ihtij 
viewed it ^ 

Whtte each petty Btat^smsn talked lofty and Wmi 
Biit the beertax was WtfalF, as if Whitbripad ttul 
brewed it, 
And the pig^ron dnty a ahama fo a pig. 
rn vain la tbelrvamtlog^ 
Too surely theM*»W»iiHnf 
What Judgment, experiebee, and ateadineaa fflre ; 
Come» boya. 
Drink about merrily. 
Health to sage Mslviuji, and long may he Vtwe 1 
» Our King, too— our Princess— I dara not aaj nKMne, 
siri— 
May Providence watch them vrith mercy and might t 
While there's one ficottiah hand that can wag a clay- 
more, sir, 
They shall ne'er want a friend to stand up Ibr Chcfr 
tight 

Btt dsmn'd he that dan Aot^^ 
For my part, rn spare not 
To baaoty alBieled a tiibnte lo give : 
FULUupsteadtty. 
Drmk it off reaoily,— 
Here's to the Princess, and fong may she Uve. 
" And since we must not set Auld Reikle in glory. 

And make her brown visage as light as her heart ;* 
nil each man illumine his own upper story. 
Nor law-book nor lawyer shall force us to part. 
In Gmntvnxa and Spbncbb, 
And some tew good men, sir, 
High tslsints we honour, uight difference foffire ; 
But the Brewer we'll hoax, 
TaUyho to the Fox, 
And drink Milvilui for ever, as long as we Ihre P' 

This song gave great offence to the maity sincere 
personal fhenda whom Scott numbered aitionjg the 
itpper ranks of the Whigs ; and, in particular, it 
created a marked coldness towarda him on the part 
of the accomplished and amiable Ck>iintess of Ross- 
lyn, (a very mtimate friend of his favourite patron- 
ess, Lady Dalkeith,) which, as his letters show* 
wounded Ibis feelings severely,— the more so, I have 
no doubt, becaase a little refieotion must have made 
him repent not a few of its allusions. He was con- 
soled, however, by abundant testimonies of Torr 

* Ills Iffsgirtratea of Edkibvcfa had rqeoted aa appHnnfioa torn 
flaminatioa of the town, sa lbs airival ef the ntws oTtMi Mel- 
ville's seqnittaL 



ISLFB OFIdlK *Wil/fER ISCOrt*. 



tpprobaiion : and^ amofiit <itb«Si&, by the ibllowiiig 
DOl0 torn Ml* Cmning .— 

TV Waiitr Stmt, Btq. £dinkmrgh. 

" LimtS<Hk, JiUf 14, 1806, 
« Bear Sir, 

**l phoutrt oM tlitnk It neeemry totrmibtt! foq wHh 
adtreel ackwTWliJdBitwTitorthe rrry acc^pt^ble liferent 
whkh j-ou ipefe 9r3 |o*>il u ro B«id mo thrvuf b Mr. Wit 
Inn lM>««r '^ I ^^ n^Jt )4ipf «npil lo tii^tr tlAt lume of 
CbOM p<r*uii» who eutilil mrf imkieil hu ^pM^jeet^ lo hie< 
pteaMd wilh ynat coui^ihiLlrkU, tAtc tUorijiht iiniift-r tt» t^ 

. nil K>r yciur ex«nton« oi t i^u.4i! whKh. (h^y bjtvL* luur.i'^ 
al heu(j ow« It lo ihuuL«^-hej^ «J «'^n t-"^ «^ y^^'^J. ^bat 

Teach fitu In m lUt^**; * iiiftmi^?r n* irj'>^.»Ilile. 1 ImpetlHU, 
tn the r:<Jtii"** tif R^it r**^! ti><i iirc KJt^ij to liTonJ ymiT- 
frieodfl In lliiH pmfi bf lJi«i world ad I'yfHirtunirr or rcprj^t- 
lOf tb««f^ v<^n-fl««kin« i» fjfrtx in pumm ; uin] I have rU« 
hMOur til bf , 4k-«r aiif nith gnfH Lrith, j'^our vitTx feiiic^^re 
■Ml obfidic^at KHvat, 

Scoit'^3 TiiTy fpilinsjs npprnr to hjive bwrni kept in 
a very pxcitod sdiTf* duritit; ihe whu!*^ of (bis ahyrt 
Teign of [bt? Whig». Hf then, lor the flret ume^ 
mingled k^enij m thy detniU of coartty pohiicjK— 
caOTttaAfd cla^xor*"]ianirigii<^ meciin^ ; ftndn in a 
word, madif-'hTniB^lf ^onsptcuoiiaaiit a Ipiajdin^ ineimi- 
ment of hla pBrTy^mott* eaii^'iiilly as eti indi5fati' 
gsble locftJ trmnftijer, wht^rcvt^r \hv parliarTwntary 
mtercat i.*f ilve Bucclrwdi farn^Jy was m ptTiln But 
hfi wna, in truth, ear neat and »crnoii^ iti hif h^litf 
that th? new niters^ of the cotiniTy werti disfioBtd to 
abolish many of u« mast raluahk itiaiitmjotii ; and 
he tei^rtU'iJ wuh ipedal jealouiy c<?Ttain ichWea 
of innoTqiiiQn with mspcct lo the e^mrta of liw and 
the ad riiim»t ration of iusiic*^ which wer^Mlon fool 
br Ae crown olficera for St^oilarrd, At * debate of 



m 

piece of liumotir^ hia afiictf^ on the MiieHei of Hu* 
mAJi Lifij, tu whicU Mr. Jalfroy added Mrne, if not 
aU, of the Rtfuwtr** Groanjt with which it coO' 
dad«e. It wa^in Strpienilx^r, ii^CMS^ toii, that Mcstfti, 
t^ngman put fort h^ in a separate voltim^ thosts of 
hifl liWn BaiUc]^ whkcli, iia^uig buen induaed in iU» 
Mniitrulay, wflroalfiojiythtfir property, lOfteTherwith 
a collectiPii ol hut '* Lyrscai Pitcc* j for which ho 
rtiCii ¥*id £ 1 00. Thia pub!ica tio n^ ob viausi y ira ggttft- 
ud by ih« cQQtinutsd populariiy of tLe Lav» was 
highly i^kiCctiifisfult h^vdo ihukiGatid ci:^:}!^^ having 
ticiin iiiipobwi of btfore the first colUcnvc udiiion or 
Ii is pot ti c a I w rk » a ppt'and . H f h ad ala o proi *oecd 
to itK'lude the H4JU90 af Aapt'U in the name voliunei 
but on rfflectiuii oocb more laid hi^ pro^ t mired y 
ftaidc. About ibt «Miie lima h« tsetipd, though with* 
out hi 9 ni^mCf a imtH!d]Dn4M>ti3 volume, c^ntitlisd. 
'* Onf^inal MemOLfa written dtirinn the flreat Civil 
Wars ; haim the Life uf S'ir Heno^ Slinks by, nnd 
Mt^iUQira of Captain Hodes^on, >^ith Notes" &c?, 
Scyii'a pTtfiice consisti of a brief but eles*nt nnd 
'mltrvsUiig hioKT^phy of Umi galJatUcavnliti wlinp*- 
by J Uifi notes arc faw aod uiumpoTtant. TUu«i vo- 
lume (by wliich h(? Eninml nothing a» rdiior) was 
put iiSttU la October oy Meears. tkiiijilfthie; and iti 
Nov«uib«r, ItilitJ, htt btgab Marmion^ tbe publica- 
tion of which wa* the firist iniportanl hunnep* Of lua 
In which ihu enEtjrpnsit^g Unn had a priinsry par!. 
Hi; wa» i^t this tiiuo in frequent commumcati^Jn 
^iih acveiai kadioj^ bchikst^QcrSi each ef whom 
would wdJingly havf ongro^seiJ hiH labours j but 
from ihe niomtot that his literary UiidfrrakiriR* be- 
kau ta be aeriuuA, he acenis m have resolved BRainat 
forming ao atnct a coniieJiioQ with an^ oue pttbli&h- 
I er, as might at oU iuterfcrc Wirb the freedom of nia 
traiisaotioaa. I ibink it not improhablo that his in- 
' tt^reata aa ihe partner of Ballanlvn? tnay have had 
aorae inMatrtice in (hU part of hii conduct; al all 
eYt<ntii, th^re can b« little doubt that the hope of 



tne r^cuhy of Advocatea on »cmieof theao propoai- dUarin^ more and more in the profita of ScotVa ori- 
tions, he made rt mM»ech much bnger thnn any he , ginal woiks^ mductd Ib^ compcfing boakwilkrB to 
had ever bt?fure dcliTered in ihni as*MmWy ; and conUnut; ^lOd t^ilend tbtir pnironaKc of the Edin 



aevetal who hfard k have asffiwred rne, ibat it had r 
flow and r^nergy of eloquence for whjch ihoeie who 
knew him beat nod bc?cn quite unpreparwi. Wht*n the 
ineeting broke up, b*; walked acroi*? the Mounds on 
his way to Cagtie Street, between Mr. Jeffrey and 
another of his r^'furmin^ frictida who compJimeflte*! 
him on the rhf^toricaJ powers ho had been dj^layins^ 
and wonld willingly haV9 treat«l the subject matter 
of the dismission phyfully. But hie feehnga had 
been myved uj an e.itrmtfar beyond thyir apprehcn- 
^n: he c^tclaJTTned^. '^No,, no — tta no lauf!;b]nK mut- 
ter: liitlc by lulle^ whatever your wii^hi's mny be, 
you will deiitroy and un derm me, until nothing of 
what makt'S kiooiUod shall rv*main." And lo my- 
inK, he tortii?d roLtnd to conceal his aj^tatioti — btjt 
notuniil >lr, Jiflrry saw toara^gusbin^t down hi* 
cheek— read ng his bend until he recovered hini^s^lf 
on th^ wall of the Moand. Seldom, if etcr, iti hia 
more advanced ag^ did any feelings obtain fuch 
tttaatery. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Danm* — caiTicAL piKcrEa^EDmoTf or aLL?roaav^s 
UiaoiBa,. i&c.— MAfmt^H aaocN— vi^it to LO^DO^f 
—muw—ftOfli— C-*sNiMo— Hii^e eiwARtJr-^cort 
noKarjilT to the cuMMi&AmH on scortH jvats- 

PBOOCWC£ — LETIfiftfi TO F0L*ri(1£Y, At,— rCPLlCA- 

TioM or siAjijitg:!— AN^CDuTM— rna ■iusjbl^^gh 
BCvtfw o?( HAaMmx. — I^ft—l^B. 

