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Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Walter Scott to George Ellis, 14 October 1803

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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Scott tells Ellis in reply (October 14), that he was
“infinitely gratified with his account of Wortley Lodge and the Dragon,” and refers him to the article “Kempion,” in the
Minstrelsy, for a similar tradition respecting an ancestor of the noble house of Somerville. The reader can hardly need to be reminded that the gentle knight, Sir Thomas Wortley’s, love of hearing the deer bell was often alluded 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 individual, however insignificant, to his post. God has left us entirely to our own means of defence, for we have not above one regiment of the line in all our ancient kingdom. In the mean while, we are doing the best we can to prepare ourselves for a contest, which, perhaps, is not far distant. A beacon light, communicating with 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 schnurbartchen to convert me into a complete hussar.* Charlotte, with the infantry (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 weather out a descent from Ostend. Next year I hope all this will be over, and that not only I shall have the pleasure of receiving you in peace and quiet, but also of going with you through every part of Caledonia, in which you can possibly be interested. Friday se’ennight our corps takes the field

* Schnurbartchen is German for mustachio. It appears from a page of an early note-book previously transcribed, that Scott had been sometimes a smoker of tobacco in the first days of his lighthorsemanship. He had laid aside the habit at the time when this letter was written; but he twice again resumed it, though he never carried the indulgence to any excess.

for ten days—for the second time within three months—which may explain the military turn of my epistle.

“Poor Ritson is no more. All his vegetable soups and puddings have not been able to avert the evil day, which, I understand, was preceded by madness. It must be worth while to enquire who has got his MSS. I mean his own notes and writings. The ‘Life of Arthur,’ for example, must contain many curious facts and quotations, which the poor defunct had the power of assembling to an astonishing degree, without being able to combine any thing like a narrative, or even to deduce one useful inference—witness his ‘Essay on Romance and Minstrelsy,’ which reminds one of a heap of rubbish, which had either turned out unfit for the architect’s purpose, or beyond his skill to make use of. The ballads he had collected in Cumberland and Northumberland, too, would greatly interest me. If they have fallen into the hands of any liberal collector, I dare say I might be indulged with a sight of them. Pray enquire about this matter.

“Yesterday Charlotte and I had a visit which we owe to Mrs E. A rosy lass, the sister of a bold yeoman in our neighbourhood, entered our cottage, towing in a monstrous sort of bulldog, called emphatically Cerberus, whom she came on the part of her brother to beg our acceptance of, understanding we were anxious to have a son of Camp. Cerberus was no sooner loose (a pleasure which, I suspect, he had rarely enjoyed) than his father (supposé) and he engaged in a battle which might have been celebrated by the author of the ‘Unnatural Combat,’ and which, for aught I know, might have turned out a combat à l’outrance, if I had not interfered with a horsewhip, instead of a baton, as juge de Camp. The odds were indeed greatly against the stranger knight—two fierce Forest greyhounds having arrived, and, contrary
to the law of arms, stoutly assailed him. I hope to send you a puppy instead of this redoubtable Cerberus. Love to Mrs E.—
W. S.