LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Jane Anne Cranstoun to Walter Scott, [1796]

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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Dear Scott,—Far be it from me to affirm that there are no diviners in the land. The voice of the people and the voice of God are loud in their testimony. Two years ago, when I was in the neighbourhood of Montrose, we had recourse for amusement one evening to chiromancy, or, as the vulgar say, having our fortunes read; and read mine were in such a sort, that either my letters must have been inspected, or the devil was by in his own proper person. I never mentioned the circumstance since, for obvious reasons; but now that you are on the spot, I feel it my bounden duty to conjure you not to put your shoes rashly from off your feet, for you are not standing on holy ground.

“I bless the gods for conducting your poor dear soul safely to Perth. When I consider the wilds, the forests, the lakes, the rocks and the spirits in which you must have whispered to their startled echoes, it amazeth me how you escaped. Had you but dismissed your little squire and Earwig,* and spent a few days as Or-

* A servant boy and pony.

lando would have done, all posterity might have profited by it; but to trot quietly away without so much as one stanza to despair—never talk to me of love again—never, never, never! I am dying for your collection of exploits. When will you return? In the mean time, Heaven speed you! Be sober, and hope to the end.

William Taylor’s translation of your ballad is published, and so inferior, that I wonder we could tolerate it. Dugald Stewart read yours to ********** the other day. When he came to the fetter dance,* he looked up, and poor ********** was sitting with his hands nailed to his knees, and the big tears rolling down his innocent nose in so piteous a manner, that Mr Stewart could not help bursting out a laughing. An angry man was
* “‘Dost fear? dost fear?—The moon shines clear;—
Dost fear to ride with me?
Hurrah! hurrah! the dead can ride!’—
Oh, William, let them be!’
“‘See there, see there! What yonder swings
And creaks ’mid whistling rain?’—
Gibbet and steel, the accursed wheel;
A murd’rer in his chain.
“‘Hollow! thou felon, follow here,
To bridal bed we ride;
And thou shalt prance a fetter dance
Before me and my bride.’
“And hurry, hurry! clash, clash, clash!
The wasted form descends;
And fleet as wind, through hazel bush,
The wild career attends.
“Tramp, tramp! along the land they rode;
Splash, splash! along the sea;
The scourge is red, the spur drops blood.
The flashing pebbles flee.”
**********. I have seen
another edition too, but it is below contempt. So many copies make the ballad famous, so that every day adds to your renown.

“This here place is very, very dull. Erskine is in London; my dear Thomson at Daily; Macfarlan hatching Kant and George* Fountainhall.† I have nothing more to tell you, but that I am most affectionately yours. Many an anxious thought I have about you. Farewell.—J. A. C.