Diraix'i i' ' ' .r T==in£; .Trid r- ^ T' ••"> > 
nned tootcm . ;: ^ iier ahare < . its . u rrv 
hours ; but in the course of the former year he found 
time, and. notwithstanding all these p^tical bicker- 
inn, inclination, to draw up three papers tot the 
Eainburgh Review, vis. one on the poems and trans- 
ktions of ibe Hon. WiDiam Herbert ; a second, 
more valuable and elaborate, in which he compared 
the '* .Specimens of Early EnpiKsh Romanees" by El* 
lis, with tbe ** Selection of- Ancient EogiiBh Metrical 
Romance*" by Ritson } and, lastly, that exquisite 



burgh prinlert who hiwl been introduced to their no^ 
lice as iho person aJ friend of thn moat riaing auihor 
tjf tbi^ ihy, Bui. nevertheit^sa, 1 can have no doubt 
iHsE Bf-ott waa mainly guided by his lovt of mde- 
ptindtince^ It waa alwsya his nv^mm, that tio au^ 
ihor ahould over kl anv onO houie fancv that they 
had obiaintd a right of mfmoiioly over hh works— 
or* as Jie uJfpr^Sfted it, in the language of the Seotch 
fcudfltjfttii, that they bad eompIeteTy thirled him to 
thtiif mill s" ai>d through hfi\ aa we aballffce, the in- 
stant he Mr^stjived thii least trace of ihU feeling, ha 
asaijrtoi! liin frecilon:i, not by word, but by soriif^ dc- 
cidtd ticked, on whatcvor conifidt ratio ntj fjf pectin iaty 
convenionce the it«j nuj^ht make U nrc^&sary fbr 
him to trample. Of the conduct of Mtssra. LbtW- 
nian, who hfld been c>rmclpa]ly concerned in Iha 
tsuhiit ation of the Minstrelsy, the Lay, Hit TriattetOt 
and the Balladftt he oertauily cuuid have had no rea- 
boo to complain \ on tlie contrary^ ho has in vsKoiM 
places attested ehitt it waa liberal and bandnoiT^ 
btvurid hisestot'Ctatjori? b»it, neverthdesa, a negoii- 
ari.ji[i w K rh Uit^y now opened provefl frmtless, and 
nltiTriflU ly they had no iharc whatever m the sticond 
of hia on^nal works* 

Coo stable olTcrcd a thousand guineas for the poem 
very shortly after U was bei^uii^ and withisut having 
Mj^a one hne of it t and Scott, without heeitatiorit 
accepted thia propo«aL It may bo gatliered bom. 
the Introduction of 1&30. that private drcum stances 
\ of a dehcate nature renoered it highly dosirnhlv for 
him to obtain the immediate command of such a 
i<)!iiii i liir pn-.T wTs riehiiilfv iiuid h^u^ IkTotv thu 
poem was pubiishLd j and ii slut!* very well wish 
Constable's character, to suppose that >is.readiness 
to advance the money may have outstripped the cal- 
culations of more established dealers, and thus cast 
the balance in his favour. He was not, bpweven 
so unwise as tn keep the whole adventure to faimseUl * 
His barsain being fairly concluded^^he teii4eted < 



fourth oT the copyright to Mr. Miller of Afbemarle 
Street, and another to Mr. MurraXi then of Fleet 
Street, London ; tnd both tbesd booksellers appstf 



?)U 



,WFE,OF ^a WALTKtt sqoTir. 



irt have embraced hii prot>opiin>ii with ^agemeas. 
** I am/^ Marrav wrote lo Constable, on the 6th 
Pebrusnj IWTt ^f^^V senajble of the kind renieiTi' 
branceof me m ^ourlibt-ral piirchnse. You have 
rendered Mr MiUer no kss happy by your admi^Hion 
0? hiin i anil we both view ii as honourabfe. pronta- 
Me, anfj storious to he cont^rned in the publication 
of a fie w pc»em by Walter Srott*" The nt^wa that 
a thouaapciiTuineaahad hecnpald for an unBeen and 
unfinUhf^d SIS. aiJp^arcd in thost^dnys portetitous: 
and It muat be allowed that the wri^er who received 
euch a eum for a perforrnanec in embryo, had made 
a grfcat arep in the hazards, as weli aa In thehunour^, 
orauihorBliip. 

Tlio private circumatantea whith he allLtdi^f to aa 
ha\^np precipiiatfti hi*re-appuarance as a tioetj w^ra 
connected with his brother Thomas's final with- 
drawal fiom the profession of a Writer to tlu; Signet* 
which arranaeuiefit acema to have become quite i\e- 
caatjary towards the end of ISO& ; but it is extrt'ii\ely 
iiriprobnblfi that^ in the absence of any such occtir- 
remej a young, energetic, aod auihitiousTnan, would 
have long reaiated the cheering atimulua of »uch 
^cceas aa had attended the Lay of the Laat Min- 

**I had fornxed^^' he says* "the prudent resolution 
la bestow a little more labour than 1 had yet done 
on iTiy prod actions, and to he in no hurry a^ain to 
antiunnce myself as a i;andidate for hterary fame. 

' Accordinely* particular paaaagcs of a poem w^uch 
was finally called ' I^Iarmian* were iaboured with a 
jRood deal of eart> by one by whom mudi Cftrc was 
»cldom beatiJWtKJ, Whether the work waa worth 
the labour or not* I am no competent judj^e j but I 
may be permitted to aay, that the period of its com* 

' poaitism was a very happy on<J in my life s ao much 
fcj, that 1 remember with pleasure at this momeni 
(l53&> tome of the apoia in which particular passa- 
ges were composed. It is probably <i^'ittf? to thia 
tbat the in trod uct ions to the several cantos asBiimed 
the form of faniiliar ept^itles to my intimate frtenda, 
IQ which I alluded, perhapa more than was xieces- 
aary or graceful, to my doinrstic occupations and 

, amusemeuTs— alocuacity whiehmayba eictlsed by 

■ tho« who remonvber that I waa atiu yonoff, light- 
headed, and happy, and that ifui ^ iha ahundanct 
of thf. hiiirl the TATuth st^ttiketh"* 
The first four af the Introductory Em sties ate da- 

' led Ashestielt and they point out very utstinetly some 
of tbe " spots*' which, after the lapiJc of an many 
years* be reineml>ered wnth plcasurr^, for their con- 

' pexio n with partic u1 af paaiaK<?s of M a rm ion ■ Th era 
in a knoll with eome tall old ashes on the adjoining 
farm et the Peel^ wbrre he waa very faud of sitting 
bv himatlf, and it still bears the name of the Sh^.- 
p^* ft'nauffiv Another favourite Fcai waa bcncAth a 
nug^e oak hard by the Tweed, at ibeejctiemity of ihe 
haufh of AsheatieL It was here; tlvit while ineth- 
tating hia veraca, he uaed 

** ti> Btrayt 
A4id ^nate the iolitar^ ^>y 
ij pltKklnf from 5 on ftn tha rwi, 
And watcti It tlu^^oa d^wfi ih« Twoed i 
Of MIy list iheihTilliRf lay 
, With wlikb the LaUtmaiiJ ehcc-rs her way. 

Marking itciLjkac4:^rSBit! and falL, 
An firoca the Acid, b^eieoih her pill, 
ffhe trfpf H down the uneven dule.** 

He fTt!qaently tvandrt^ed far from boTuei howt^vcr^ 

ilteaded (>nly by his doi% and would return late in 

• xTiQ evening, navintr let hours after hottrs slip nway 

among the soft und melnncholy wildernaasea where 

farrow treepa from her foumainfl. The hnes, 

<' on t(] my miniJ such Jhouahu awake^ 
By Itjrti? Saint M^fy^* aUent lalCff," ACf 

paim a acena not U-sa impreasive than what Byron 
found anddat the gigantic pinea of the forest of Ru* 
venna j and hoiv cotnpk'toly doea he set himself be- 
fore us in the momiint of his gentler and more ao- 
\ hmB uiapuation, by the cJoiiinj; cotjptetf 

* IntigductioQ ta Humioo, tS». 



"Tour horie's hoof-tread toiuidi too rade, 
doadlly UthBMlltu4a.'» 

But when the theme was of a more stirring order, hi 
enjoyed mmoing itoYdr^rakeand fell at the Ml 
8Med of hit LUuUaurU. I well remember his nj' 
ing, as I rode with him across the hills from Ana- 
ti^ to Newark one day in his declining yearsy Oh, 
man, I had many a grand sallop among these bnwi 
when I was thinking or lllarmion, but a trotbu 
canny pony muat senre me now." His fnenOi Mr. 
Skene, however, informs me that many of the mm 
energetic descriptions, and particularly that of the 
battle of Flodden, were struck out whde he wy a 
quarters again with his caTalry, ip t™*"^? 
1807. " In the intervals of dnllmg/' be wysi, w»5 
used to delight in walking his nowerful black stea 
up and down by himself upon thePoriobelTo sanft 
within the beaungof the surge; and now and tpei 
you would see him plunge m his spurs «nd go on m 
if at the chaMe, with the spm dashing about hui 
As we rode back to Biusaelburgh, he often came 
and placed himself beside me to repeat thevaw 
that he had been composing during these paoaesa 
our exercise." , , , _^ . r .u. 

He seems to have commumcated fragments oi toe 
poem very freely during the whole rf i^J?"'??'' 
As early as lhe22d February, 1807, 1 fin? 3^.^ 
man acknowledging, in the name of the mic» 
of Wales, the receipt of a copy of the Introducg* 
to Canto III., in which occurs the uibute to Hff 
Royal Highnesses heroic father, mortally foafldflj 
the year before at Jena-a tribute 80 iratefullohj 
feelings, that she herself shortly after sent the pg 
an el^ant silver vase as a memorial of ber tpaM 
fulness. And about the same tiine the MarduoMj 
of Abercorn expresses the delight with whica m 
she ril iirlvro Lrsd read the generous vewMg 
Pii! , , r .^jtr of 1 hose epistles. d\iiw 

conutixjon v^th il\\< noble family was no new oM' 
for his father, and afterwarda his brother TnomMi 
had been the auditors of tbtir Scotch rental. 

