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Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Walter Scott to William Clerk, 10 September 1792

Vol I Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter I
Chapter II 1771-78
Chapter III 1778-83
Chapter IV 1783-86
Chapter V 1786-90
Chapter VI 1790-92
Chapter VII 1792-96
Chapter VIII 1796-97
Chapter IX 1798-99
Chapter X 1800-02
Chapter XI 1802-03
Chapter XII 1803-04
Vol. II Contents.
Chapter I 1804-05
Chapter II 1805
Chapter III 1806
Chapter IV 1806-08
Chapter V 1808
Chapter VI 1808-09
Chapter VII 1809-10
Chapter VIII 1810
Chapter IX 1810
Chapter X 1810-11
Chapter XI 1811
Chapter XII 1811-12
Vol. III Contents.
Chapter I 1812-13
Chapter II 1813
Chapter III 1814
Chapter IV 1814
Chapter V 1814
Chapter VI 1814
Chapter VII 1814
Chapter VIII 1814
Chapter IX 1814
Chapter X 1814-15
Chapter XI 1815
Chapter XII 1815
Vol III Appendix
Vol. IV Contents.
Chapter I 1816
Chapter II 1817
Chapter III 1817
Chapter IV 1818
Chapter V 1818
Chapter VI 1818
Chapter VII 1818-19
Chapter VIII 1819
Chapter IX 1819
Chapter X 1819
Chapter XI 1820
Chapter XII 1820
Vol. V Contents.
Chapter I 1820
Chapter II 1820-21
Chapter III 1821
Chapter IV 1821
Chapter V 1821
Chapter VI 1821
Chapter VII 1822
Chapter VIII 1822
Chapter IX 1822-23
Chapter X 1823
Chapter XI 1823
Chapter XII 1824
Chapter XIII 1824-25
Vol. VI Contents.
Chapter I 1825
Chapter II 1825
Chapter III 1825
Chapter IV 1825
Chapter V 1826
Chapter VI 1826
Chapter VII 1826
Chapter VIII 1826
Chapter IX 1826
Chapter X 1826
Chapter XI 1826
Vol. VII Contents.
Vol VII Preface
Chapter I 1826-27
Chapter II 1827
Chapter III 1828
Chapter IV 1828
Chapter V 1829
Chapter VI 1830
Chapter VII 1830-31
Chapter VIII 1831
Chapter IX 1831
Chapter X 1831-32
Chapter XI 1832
Chapter XII
Vol VII Appendix
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‘Rosebank, 10th Sept. 1792.
‘Dear William,

‘Taking the advantage of a very indifferent day, which is likely to float away a good deal of corn, and of my father’s leaving this place, who will take charge of this scrawl, I sit down to answer your favour. I find you have been, like myself, taking advantage of the
good weather to look around you a little, and congratulate you upon the pleasure you must have received from your jaunt with
Mr Russell.* I apprehend, though you are silent on the subject, that your conversation was enlivened by many curious disquisitions of the nature of undulating exhalations. I should have bowed before the venerable grove of oaks at Hamilton with as much respect as if I had been a Druid about to gather the sacred mistletoe. I should hardly have suspected your host Sir William† of having been the occasion of the scandal brought upon the library and Mr Gibb‡ by the introduction of the Cabinet des Fées, of which I have a volume or two here. I am happy to think there is an admirer of snug things in the administration of the library. Poor Linton’s misfortune, though I cannot say it surprises, yet heartily grieves me. I have no doubt he will have many advisers and animadverters upon the naughtiness of his ways, whose admonitions will be forgot upon the next opportunity.

‘I am lounging about the country here, to speak sincerely, as idle as the day is long. Two old companions of mine, brothers of Mr Walker of Wooden, having come to this country, we have renewed a great intimacy. As they live directly upon the opposite bank of the river, we have signals agreed upon by which we concert

* Mr Russell, surgeon, afterwards Professor of Clinical Surgery at Edinburgh.

Sir William Miller (Lord Glenlee).

Mr Gibb was the Librarian of the Faculty of Advocates.

§ Clerk, Abercromby, Scott, Fergusson, and others, had occasional boating excursions from Leith to Inchcolm, Inchkeith, &c.; on one of these their boat was neared by a Newhaven one—Fergusson, at the moment, was standing up talking; one of the Newhaven fishermen, taking him for a brother of his own craft, bawled out, “Linton, you lang bitch, is that you?” From that day Adam Fergusson’s cognomen among his friends of The Club was Linton.

a plan of operations for the day. They are both officers, and very intelligent young fellows, and what is of some consequence, have a brace of fine greyhounds. Yesterday forenoon we killed seven hares, so you may see how plenty the game is with us. I have turned a keen duck shooter, though my success is not very great; and when wading through the mosses upon this errand, accoutred with the long gun, a jacket, musquito trowsers, and a rough cap, I might well pass for one of my redoubted moss-trooper progenitors,
Walter Fire-the-Braes, ‘or rather Willie wi’ the Bolt-Foot.

‘For about-doors’ amusement, I have constructed a seat in a large tree which spreads its branches horizontally over the Tweed. This is a favourite situation of mine for reading, especially in a day like this, when the west wind rocks the branches on which I am perched, and the river rolls its waves below me of a turbid blood colour. I have, moreover, cut an embrasure, through which I can fire upon the gulls, herons, and cormorants, as they fly screaming past my nest. To crown the whole, I have carved an inscription upon it in the ancient Romant taste. I believe I shall hardly return into town, barring accidents, sooner than the middle of next month, perhaps not till November. Next week, weather permitting, is destined for a Northumberland expedition, in which I shall visit some parts of that country which I have not yet seen, particularly about Hexham. Some days ago I had nearly met with a worse accident than the tramp I took at Moorfoot;† for having bewildered myself among the Cheviot hills, it was nearly nightfall before I got to the village of Hownam, and

* Walter Scott of Synton (elder brother of Bolt-Foot, the first Baron of Harden) was thus designated. He greatly distinguished himself in the battle of Melrose, A.D. 1526.

† This alludes to being lost in a fishing excursion.

the passes with which I was acquainted. You do not speak of being in Perthshire this season, though I suppose you intend it. I suppose we, that is, nous autres,* are at present completely dispersed.

Compliments to all who are in town, and best respects to your own family, both in Prince’s Street and at Eldin. Believe me ever most sincerely yours,

Walter Scott.’