In Mirch ilia reat^archca c^neemmg Drydcno^- 
ricd him again to tbe sou tli. During several wg| 
ht gave Tib day pretty recularly to ibepamp^ 
and MS S. of the British Museum, And tbeevenfflg 
to I hp hrsl] i hm ^iri^tJes that now courtsdhun wnen 
^M ■ V ::■'' ■■>. ^'i- -h.ro. Hjs receat poj- 

fii .! brief reign of d^ 

Whigs, Mem to U.YC i'i^vicar^ for him jn J^g 
casipn a welcome of redoubled warmth anaoDg »» 
leaders of his own now onc^ more victonous jwnj. 
"As I had," he writes to his brother-in-law, mij; 
dia, " contrary to many who avowed the same »f 
nions in sunshine, held fast nay mjegniy dunnjiw 
Foxites' interval of povror, 1 found mMo}^ 
very well with Oie new admmistraoon.'j But he u^ 
formly reserved his Saturday and Sunday athtfW^ 
Mr. filli, at Snnniiwhill, or Lord and Lady Aberoom 
at their beautiful villa near Stanmorej and^einw 
copy of Cantos L and U. of Marmion aUests tD»| 
moat of it reached Ballantyne in sheets, ^^^. 
theMarmiis, or his son-m-Iaw, Lord Aberdeen, a» 
ring April, 1807. . , u>»^*i«t 

fefore he turned homeward, ne made a snon j» 
to his friend WiUiam Stewart/ Rowk at bis ^o^*?; 
of Gundimore, in Hampshire, and enmi^^r 
company various long rides m^be NewFow 
day m the dockyard of Portsmouth, *n<Mwo w 
three more in the Isle of witit.* Several A«2w 
the MS., and corrected prooiii of Canto III., aw v^ 

• I am «ure I shaO gratify ewy reader oy «*«!5!J*|l2» or 
aOuding to Scott't visit at Mr Row'i Manos VilJaJW" -^jj^ 
pobUAedpoem, enUl4od'*GttDdnnQre, «ndor placed ai w 
potal by MS host 



• Htre Walter Scoit imtwdo'd ih« n 
Btre he with mm ha* Jojr'd to walk or anuw ' . ^ ,^ 
Aad h«8oaba«i»ri«ked throaab Yua'a bolt, phot wa 
Hava called to mlod how ooder treen«rood cre«, 
Piarcad by the partner of hfa • woodland araft/ 
King Ru6ufeU bjTrmlPa random abaft. 
Heiusa ba«« wa ranged br Celtio aampa aud b*J»2!i- 
Or clln*«J the eipectanl bark, to thread ib»Vvr99* 
Of Rural, booad weMward to «ll»S'««?»y^?**. . 
Whara Ciarle* WM iirtoimad In r«m Id»ad iwr« » 
Of f<om a loacer flifhi ftUg ht«d where ^ p 
0«r tiaTia* ttTecruIl ih«!r etraof th repay^V- 



LirE OP SIR WALTER iSCOTT. 



IIT 



HBdereoven frtnked from Gandimore by Mr. Rose ; 
gni I think I roust quote the note which accompa- 
nied one of these detachments, as showing; the good- 
natured buoyancv of mind and temi>er with which 
the Poet received in every stage of nis progress the 
hints and suggestions of his watchful friends, Er- 
skineand B^lantyne. The latter having animad- 
verted on the first draught of the song, " Where 
shall the Lovprrest," and sketched what he thought 
would be a better arrangement of fhe stanza— Scott 
answers as follows ;— 

" Dear Jkmet, 

" I am much obliged to you for the rhymes. 1 pre- 
same it can make no a fferepce as to the air if the first 
three Unes rhyme ; and I wish to know, with your leisure, 
if It is abaotutely necesuxy that the fourth should be out 
of poetie rhythm, as 'the deserted (air one* certainly is. 
—ror example, woold this do 1 

* (Should my heart from thee falter, 
To aaother love alter, 
(For the rhyme we'll say Walter) 
Desening my lover.' 

There is here the same number of syllables, but arrang 
ed io cadence. I return the proof, and send more copy. 
There will be six Cantos. Yours truly, 

\V. 8." 

In the first week of May we find him at Lichfield, 
having diverged from the great road to Scotland for 
the purpose of visiting Miss Seward. Her account 
of her old correspondent, whom till now she had 
never seen, was addressed to Mr. Car>', the transla- 
tor of Dante ; and it may interest the reader to 
conmue it with other similar sketches of earlier 
and later date. " On Friday last," she says, " the 
poetically great Walter Scott came ' like a sunbeam 
to ray dwelling.* This proudest boast of the Cale- 
donian muse 18 tall, and rathei robust than slender, 
but lame in the same manner as Mr. Hay ley, and in 
a gretiier measure. Neither the contour ot his foce 
nor yet hia features are elegant; his completion 
healthy, and somewhat fair, without bloom. We 
find the aingularity of brown hair and eyelashes^ 
with flaxen eyebrows, and a countenance open, in- 
genuous, and benevolent. When seriously conver- 
sing or earnestly atteutive, though his eyes are ra- 
ther of a lightish grey, deep thought is on their Uds : 
he contracts his brow, and the rays of geniua gleam 
aslant from the orbs beneath them. An upper lip 
too long prevents his mouth from being decidedly 
handsome, but the sweetest emanations of temper 
and heart play about it when he talks cheerfully or 
smiles ; and m company he is much oftener gay 
than contemplative. His conversation—an oyer- 
flowing fountain of brilliant wit, apposite allusion, 
and playfiii archness— while on senoiis themes it is 
nervous and eloquent : the accent decidedly Scotch, 
yet by no means broad. On the whole, no expecta- 
tion IS disappointed which his poetry must excite in 
all who'fipel the power and graces of human inspi- 

Aad ibere hav« m«ii tb« ready ahot and fun ; 

8e«n iu nd ateam the onoUen eopp«r run ; 

Aod BwaatTe anchor forgad. whoM iron teeth 

Sboold bold Um tbree-daekad thio wb«n bill ova teethe ; 

And whMB the araeoal'adftxk •tithy riuiff 

Witk Um Ioa-1 haromara of the Cjrdop-ganr, 

twallovinf ih« darknaaa ap, have lecn with wonder, 

The flaahinf fire, aod heard faat-followiog thunder. 

Hew, witched from aumroer tea aitd lofter relf n, 

Foaaelo eoortad Maaa of milder strain. 

Oa thaaa lihbcd aan4« waa Coleridge pleaaed Uf pace, 

While ebbiu^ aeaa bare humroed a rolling baae 

To his n»pt talk. Ala« ! alt theie are gooe, 

* And I and other ereeplnr thing* life on' 
The flaak no mon, dear Walter, ihan I qvafT 
With lh««. no mote eujar thf hearty laugh. 
No more ahalt thou to me extend thy hand, 
A velcx>in« pilgrim to my father'* land I 

Alone »ach friend* and comrade* 1 deplore, 
And peopled bat with pnantoro* i* the ehore : 
JReace Imvo I Sad my haunted l>each ; yet oo 
Would not aJiko a *yWan home forego. 
Thongh wakening foiirl regrtU it* •ere nnd yellow 
Loaves, and aweet Inland murmur, serve to mellow 
And aootho the aobered eorrow they recall. 
When mantled In the fade«i irarb of fall ;— 
Bat wind and wate— unlike the fighing •e<lge 
Aad mnrmwring leaf— gave (frief a eoarver eiige : 
And In each howliag bfaal my fancy heara 

* Tke Toicee of the dead, anU (oog* of other yean.' " 



ration Not less astonishing than was 

Johnson's memory is that of Mr. Scott ; like John* 
son, also, his recitation is too monotonous and vio- 
lent to do justice either to his own writings or those 
of others. The stranger guest delighted us all by 
the unaffected charms of nis mind and manners. 
Such visits are among the most high-prized honoura 
which my writings nave procured lor me." Miss m^ 
Seward adds, that she showed him the passage in 
Gary's Dante where Michael Scott occurs, and that 
though he admired the spirit srud skill of the version, 
he confessed his inability to find pleasure in the Di- 
vina Comedis. " The plan," he said, " appeared to 
him unhappy ; the personal malignity and strange 
mode of revenge nresumptuous and unintereating. 

By the 12ih of May he was at Edinburgh for the 
commeDcenient of the summer session, and the 
printing seems thenceforth to have gone on at timet 
with great rapidity, at others slowly and irregularly ; 
the latter Cantos having no doubt been merely block- 
ed out when the first went to press, and his profes- 
sional avocation?, but above all, his Dryden, occa 
eionirtg frequent interuptions. Just a year had 
elapsed from his beginning the poem when he pen- 
ned th^Ipiatle for Canto IV. at Ashestiel; who that 
considers how busily his various pursuits ^nd la- 
bours had been crowding the interval, can wonder 
to be told that 

" Even now, It scarcely seems a day 

Since flrat 1 tuned this UWc lay— 

A task 80 often laid aside 

When leisure graver cares denied— 

That now November's dreary tale, 

Whose voice inspired my opening tale, 
, That same November gale once more 

Whirls the dry leaves on Yarrow stiore." 
The fifili Intro.fuction was written in Edinburgll 
in ibt? month foili>wingj ihiit to (he last Cent^j 
during the Chnstniaa festtvitte? of Hertcin-hotise^ 
where, from ihv fir^i dsyi of h^a ballad rhymjnft 
down to the dose of hii' life, he^ hkp ms beafiled 
anr^^ior* ujually apenf that 8eaiM>n with the inm*e- 
dij ^ ]icad of the race. The bulky ap(Jtindix of 
no^ H. LiicTi'kding a mass of cumus ftntuiaanan qiKita* 
tioiM. fnusT (rjvt: inovt^ socncwhai slowly (Jiruugh 
th jiTiQitrii" Uand?? biU Marmw>ft wa» at 1«iRih 
re^nJy forpuhln^otion by th«mitldli.'orFtbniiiT^. i&OS* 
Amung 'he '* grjiv<;r cortis'* whjcii lie alludes to 
as having in Temip ted hidiirope^a in tha ii*>cuu the 
chief weri\ as has been already hmteiJt ihoae anmng 
frc^ni the pecuniarv cnibarraiarnonta of his hrothtT- 
These art^ mentirmtd in a kutr to MisiH SewnTd* 
da fed in August, IW7. The lady b^idj among other 
th 1!^^ announced he? pkasuro m the proup^ct of a , 
viHT frorji the auihoT of " Madoc,'* expr^-Bstd h€;r 
adnursiMn of '* Master Betty, the youn^ R<jsdiis,'' 
an J IftTihiiTrd the fnt her '» design of plnci^jg that 
" niir tied LIS* boy" for three yeara under a ceritiin 
" school iija»(er of eminence at Shrewsbuty.'** Scott 
says in ana^\ cr : — 

" Since I was favoured with your letter, my dear Miss 
Baward, I have brought the unpleasant transactions to 
w^ich my last leUer alluded preuy near to a conclusion, 
much more fortunate than 1 had ventured to hope. Of my 
brother's creditors, those connected with him by blood or 
friendship, showed oil the kindness which those ties are 
in Scotland peculiarly calculated to pro<Juce ; and what is 
here much more uncomnmn, thoB« who bad no personal 
connexion with him or his family, showed a liberality 
which would not have misbecome the generosity of the 
English. Upon llie whole, hisaflairs are put in a course 
of management which I hope will cnablo him to begin 
life anew with renovated hopes, nnd not entirely destitute 
of the means of recommencing business. 

" I am very happv— althouch a little jealous withal — 
that you are to have the satisfiictlon of »^outh*iy's personal 
acquaintance*. 1 am certain you will like the Epic bard 
exceedingly. Although he does not deiffn to enter into the 
mere irirfing intercourse of soriely, yet when a sympa- 
thetic spirit calls him forth, oo man talks with more ani- 
mation on ]it»^rary topics ; and perhaps no man in Englanil 
has read and studied so much, with the same powers of 
making use of the information which he is so indefati- 
gable in acquiring. I despair of reconciling you to my 

• See Miss Seward's E^tfee(*iBy ll^.ttDg IC 



lis 



UKS OP. Sm WILTER 8C0TT. 



Bttto frteiid Jeffrey, attboogh I tblnk I conld trutt to hie 
«ftUn9eeaieiflipreniono«9mirpnpoeeeeelon, wer«90tt 
toeonreree with hhn. I ttjak Soothej doee hiaeeir In- 
juetice in suppoeiiM; (he EdiatHirah Review, or any other, 
coald have euok Madoc;^ even (or a time. But the aiae 
and orice or the worlc, joined to the frivolity of an age 
which mast be treated bm nurses humour children, are 
■affleient reaaons why a poem, on so chaste a model, 
iliould not have taken immediately. We know the simi- 
lar fate of Milton's immortai work, in the witty are of 
Charles IL, at a time wheo poetry was maeh more faehlon- 
abie than at present. As to the division of the profits, 1 
only think (hat &6utbey does not understand the gentle- 
men of the trade, emphatically so called, as well as I do. 
Without any greater degree of fourberie tiian they con- 
ceive the long practice of their brethren lias rendered 
matter of prescriptive rkht, they contrive to clip the au- 
thor's proportion of profits down to a mere trifle. It is 
the tale or Uie fox that went a hnnting with the lion, upon 
oooditioQ of equal division of the epoU ; and yet 1 do not 
q«ite blame the booksellere, when I consider the very 
sinmlar nature of their myeterj. A batcher generally 
understands something of black cattle, and wo betide the 
jockey who should presume to exercise his profession 
without a competent knowledge of horse-Hesh. But who 
erer heard of a bookseller pretending to understand the 
commodity in which he dealt? Tliey are the only trades- 
men In the world who professedly, and by choice, deal in 
what is osAled 'a pig in a poke.' When you consWor the 
ahomlnablo trash which, by their sheer ignorance, is pub- 
Ufbcd every year, rou will readily exeose them for the 
indemnification which they must necessarily obtain at tJba 
expense of authors of some ^ue. In &ct, though the ac- 
count between all indiridual bookseller and such a man as 
Boather may be iniquitoas enough, yet I apprehend that 
upon the whole the account between the trade and the 
authors of Britain at large is pretty Ikirly balanced ; and 
what these gentlemen gain at the ej^nse of one class of 
writers, is lavished. In many ca^es, in bringing forward 
other works of little value. I do not know but this, upon 
the whole, is frfourable to the cause of literature. A 
bookseller pubUshes twenty books, in hopes of hitting 
upon one good speculation, as a parson buys a parcel of 
shares in a k)t(e^y, in hopea of gaioing a prize. Thus (he 
rbad is open to alL and if the successAil candidate is a 
JjlUe fleeced, in order to form petty prizes to console the 
kiting adventaren, still the cause of bleratare is benefited, 
■jncenone is excluded from the privilege of competition. 
This does not apologize for Southey's carelessness about 
hia lotevese— for, 

^ * his name ie up, and may go 

From Toledo to Madrid.' 
"Pray, don't trust Soathey too long with Mr. Whitf . 
Be is even more determined in his admiration of old ruift* 
than I am. Yon see I am glad to pick a hole in his 
wcket, being more jealoiw of his personal favour in Miss 
Seward's eyes than of liis poetical reputation. 

" I quite agree witliyuu ai»om tlie plan of young Betty's 
education, and am no great iiiolator of the learned Ian- 
goajjos, excepting for whax tliey contain. We spend in 
youth that tinip iu aJmlritig the wards of the key, which 
we should employ in opening tlic cabint>t and oxamininK 
its treasures. A prudent and Qi-complislir«k friend, who 
wnuld make in-stniclion acceptable to him for the sake of 
the amusement it conveys, would be worth an htmdred 
schools. How can so wonderfully premature a genius, 
accustomed to excite interest in thousands, be made a 
member of a class with other l-oyn !" 

To retnrn to Scott's own " grnvcr cares'* while 
Marmion wasin projjress— nmong them were those 
of preparing himself for an office to whicii lie wa& 
formally appointed soon afterwards, namely, that 
of Secretary to a Parliamentary Commission for 
the improvement of Scottish Jurisprudence. This 
Commission, at the head of whicn was Sir Islay 
Campbell, Lord President of the Court of Session, 
continued in operation for two or three years. 
Scoft^B salary, as secretary, was a mere trifle ; but 
he had been led to expert that his exertions in this 
capacity would lead to heifer lhiti;^'s. In giving a 

feneral view of his affairs to his broiher-in-law in 
udia, be says : '* The Clerk of Session who retired 
to 4nake way for me, retains the appointments, 
Mobile 1 do the duty. This was rather a hard bar- 
gain, but it was made when the Administration was 
going to pieces, and I was glad to swim asliore on 
a plank of the wreck ; or, in a word, to be provided 
for any how, before the new people came in. To be 
•urc, nobody could have foreseen that in a year's 
time my friends were all to be in again. ... I 



ain pnncipally pleased inth mjr new ■npointimnt, «» 
beitig conferi^ on me by our cmefTaw idnls aad- 
Cnra counsel, ancf consequently an honoonMo 
professional distinction. The employment will be 
but temporary, but may have conscauences impor* 
tant to iny future lot in life, if I give due satisfaction 
in the discharge of it." He appears accordingly to 
have aabmitted to a great deal of miserable drudge- 
ry in mastering beforehand (he details of the tech* 
nical controversies which bad called for legislatorial 
interference : and he discharged his functions, as 
usual, with the warm approbauon of his superiors ; 
but no result followed. This is alluded to, axnonfr 
other things, in his correspondence with Mr. Sou- 
thev, during the printing ot Marmion. I shall now - 
go back to extract some of these letters ; they will 
not only enable the reader to fill up the outline of the 
precediiig narrative, as regards Scott's own vahcma 
occupations at this period, but illustrate very s(Hk- 
ingly the readiness with which, howdi^r occupieci, 
he would turn aside, whenever he saw any opportu- 
nity of forwarding the pursuits and interests of 
other literary men. 

'!. r^ju)h<;y had written to Scott, on the S7th 
SopremUr. 1^7, informing him that he had desired 
hi^i hnok»t^lltrs to forward a copy of "Palmeria of 
E.-eluiiu,' ' ilicn on the eve of publication^annonn- 
cing also his " Chronicle of the Cid ;" and addina, 
" I rmoice to hear that we are to have another Lay. 
anjd nope we may have as many Last Lays of the 
Minstrel, as our ancestors had Last Words of Mr. 
Baxter." Scott's answer was this :-* 

T9 Robert Southey, Eeq. 

"* Aahestiel, lat October, 1807: 
" My dear Itouthey, 

" It win give me the most sincere pleasure to receive 
any token of your friendly remembrance, more especial- 
ly in the shape of a romance of kn^ht-errantry. Too 
know so well how to furbish the anns of a preux ehev»> 
ner, without converting him h la TVetaon hito a modam 
light dragoon, thai my expectations fn>m Palmerln ana 
very high, and I have given directions to have hia aeot 
to this retreat so soon as he reaches Mioburgh. The 
half-guinea for Hogg's poems was dniy received. The 
uncertainty of your resfdence prevented the book being, 
sent at the time proposed— it shall be forwarded ftwn 
Edinburgh to the bookseller at Carlisle, who will proba- 
bly know how to send It safe. I hope very soon to aeod 
you my Life of Dryden, and eke my toet Uy.—Cby the 
way, the former ditiy was only proi>osed as the lay of the 
last Minstrel, not his last dtt.) I grieve that you have rc-> 
nounced the harp; but still I confide, that, having often 
touched it BO much to the delight of the hearers, you wUJ 
return to it again after a short interval. As I don't much 
aduiire complhncnf «, you may believe me sincere when I 
tell you, that I have read Madoc three times sinre my first 
cursory perusal, and each time with increased admiration 
of tJje poetry. But a poem whose merits are of that 
higher tone does not immediately take with the public at 
large. It is even poasible tliat during your own life— and 
may it be as lon« as every real lover of literature cao 
wish— you. must l)e contented with the applause of the. 
few whom nature has gifted with the rare taste for tlia. 
criminaring in jwetry. But the mere rtad^$ of verge 
mu&i one (lay rorae In. and then Mndoc will nspume his 
real place at the feet of Milton. Now this opinion of 
mine wa» not thai (lo speak frankly) which I formed on 
reading the poem at first, though I then felt mnch of Iu 
merit. I hope you have not and don't mean to part with 
the copyright. I do not think Wordsworth and you 
tmderwiand the bookselling animal well enough, and wish 
you would one day try my friend Conatable, who would 
give any terms for a connexion with you. I am cooat 
anxious to i^ee the Cid. Do yon know I committed a theft 
upon you, (neither of gait, kjne, nor horse, nor outside 
nor insirie plenixhing. such as my forefathers sooght in 
Cumbf-rland,) but of many verses of the Queen Aara- 
gua, • or howsoever you spell her name 7 I repeated them 
to a verv Kreat lady, (the Princess of Wales,) who was so 
much delichtcd with ihem, that I think sho got them 
by heart also. She asked a copy, bia that I declined to 

f:ive. under pretence I could not give an accurate one ; 
nit I promised to prefer herrequett to you. If you wiah 
toobhae herR. If, I will get the verses transmitted to 
her ; if not, the thing may be i>as8ed over. 



. * The ballad of Qoceo Orraea v 
borgfa Annual Register toe 1S09. 



Digitized by V^OOQlC 



UPK OP SIR WAI.TER SCJQTT. 



Uf 



"Muqr thuikt fbr joar InTitiUkm to Kefwtck, which I 
kfptl»ieMpl,tliMandMMoapmnlitla£. Uromrkao' 
<her with yoa 1 if in, remember me kindly. Where ii 
JVovdtw»iti|| sod w(iat doUi he do 1 I wrote him a few 
ilnefl some weeki ago, which I suspect never came to 
hand. I suppose yon are poMesaed of all relatirn{ to the 
Cid, otherwise I would mention an old rooMOC^, chiefly 
relating to bis baitithmem, which is in John Frere's nos> 
session, and fiom wtiich lie made some lively translations 
in a tripping Alexandrine stanza. I dare say he would 
comiuunicaie the orifinaL, if it could be of the least use.* 
] am an humble petitioner that vour interesting Spanish 
ballads be in some shape appended to the Cid. Ue aiisur- 
ed they will give hlra wings. Thefe is a .lonsr letter, writ- 
ten with a pen Uke a/ stick. 1 beg my respects to Mrs 
8oulivey, in which Mrs. ScoU joins ; and I am, very tniJy 
and affectiooalely, youra, 

Waltss Scott." 

To thu Same. 

" Edinbargh, November, IWT. 
*<Mydear6oathey, 

" 1 received your letter some lime, but had then no 
opportunity to see Conf table, as I was residing at some 
fiwfance from Edinbnnth. Since I came to town I spoke 
to Constable, whom I find anxious to be connected with 
you. It occurs to me that the only difference between 
nirn and our fathers in the Row is on the nrinciple con- 
tained in the old prowerb i^ I fe that would thrive — mtut 
rite by ftte ;—He that hat thriven— may lie till teren. 
Consuble teould thrive, and therefose bestoMr^ more pains 
than our ftthers who have thriven. I do not speak this 
without book, becanse I know he has pushed ulT several 
books whic|i had got sground In the Row. But, to say 
the truth, I have always found advantage in keeping on 
good terms with several of the trade, but never suffering 
any one of them to consider me as a monopoly. Tliey 
are very like fkrmers, who thrive best at a high rent ; 
and. hi general, take most pains to sell a bonk that has 
cost them money to purchase. The bad sale of Thalaba 
is truly astonishing ; it should have sold off in a twelve* 
month at farthest. 

** As you occasionally review, wfll you forgive my sug- 
gesting a circumstance for your consideration, to whicn 
you will give exactly the degree of weight you please. I 
am perfectly ccruin that Jeffrey would Uiink himself both 
happy and honoured in receiving any communications 
which you might send him, chooHing your books and ex- 
pressing your own opinions. The terms of the Edin- 
burgh Review aro ten snineas a-shcct, and will shortly 
bo adx'anced considerably. 1 question If the same un- 
pleasant sort of work is any where else so well com- 
pensated. The only reaaon which occurs to mo as likely 
to prevent your affording Uie Edinburgh some critical as- 
Jitstancc, is the severity of the criticisms upon Madocand 
Thalaba. 1 do not know if this will be^ a!l removed by 
assuring you, as I can do upon my honour, that Jeffney 
has, notwithstanding the flippancy of these articles, the 
inost sincere respect both for your person and talents. 
Tha-other day I desijjnedly led the conversation on tluU 
subject, and had tlie sairie reason I always have had, to 
consider ins attack as arising (irofu a radical difTurcnce in 
point of laftr, or rather feeling of [yocKxy. but by no means 
from any tiling approarliinj eiibcr to onniity or a faNc 
conception of your talenl.s. l»lo not think that ailiffer- 
etice of this 8ori should prevent you, If you arc other- 
wise diiposed to do so, from carryiug a proiiorlion at 
least of your critical labours to a much better market 
than the Annual t Pray think of this, and if you are 
(iisposed to give your assistance, I am positively certain 
tliatfcan transact the matter with the utmost delicacy 
towards both my friends. I am certain yoo may add jBUlO 
ayear, or double the sum, to your iucome in (his way 
with almost no trouble, and, as times go, that is no trifle. 

•^Thavc to thank you for Palmerin, which has been my 
aflemoon reading for some days. I like it very much, 
although it is, 1 think, confiderably Inferior to the Aniadis. 
But I wait with double anxiety for the tTid, in which I ex- 
pect tufiod very much Infonnation as well as amusement. 
One discovery I have made is, that we understand little or 
notliingof Don Quixote except by tlie Spanish minances. 
The Eogtish and French romances throw very lltrte light 
OD the subject of the (tou^hly cavalier of La Mancha. I 
&tti Ihinking of publishing a siitall edition of the Morte 
Arthur, merely to preser\-e that ancient record of English 
chivalry ; but my copy is so late as 1B37, so I must louk 
<"»t for earlier editions to collate. That of Caxtun Is, I 

* Mr Southejr introduced, in the appendix to his Chronicle of 
Jfe Cw. some spccimcnn of Mr. Frere's ailmiralile translation of 
w andMUPooMtt 4el Cid, to wliieh flcoft liere allude*. 
V_'w Annual Review, con<lurte<l bjr Dr. Artliur Aikin, com 
«««d ia taog, and was disooatioued in itOB. 



believe, ^nfroMvo^^. WQl yon j 



mjeet Y I have wrltMn t» Mr. WHn aboiiC^«flj»- 
booka, bat I do not vary well know if my letter nas 
him. I eaq>ect to bHut Constable to a point re»> 
peetiAg the poem of llinck>o'Mythok)gy.* 1 •lK>iild e«> 
teem myself rery fortunate in being aesistinf In brtfiflnf 
forth a twin brother of Thalaba. Wordsworth (e harshly 
treated in the Edinburgh Review, bat Jeffrey gives the 
aonneta as much praise as he ttsually does to any body. 
I made him admire the song of I<o/d Cliflbrd's minstrel, 
which I Hka exeeediogty myself. But many of Words- 
worth's leseer poems are eov^are, not only to the multi- 
tad«, but to all who judge of poetry by the established 
rules of criticism. Some of them, 1 can safely say, I like 
the better for these aberrations ; in others they get be- 
yond me— at sny rate, they ought to have been more cao* 
tkMiely hazarded. I hope soon to send you a life of Dry- 
den and aiay of former times. The letter I would wtt* 
liniily have bestowed more time upon : but what can I 
do? — my supposed poetical turn ruined me in my prof^» 
aion, and the least it can do is to give me some occasional 
assistance instead of it. Mrs Scott begs kind compH* 
mentsto Mrs. Southey, and I am always kindly yours, 
Walter Scow." 

Nr. Southey, in reply to this letter, slated at 
length certain considers tiooa, political, moral, and 
critical, which rendered it impossible for him to en* 
list himself on any terms in ihe corps of tho Edin» 
burgh Reviewers. In speaking of his ftiend Words* 
worth's last work, which had been rather 8e?erelf 
handled in this Review, he expresses nis regret that 
the poet, in his magnificent sonnet on Kiiliecrankie, 
should have introduced the Viseoimt of Dundee 
without appaient censure of hia character ; and, 
passing to ncmt's own affairs, he says. *' Marmion 
IS expected as impatiently by me as he is by ten 
thevsand others. Believe me, Scott, no man of real 
genius was ever « puritanical stickler for correct- 
ness, or fastidious about any faulta except his own. 
The best artista, both in poetry and DaintingL have 
pi^uced the moat €Hve us more lay a, and ,cor* 
rect them at leisure for after editions,— not labonous^ 
ly, but when the amendment comes naturally and 
nnaonght for. It never doea to sit down doggedly to 
correct." Th6 rest, Scott's answer will stifficient* 
ly explain. 

7% Robert Southey^ Etq. 

"Edinburgh, lOth December, 1807. 
** Dear Southey, 

" I yesterday received your leUer, and can perfectly 
enter into your ideas on the subject of the Review :-• 
indeed, I dishke most extremely tlte late stream of poU< 
tics which they have adopted, as it seems, even on their 
own showihK. to bo cruelly imprudent. Who ever 
thought he did a service to a person engaged in an ardu- 
ous conflict, by |irovinj; to him, or attempiioff tp prove to 
him, that he must necchmrily be beaten; and what elTrct 
can such language have but to accelerate the accouifilish* 
yicrr if the propliocy which it contains? And as for 
Ca • ' I aiauciiuKion— I a4n not, Cod knows, a bigot in 
rel : fttters, nor a friend to persecution; but if « 

l>ai I leci of religionists are ipso facto connected 
wil i' : ■ ipoliticH— and placed under the spiritual direc* 
tiui, ! . > <»» o( prietiis, whose unrivalled dexterity and 

ac4.. increased by the rules wiiich detach them 

fm . ,. . . . St of tlie world— I humbly think that we may 
be excuscil from intruHiing to them tliose places in the 
state where the infliienco of such a clergy, who act under 
tlie direction of a passive tool of our worst (oe^ is likely 
to be attended with the most fatal consequesces. If • 
gentleman chooses to walk about with a couple of pounds 
of gunpowder in his |K>ckel, if I give him tlie shelter of 
my rr>of, 1 may at least be permitted to exclude him from 
tlie seat next to the fire. So thinking, I have felt your 
scruples in doing any thing for the Review of late. 

" As for my good friend Dundee, I cannot admit hia 
culpability in the extent you allege ; and it is scandak>ua 
of the Sunday bard to join in your condemnation, 'and 
yet coino of a noblo Grsmc I' I admit he was tant $oii 
peu savage, but he was a noble savage ; and the beastly. 
Covenanters against whom he acted. Iiardly had any claim 
to be called men, unless what was founded on their walk- 
ing upon tlicir hind feet. You can hardly conceive tha 
perfitlv, cruelty, and stupidity of these people, accordinc 
to the' accounts they have themselves preserved. But! 
admit I had many cavalier prejudices instilled into me, aS 
my ancestor was a Killiccrankic man. 

•TtwCuiseofKehaBa was'peMsbcd far Lonfoas sod Co. 

"""•• ■•'' ■^* Digitized by ^OOgle 



ld6 



UPE OF Sm WALTER SCOTT. 



"I am Tery gkd the Morte Arthur Is In your haodi ; It 
hu beenloof « frvoorite of mine, and I intended to have 
BMde it a bandaome book, Inthe 8nq>e of a aoudl andqae- 
looldnf Quarto, with wooden Tifnettea of coatome Iwiah 
yon wonid not degrade him into aaouat ISmo; bat admit 
the temptation yon will probably fee] to pot it into the 
name ahaoe with Palmenn and Amadia. If on tliia, or 
any occaaion. yon can caat a Job in the way of my Driend 
Ballantyne, I should tonaider it aa a particular peraonal 
fiivour, and the eonrenieoce wonld ne pretty near the 
name to you, aa all your prooft must come by post at any 
rate. If I can assiM you about this matter, command my 
services. The late Dulce of Roxburghe once atK>wed 
me some carious remarks of his own upon the genealogy 
of the Knights of the Round Table. He waa a curioua 
and unwearied reader of romaAce, and made manyob' 
jerrations in writing ; whether they are now accessible 
or no I am doubtful Do you follow the metrical or the 
printed books in your account of the Round Table, and 
would your task be at all lacililated by the use of a copy 
of Sir Lancelot, from the press of Jehan Dennia, which 
1 have by me 1 

** As to literary envy, I wree with you. dear Southey, 
tn believing it was never felt by men wh6 had any powers 
of their own to employ to better purpose than in cross- 
ing or Jostling their companions ; and I can say vHih a 
■are conscience, that I am most delighted with praise 
Aom those who convince me of their good taste by admir- 
lag the genius of my contemporaries. BeUeve roe ever, 
dear Bouthey, ^ith best complhnents to Blrs.-S., yours 
affectionately, 

Waltsr Soott." 

The following letter to another accomplished and 
attached friend, will bring us back to^he completion 
of Marmion. 



To the Right Hon. the Lady LtnUea Stuart, 

"Edinburgh, 19th January, 180a 
^'* I am much flattered, dear Lady Louisa, by your kind 
and enconraging remembrance. Marmion is, at this bi« 
slant, gasping open Pledden field, and there I have been 
obliged to leave him for these few days in the death pangs. 
I hope I sliall find time enougb this morning to knock him 

fi the head with two or three thumping stanzas. I thought 
should have seen Lady Douglas while ahe was at Dal* 
keith, but an the Clerks of Session, (excepting myseli; 
who have at present no salarr,) are subject to the gout, 
and one of tliem was unluckily visited with a fit on the 
day I should have been at the Duke'a, so I had his dutv 
and my own to discharge. Flay, Lady Louies, don't look 
for Uarmion in Uawthomden or any where else, except- 
ing in the too thick quarto which bears his name. As to 

the feir • ^. I bee her pardon wiih all my heart 

and spirit ; but I rather think that the habit of writing 
novels or romancea, whether in prose or verse, is unfa- 
▼onrable to rapid credulity ; at least these sort of foUcs 
know tliat they can easily make fine atories themselves, 
•nd will be therefore aa curious in examining those of 
other folks, as a cunning vintoer in detecting the sophisti' 
cation of his neighbour's claret by the help of his own 
experience. Talking of fair ladies and fables reminds 
me of Mr. dharpe's baliada,' which I suppose Lady Doug- 
laa carried with her to BothwelL They exhibit, I think, a 
▼ery considerable portion of imagination, and occasion- 
•By, though not uniformly, great flow of versification. 
There is one verve, or rather the whole description of a 
musical ghoM lady aijting among the ruina of her lather's 
tower, t&t pleased me very much. But his language la 
too flowery and even tawdry, and 1 qoarrelled vrith a lady 
In the flrat poem who yielded up her affection upon her 
lover ahowing his white teeth White teeth ouffht to be 
taken great care of, and aet great store by, but I cannot 
allow them to be an object oipaasionate admiration— it is 
too like subduing a lady's heart by grinning. Grieved 
am I for Lady Douglas's Indisposition, which I hope will 
be short, ana I am aure wHl be tolerable with such stores 
of amusement around her. Last night I saw all the Dal- 
keith tamily nresiding in that happy scene of mixed com- 
pany and Babylonian confusion, tne Queen's Assembly. 
I also saw Mr. Alison there. 1 hope your ladyship has not 
renounced your intention of coming to Edinboi^h for a 
dky or two, and that 1 shall have the honour to aee you. 
We have here a very diverting Hon and sundry wild 
beasts ; but the roost meritorious is Miss Lydia white, 
who is what Oxoniana call a lioness of the first order, with 
fltocldngs nineteen times nine dyed blue, very lively, very 
iood'humoured, and extremely absurd. It is very divert- 
ing to see the sober Scotch ladies staring at this pheno- 



* A Rnall volume, cntillsdi ".Metiieal L^end*. and Other 
FoeoM,'' was pabKabed in 1807 by Scott's fiiend, Charles Kidt* 
pabkk Shsipe^ Emi. 



I am. with great raspaet, jomr Indyihlp^s 1» 
Donred and obUged 

WAL^aSooiv.^'i^ 

Marmion waa piibliahed on the 23d of Febnnry. 
The letter which accompanied the presentation copy 
to Sonninghill, had be^ preceded a few weeks b»> 
fore by one containing an abstract of some of We- 
ber's German researches, which were tamed to a^ 
count in the third edition of Sir Tristrem ; but Mr. 
Ellis was ar this time in a Tery feeble state of health, 
imd that communication had elicited no reply. 

7b Oeorge ElUs, Eeg. 

*< Edhiburgh, February 23, 180S 
' Sleepest thou, wakest thou, Oeorge EUis 1' 

" Be it known that this letter is little beUer tbsn t 
fehde britf^—u to the meaning of which, is it not written 
in Wachier's Thesaurus and the Lexicon of Adelaof 1 
To expound more vernacularly, I wricKe you, I know not 
iiow long ago, a SMdnging epistle of and concerning 0<r- 
man Romances, with some discoveries not of my omi 
discovering, and other matter not furiously to the preseat 
purpose. And this I caused to be conveyed to you o; 
ane gentU knixt, Sir William Forbee^ knixt, who assuref 
me -he left it as directed, at Sir Peter Parker's. • Since,' 
to vary my style to that of the leger, * none of yours.' 
To avenge myself of this unusual aUence, which ia ama^ 
nifest usurpation of my privileges, (bejog the worst coi> 
respondent in the world, Heber excepted,) I have indited 
to you an epistle in verse, and that I may be sure ofiti 
reaching your hands, 1 have caused to be thrown off 90w 
copies thereof; that you may not plead ignorance. 

^' This is oracular, but will be explained by perusing 
the Introduction to the Cth canto of a certain dumpy 

?uarto, entitled Marmion, a Talc of Flodden-field, of which 
have to beg your acceptance of a copy. • So aronder on 
tiU Ume makea all things plahi.' One thinxl am sure 
you win admit, and that is, that—* the hobby-horse la not 
forgot ;* 'nay. you will see I have paraded in my introduc- 
tions a plurality of hobbyhorses — a whole stud, on each of 
which Ihave, in my day, been accustomed to take an air* 
bg. This circumstance will also gratify our friend Dooc^ 
whose lucubrations have been my study for some days 
They will, I fekr, be cavfare to the multitude, and even to 
the eoidieant connoisseurs, who have never found by ex- 
perience what length of time, of reading, and of reflection. 
IS necessary to collect the archaeological knowledge or 
which he has displayed such pro(\ision. The style wouM 
also, In our Scotch phrase, thole a mertdt, i. e. admit oi 
improvement. But his extensive and curious fcsearches 
place him at the head of the class of black-letter antlqua^ 
ries : and his knowledge is communicated without lbs 
manifest irritation— which his contemporaries have too 
often displayed Wt mattere of controversy.— without os* 
teotation, and without selfsufflciency. 1 hope the suc- 
cess of his work will encourage this modest and learned 
antiquary to give us noore collectanea. There are few 
things I read with more pleasure. Charlotte joioi in 
kindest respects to Mra. Ellis. I have some hopes of 
being in town this spring, but I fear you will be at Batb. 
When you have run over Marmion, I hope you will re- 
member how impatient I shall be to hear your opmioa 
aane phraee. 1 am sensible I run some risk of beiojE 
thought to fiall below my former level, but those that wiU 
play for the gammon most take their chance of thia ^1 
am also anxious to have particular news of your heattn. 
Ever youra &ithfully, «, a»» 

W. 8. 

The letter reached Elhs beforo the book ; bat how 
well he anticipated the immediate current of cna- 
cism, his answer will show. " Before I have seen 
the stranger,*' be says, ** and while my judgment is 
unwarped by her seduction, I Uiink I can veolure, 
from what I remember of the Lay, to anticipate the 
fluctuations of public opinion concerning her. The 
first decision respecting the Last Minstrel was, that 
he was evidently the production of a strong and vi* 
vid mind, and not quite unworthy the author of 
Glenfinlas and the Eve of St John ; but that it 
was difficult to eke out so long a poem with uniform 
spirit ; that success generally emboldens writers to 
become more careless in a second production ; that 

in short, months elapsed, before one tenth of 

our wise critics had discovered that a long po«n>i 
which no one reader could bring himself to lay dop^ 
till he had arrived at the last Tme, was a compoft* 

. * Mr. Dooce's IDustiatioos of fihakman wars j 
in 1S07. Digitized by VjOVJQIL 



LIFE OP Sm WALTER SCOTT. 



m 



tioB destined perhaps to suggest new rules of criti- 
, bat oerteinly not amenable to the tribunal of 



■laste fiomied on the previous examination of mo- 
Qcis of a perfectlr different nature. That Minstrel is 
sow in its turn become a standard ; Marmion will 
therefore be compared with this metre^ and will 
toost probably be in the first instance pronounced 
too long, or too abort, or improperly divided, or &c. 
kc ^kc, till the sage and candid cntics are compel- 
led, a second time, by the united voice of all who 
can read at all, to confess that ^aiU prodesse aut 
dtUdare* is the only real standard of poetical merit. 
Oae of my reasons for Uking your Minstrel wss, 
tbat the subject was purely and necessarily poe^ico/ ; 
whereas my sincere ana sober opinion of all the 
epic poems I have ever read, the Odyssey i>erhaps 
excepted, is, that they ought to have been written m 
prose ; and hence, though I think with Mackintosh, 
that /ofTte epoa acer ut nemo Varius scribit,* I re- 
joice m your choice of a subject which cannot be 
eonsidered as epic, or conjureup in the memory a 
nomber of fantastic rules, which, like Harpies, 
wonid spoil 4he banquet offered to the imagination. 
A few days, however, will, I hope, enable me to 
write aeee eonnaissance de cause. 

1 have, 1 believe, alluded, in a former chapter of 
tins narrative, to a remark which occurs in Mr. Sou- 
they'sLife of Cowper, namely, that a man's charac- 
ter may be judged of even more surely by the letters 
which his friends addressed to him, than by those 
which he himself penned ; and I cannot but think 
that—freely^ Scott's own feelings and opinions 
wire poured^from his head and heart to all whom 
he considered as worthy of a wise and good man's 
confidence—the openness and candour with which 
the best and most sagacious of his friends wrote 
to him about his own Uterary productions, will be 
considered hereafter, (when all the glories of this 
age shall, like him, have passed away,) as affordmg 
•sciiking confirmation of the truth of the biogra- 
pher's ooaervation. It was thus, for example, that 
Mr. Soatbey himself, who happened to be m Lon- 
don when Marmion came out, expressed himself to 
the author, on his return to Keswick—" Half the 
poem I had read at Heber's before my own copy ar- 
rived. I went punctually to breakfast with him, and 
he was long enough dressing to let roe dew)ur so 
mach of it The story is made of better materials 
than the Lay. yet they are not so well fitted toge- 
ther. As a whole, it has not pleased roe so much— 
in parts, it has pleased me more. There js nothing 
•0 finely conceived in your former poem as the death 
of Marmion : there is nothing finer in its conception 
any where. The introductory epistles I did not wish 
away, because, as poems, they gave me great plea- 
sse ; but 1 wished them ait the end of the volume, 
or at the beginning— afty where except where thev 
yen. My taste is perhaps pecnUar in disliking all 
iatermptions in narrative poetry. When the poet lets 
his story sleep, and talks in his own person, it has 
to me the same sort of unpleasant effect that is 
ptodoced at the end of an act. You are aUve to 
know what follows, and lo— down comes the cor- 
taai, and the fiddles begin with their abominations. 
The general opinion, however, is with me, in this 

particular instance '* I have no right to 

quote the rest of Mr. Southey's letter, which is filled 
chiefly with business of his own ; but towards its 
close, immediately after mentioning a princely in- 
stance of generosity on the part of bis friend Mr. 
Waller Savage Landor to a brother poet, he has a 
noble sentence, which I hope to be pardoned for ex- 
tracting, as equally applicable to his own character 
and that of the man he was addressing—" Great 
poeta," says the author of Thalaba, "have no envy; 
ottle ones axe foil of it 1 1 doubt whether any man 
ever criticised a good poem maliciously, who had 
Bot written a bad one himself." I must not omit to 
BKntion, tbat on his way from London down to 
Keswick, Mr. Southey had visited at Stamford the 
late industrious antiquary Octavius Qilchrist, who 
«ru also nt this time one of Scott's frequent corres- 
poflKlents. Mr. Gilchrist writes (May 21) to Scott, 

* Southey pointed out to me a passage in Marmion, 
10 L 



which he thought finer than any thing he remem- 
bered." 

Mr. Wordsworth knew Scott too well not to list 
the same mascuhne fireedom. 

" Thank you," he says '• for MarmioD. I think your end 
has been attained. That it is not the end which I should 
wish you to propose to vourseU; you will be well aware, 
from what you know or my notions of composition, both 
as to matter and nianner. In the circle oi my acquaint- 
ance, it seems as well Uked as the Iat, though i have 
heard that hi the world it is not so. Had the poem been 
much better than the Lay, it could scarcely have satisfied 
the pablic, which has too much of the monster, the moral 
msnater, in its composition. The spring has burst out 
upon us all at once, and the vale is now in exquisite beau* 
tv ; a gentle shower has &Uen this morning, and I hear 
the thrush, who has built in my orchard, ainging amain. 
How happy ws should be to see you here sgain I Ever, 
my dear Scott, your dncere frisna 

W. W." 

I pass over a multitude of the congratulatory ef- 
fiisions of inferior names, but must not withhold 
part of a letter on a foUo sheet, written not in the 
first hurry of excitement, but on the 2d of Mav, two 
months after Marmion had reached ^unningniU. 

" I have," says Ellis, " been endeavouring to divest 
tnyself of those prejudices to which the impression on 
my own palate would naturalir give rise, and to discover 
the sentiments of those who nave only tasted the general 
compound, after seeing the sweetmeats picked out by my 
comrades and myself. I have severely questioned all my 
friends whose critical discemmedt I could hixfy trust, 
and mean to give your the honest resnlt of their collective 
opinions ; for whicii reason, hiasmuch as I shall have a 
good deal to sav, besides which, there seems to be a natu- 
ral connexion Between foolscap and criticism, I have ven> 
tured on this expanse of paper. In the first place, then, 
all the world are agreed that yon are Uke tne elephant 
mentioned in the Spectator, who was the greatest ele* 
phant in the world except himself; and conseouently, that 
the only questk>n at issue is, whether the Lay or Mar- 
mion shall be reputed the most pleasinx poem in our lan- 
gOage— save and except one or two of Dryden's fables. 
But, with respect to the two rivals, I think the Lav is, on 
the whole, the greater favourite. It is admitted Uiat the 
fable of Marmion is greatly superior— that it contains a 
greater diveiaity of character— that it inures more in* 
terest — and that it is by no means inferior in point of poet* 
icai expression ; but it is contended that the incident of 
Deloralne's journey to Melrose surpasses any thins in 
Marmion, and that the^ person^ appearance of the Min- 
strel, who, though the last, is by lar the most charming of 
all minstrels, is by no means compensated by the idea of 
an author shorn of his picturesque beard, deprived of his 
harp, and writing letters to his intimate friends. These 
introductory eoistles, indeed, though excellent in thera. 
selves, are m fact onlv interruptions to the fable ; and ac- 
cordingly, nine out or ten have pernsed them separately, 
either after or before the poem— and It is obvious that 
they cannot have produced, in either case, the effect which 
was proposed — viz., of relieving the readers' attention) 
and givinjg variety to the whole. Perhaps, C4)ntinue these 
critics, it would be fair to aay that Marmion delights us ia 
spite of its introductory epistles— while the Lay owes its 
principal charms to ttie venerable old minstrel .—the two 
poen>8 may be considered as' equally respectable to the 
talents of the author; but the first, being a more perfect 
whole, will be more constantly preferred. Now, aU this 
may be very true— but it is no less true that every body 
has already read Marmion more than once— that it is the 
subject of general conversation- that it delights all ages 
and all tastes, and that it is universalty allowed to improve 
upon a second reading. My own opinion is, that both the 
productions are equally good in their different ways ; yet, 
upon the whole, 1 had rather be the author of Marmion 
than of the Lay, because I think i(s species of excellence 
of much more difficult attainment. What degree of bulk 
may be essentially necessary to the corporeal part of an 
Epic poem, I know not ; but sure 1 am that the story of 
Marmion might have furnished twelve books as easily as 
six— that the masterly character of Constance would not 
have been less bewitching had it been much more ml- 
nutel J painted— and that De Wilton might have been dilat- 
ed with great ease, and even to considerable advantage ; 
— in short, that had it been your intention merely lo ex- 
hibit a spirited romantic story, instead of making that 
story subservient to the delineation of the manners which 
prevailed at a certain period of our history, the number 
and variety of your cnaracters would liave suited any 
scale of painting. Marmion is to Deloraine what Tom 
Jones is to Joseph Andrews— the varnish of high brevi* 



«> 



UFS^ OF SIR WALTSBiS(;mT. 



.Of nowhere dimfofahes t>ie prominence of the features 
—Mid the minkm of a kiof la aa light and afnewy a cava- 
:ler as the Hurderer, — rather lesa ferocious, mure wictc- 
ec^ Icse fit.for the hero of a baUad, and (kr more for the 
hero of a regular poem. On the whole, I can eincereljr 
a^eure you, *sana phrcuet' that, had I seen Marmion 
without knowing the author, I should have ranked it with 
Tlieodnre and Honoiia,— that la to say, on the very top 
shelf of English poetry. Now for faults." 

Mr. Ellis proceeds to notice some minor blemishes, 
which he hoped to see erased in a future copy: but 
as most, if not all^ of these were sufficiently dwelt 
on by the professionnl critics, whose strictures are 
affixed to tlie poem in the last collective editiop, 
and as^ moreover, Scott did not avail himself of any 
of the flints thus publicly, as well as privately, ten- 
dered for bis guidance, I shall not swell my page by 
transcribing more of this elegant letter. Tne part 
I have given may no doubt be considered as an epi- 
tome of the very highest and most refined of Lon- 
don table-talk on the subject of MarmioQ, during 
the first frcsbneasof its popularitv, and before tne 
Edinburgh Review, the only critical journal of which 
any one in those days thought very seriously, had 
pronounced its verdict. 

When we consider some parts of that judgmenJ, 
together with the author's personal intimacy with 
the editor, and the aid which he had of late been af- 
.fordingto the Journal itself, it mUst be allowed that 
Mr. Jenrey acquitted himself on this occasion in a 
manner highly creditable to his courageous sense of 
duty ; and that he relied on being considered aa do- 
ing so by the Poet himself, illustrttes equally his sa- 
gacity, and me manly candour and strength of 
mind, for which Scott had all along been esteemed 
and honouredi the most by those who knew him the 
best. The number of the Edinburgh Review con- 
taining the article on Marmion* was accompanied 
by this note :— 

To Walttr Seottt Esq., CatUe Street. 

" Queen Street, Taesday. 
" Dear Scott— ff I did not gite you credit for more 
magnanimity than any other of your irritable tribe, I 
should scarcely venture to put this into Your hands. As 
it is, I do it with no liule solicitude, and earnestly hope 
that it will make no difference in the friendship which has 
hitherto subsisted between us. I have s|)oken of your 
poem exactly as I think, and though I cannot reasonably 
soppose that you will be pleased with every thing I have 
said, it would mortify me very severely to believe I had 
given you pain. If you have any amity left for me, you 
will net delay very long to tell mo so. In the mean time, 
lamvery sincerely youn^ 

F. Jbfpjuit." 

The reader who has the Edinburgh Review for 
April, 1808, will I hope pause here and read the ar- 
ticle as it Btands ; endeavouring to put himself into 
the situation of Scott when it was laid upon his 
desk, together with tliia ominous billet from the cri- 
tic, who, as it happened, had been for some time 
engaged to dine that same Tuesday at his table in 
Castle Street I have not room to trnnscribe the 
whole; but no unfair notion of its spirit and tenor 
may be gathered from one or two of the principal 
paragraphs. After an ingeniou.s little dissertation 
on epic poetry in general, the reviewer says— 

" We are inclined to suspect that the success of the 
work now before us will be less brilliant than that of the 
author's former publication, though we are ourselves of 
opinion that its intrinsic merits are nearly, if Mt aUoge- 
ther equal ; and that, if it liad the fate to bo the elder 
born, It would have inherited as fair a portion of renown 
•s has fallen to the lot of its predecessor. It is a good deal 
longer, indeed, and somewlMit more ambitious ; and it is 
rather clearer, that it has greater faults than tiiat it has 
greater beauties— though, for our own parts, we are in- 
clined to believe in both propositions. It has more Aat 
and tedious passages, and more ostentation of liistorical 
and antiauarian lore ; but it has also greater richness and 
variety, both of characterand incident ; and if it Itas less 
sweetocss and pathos m the softer passages, it has cer- 
tainly more vehemence and force of colouring in the 
loftier and busier representations of action and emotion. 
The place of the prologuising minstrel is but 111 supplied, 
indeed, by the epuiiokuy dissertations wlilch are prefixed 



to each book of the present poem ; and the balbd-plecM 
and mere episodes which It e6nCains h«ve lets Sflltt Had 
poetical beauty ; but there is more ahiaeas and spirll la 
the higher delioeattons : and th« story. If not more aAci« 
fully conducted, Is at least h^tsr complieaied, and eji> 
tended through a wkicr field of adventure. The cbaise- 
teristicu of both, however, are evidently the same ; a bro- 
ken narrative— A redundancy of minute description- 
bursts of unequal and energetic poetry— and a general 
tone of spirit and animation, unchecked dt timidity or af^ 
fectation, and unchastened by any great delicacy of taMe 
or elegance of fency." 

" But though we think this last romance of Mr. flcntt*8 
about as good aa the former, and allbw that it affords greet 
iodicatioos of poetical talent, we must remind our readers 
that we never entertained much partiaUiy for lhi» son of 
compositiou, and ventured on a former occaaioo to ex- 

{tress our regret that an author endowed with such t»- 
ents should consume them in imitations of obsolete ex- 
travagance, and in the representation of manners and 
sentiments in which none of his readers can be supposed 
to take much interest, except the tlw who can judj^e of 
their exactness. To write a nwdem romance of chml- 
ry, seems to be much such a phantasy as to botid a mo- 
dern abbey or an £agliah pagoda. For onee, however, 
it may be excused as a pretty caprice of geniiu ; bat a 
second production of the same sort is entitled lo less is* 
dulgence, and . imposes a sort of duty to drive the author 
from so idle a task, by a fair exposition of the taiiks 
which are, in a manner, insejiarabie from Its exeeutioo. 
His genius, seconded by the omnipotence of fashion, has 
brotight chivalry again into temporary favour. Fine ladies 
and gentlemen now talk indeed of donjons, keeps, tabards, 
scutcheons, treasures, caps of maintenance, |wrtr uOieeSj 
wimples, and we know not what besides ; just as they <m 
in the days of Dr. Darwin's popularity of ^oitnesi, aywK 
oxygen, gossameri polygynia, and polyandrU. Tbai 
fashion, however, passed rapidly away, and Bfr. Scoa 
should take care that a different soft of pedantry does not 
produce the same effects." 

The detailed exposition of faults fellows ; and it 
is, 1 am sure, done in a style on which the crick 
cannot now reflect with perfect equanimity, any 
more tbim on the lofty and decisive tone of ib« 
sweeping paragraphs by which it was introduced. 
All this; however, I can suppose Scott to bars 
gone through with great composure : but he must. I 
think, have wondered, to say the least, wbtti m 
found himself accused of havmg ** ihronghout ni^ 
Iccted Scottish feelings and Scotfish characters T 
—He who had just poured out all the patriotic en- 
thusiasm of his soul in so many passages of Har- 
mion, which every Scotchman to the end of time 
will have by heart; painted the capital, the court, 
the camp, the heroic old chieftains of Scotland in 
colours instinct with a fervour that can never die ; 
and dignified the most fatal of her national miafnr- 
tunes by a celebration aa loftily pathetic as ever 
blended pride with sorrow,— a battle-piece wbidi 
even his critic had pronounced to be the noblest 
save in Homer! But not even this injustice was 
likely to wound him very deeply. Coming from one 
of the recent witnesses of his passionate agitation 
on the Mound, perhaps he would only smile at iL 

At all events, Scott could make allowance for the 
petulancies into which men the least disposed to in- 
jure the feelings of others will sometimes be betray- 
ed, whrn the critical rod is in their hands. He as- 
sured Mr. Jeffrey that the article had notdiatorbed 
his digestion, though he hoped neither bis booksel- 
lers nor the public would agree witb the opinions 
it expressed ; and begged he would come to dinner 
at the hour previously appointed. Mr. Jeffrey a^ 
peared -accordingly, ana was received by his host 
with the frankest cordiality; but had the mortifica- 
tion to observe that the mistress of thehouae, though 
perfectly polite, was not auite so easy with him as 
usual. She, too, behaved herself with exemplary 
civility during the dinner: but could not help aayioA 
in her broken English when her guest was depart* 
ing, " Well, good night, Mr. Jefl'rey— dejr tell me voa 
have abused Scott in de Review, and 1 hope Mr. 
Constable has paid you very well for writing it." 
This anecdote was not perhaps wonh giving ; but it 
has been printed already in an exaggerated ahapei 
80 I thought it B» well to present the edition which 



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14WR OF SIR W^TER aCOTT. 



191 



I htndeoiiedipoin the lipi of all th« tbne pert > 
coooeroed. No one, I am sure, will tnink the w( 
of iny of them for it,— least of all of Mrs. Sc 
Sin might well be pardoned, if she took to ben < ' ! 
more than her own share in the misadventure.'- ii 
well as the successes of the most affectionate of r r"- 
tectorsL It was, I believe, about this time when , ii^. 
Scott bas confessed, "the popularity of MarnioiL 
me him such a heexe he had for a moment ala^< .^t 
Ut his footine," that a shrewd and sly observe r, 
Mrs. Gnot ofLafi^an, said wittily enough, u^kin 
letTiog a brilliant assembly where the poet had t' ' ri 
somxuuied by all the buzz and glare of fashionnM'i 
fcstafy,— " Mr.. Scott always seems to me lik^ u 
fdass, ihroug[h which the rays of admiration ]< is^ 
viiboai sensibly affecting it i but the bit of pnir. r 
ihitlies beside it will presently be in a blaze— :uii1 
M wonder." 

1 ehallnot, after so much of and about criticiRnu 
^y any thing more of Marmion in this place, thnri 
^uatl bsTe always considered it as, on the wh 1. 
•itf greatest of Scott's poems. There is a cerii cs 
light, easy, virgin charm about the Lay, which ^v t 
look for in vain through the subsequent volumen of 
bis verse; but the superior strength, and bread rh, 
ud boldness both of conception and execution i^ 
the Harmion appear to me indisputable. The gr i ^ 
blotj tbe Gombmation o( mean felony with so m^r. v 
noble qualities in the character of the hero, was, a? 
theDoeisaya, severely commented on at the Inn f 
by tbe most ardent of his early friends, Leyd' n ; 
but tboo/Hi he admitted the justice of that critici^rn , 
beciioN^' to let the tree lie as it had fallen." H^i 
WIS al*o aeosible that many of the subordinate ■ ' 
f^Mcting parts of the narrative are flat, harsh, 
obKore-bot would never make any serious atte 
mo away with these imperfections i and perb i -^ 
t«T, afler all, heighten by contrast the eflect of tin- 
pn^n of high- wrought enthusiasm which alioi^^ 
Mconaidfered, m after days, with satisfaction. A^^ 
wthe "epistolary dissertations," it must, I tak- if. 
willowed that they interfered with the flow of ih^i 
•wry. when readers were turning the leaves vicU 
Jacfiitl ardour of curiosity; and they were not, an 
««, originally intended to be interwoven in i-^iv 
juhion with the romance of Marmion. Thoi'j-^ 
'Miatbor himself does not allude to, and had v(i^ 
Jtps forgotten the circumstance, when writing i i*^ 
latrodnctory Essay of 1830— they were announ' f ;l, 
{ran advertisement early in 1807, as "Six Epi^r'. ■< 
•^mEltnck Forest," to be published in a separ-^ro 
JJiome, Bimilarto tnat of the Ballads and Lyr : in] 
Tiecw; and perhaps it mieht have been better t],:i\ 
Ibis first plan had been adhered to. But how \ f 
"latmavbe, are there any pages, among rII he^^ i r 
JTote, that one would be more sorry he should i i ? 
MTc written *? The^ are among the most dcHci m ■* 
J'unraitures that genms ever painted of itself,— bin m 
^t,mtiou8, happy genius— exulting in its own 1 1> 
^'SP' >'fit POSi^essed and mastered by a clear, cnlrn^ 
"^wlesi mind, and happy only in difTusing happiiif i^a 
around it. 

. ^ith what gratification those Epistles were in ■ I 
fy the friends to whom they were addressed it w« »■ i l.j 
JJ superfluous to show. He had, in fact, paipr I 
"^^'J alraost as fully as himself; and who m-^hr 
Jioiliue been proud to find a place in such a gr^!' - 
JJ Tw tastes and habits of six of those men, n 
JJ^wiercourse Scott found the greatest plea-.T^j 
jwnhttfame was approaching its meridian spl- n- 
oror, ire tijQg p^ggg^,pjl for posterity ; and wh-n f 
»k!a ^^^ ^^^^ avidity we catch at the least Inrii 
'JJ* Beemg to afford us a glimpse of the intirrui u' 
JJf'e of any great poet of former ages, I cannot i ■ 1 1 r 
r^^ 'bat posterity would have held this re« * ri 
prenoDj, even had the individuals been in themsci vt s 
.Jfw remarkable than a Rose, an Ellis, aHtilier^ 
' ?,wne, a Marriott, and an Erskine. 
;-5.*°y <l'^er friends, however, have found a pnrt 
,-"**«« affectionate sketches; and I doubt whethtT 
"^manifestation of public applause afforded tht* 
5J*l>0{nuch pleasure as the letter in which one of 
j^ alluded to in the fourth Epistle ns then abarni 
•^ Scotland by reason of hw feeble health, ac- 



k|i»wlad8ed tks amotioBS that bad b««i ttimdip 
bim when he came upon that unexpected page. 
This was Colin Mackenzie of Portmore, the same 
who beat him in a competition of rhymes at the 
High School and whose ballad of ElLandonnan 
Castle had been introduced into the third volume 
of the Mrostrelsy. This accomplished and singu- 
larly modest man. now no more, received Marmion 
at Lympstone. "My dear Walter," he savs, "'amidst 
the greetings that will crowd on you, 1 know that 
those of a bearty, sincere, admiring old friend, will 
not be coldly taken» I am not going to attempt an 
enumeration of beauties, but I must thank you for 
the elegant and delicate allusion in which you ex- 
press your friendship for myself— Forbes— and above 
all, that sweet memorial of his late excellent fa- 
ther.* I find 1 have ^ot the mal du pay«, and mast 
return to enjoy the sight and society of -a few cho- 
sen friends. Vou are not unaware of the place you 
hold on my Hslv and your description of our cem- 
miiUetf has inspired me with tenfold ardour to re- 
new a pleasure so highly enjoyed, and remembered 
with such enthusiasm. Adieu, my dear friend. Ever 
yours, C. M."- 

His next-door neighbour at Ashestiel, Mr. Pringle 
of Whytbank, " the long-descended lord of Yair," 
writes not less touchingly on the verses in the 2d 
Epistle, where his beautiful place is mentioned, and 
the poet introduces 

"tbose spartlve boys, 
Companioos of his mountain joys''— 

and paints the rapture with which they had heard 
bim ^ call Wallace* rampart holy ground." " Your 
own benevoleni heart," says the good laird, "would 
have enjoyed the scene, could you have witnessed 
the countenances of my little flock grouped round 
your book ; and perhaps you would have discovered 
that the father, though the least audible at that 
moment^ was not the most insensible to the honour , 
bestow^ upon his children and his parent stream, 
both ahke dear to his heart. May my boys feel an 
additional motive to act well, that they may cast 
no discredit upon their early fhend !" 

But there was one personal allusion which, almost 
before his ink was dry, the poet would fain have can- 
celled. Lord Scott, the young heir of Buccleuch. 
whose casusl absence from ** Yarrow's bowera^' 
was regretted in that same epistle (addressed to bia 
tutor, Mr. Marriott)— 

" No Touthful baron's left to grace 

The forest stieriff's lonely chase, 

And ape In raanlv step and tone 

The majesty of Oberon." 

—this promising boy had left Yarrow to revisit it no 
more. He died a few days after Marmion was pub- 
lis?hed, and Scott, in writmgon the event to his uncle 
Lord Montagu, (to whom the poem was inscribed,) 
signified a fear that these verses might now serve but 
to quicken the sorrows of the mother. Lord Monta- 
gu answers,-" I have been able to ascertain Lady 
Dalkeith's feelings in a manner that will, I think, be 
satisfactory to you, particularly as it came from 
herself, without my giving her the pain of being ask- 
ed. In a letter I received yesterday, giving directions 
about some books, she writes as follows :— ' And 
pray send me Marmion too— this may seem odd to 
you, but at some moments I am soothed bv tniiigs 
which at other times drive me almost mad. On 
the 7th of April. Scott says to Lady Louisa Stuart— 
"The death of poor dear Lord Scott was such a 
stunning blow to me. that I really felt for some time* 
totally indifferent to the labours of literary correction. 
I had very great hopes from that boy, who was of an 
age to form, on theprinciplesof his father and grand- 
father, bis feelings towards the numerous families 
who depend on them. Bnt God's \\ ill be done. I in- 
tpndqd to have omitted the lines referring to him m 
Marmion in the second edition ; for as to adding any. 
I could as soon write the lUad. But I am now glad 1 

• Mr. Mackenzie had mamed a daafbter of Sir Wimun Foibes 
of Pitiligo, Bart., the Wofmnher of BcnMie; 

♦ The supper meelinpi or the Cavalry Clab. Bee Marmun, ^ 



♦ The supper meetings c 
Introduction to Canto IT. 



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jU 



LIFK OP Sm WALTER SCOTT. 



aHered my intention, as Lady Dalkdth has sent for 
the book, and dwells with melancholy pleasure on 
whatever recalls the memory of the poor boy. She 
has borne her distress like an angel, as she is, and 
alwavs has been ; but God only can cure the wounds 
he inflicts." 

One word more as to these personal allusions. 
While he was correcting a second proof of the pas- 
sage where Pitt and Fox are mentioned together, at 
St an more Priory, in April, 1807, Lord Abercorn 
suggested that the compliment to the Whig states- 
man ought to be still further heightened, and several 
lines— 

" For talents mourn untimely lost; 

When best employed, and wanted most," 4bc.* — 

were added accordingly. I have heard, indeed, that 
they came from the accomplis