LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Walter Scott, Journal Excerpts, March-July 1797

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

March 15, 1797 Read Stanfield’s trial, and the conviction appears very doubtful indeed. Surely no one could seriously believe, in 1688, that the body of the murdered bleeds at the touch of the murderer, and I see little else that directly touches Philip Stanfield. He was a very bad character, however; and tradition says, that having insulted Welsh, the wild preacher, one day in his early life, the saint called from the pulpit that God had revealed to him that this blasphemous youth would die in the sight of as many as were then assembled. It was believed at the time that Lady Stanfield had a hand in the assassination, or was at least privy to her son’s plans; but I see nothing inconsistent with the old gentleman’s having committed suicide.* The ordeal

* See particulars of Stanfield’s case in Lord Fountainhall’s Chronological Notes of Scottish Affairs, 1680-1701, edited by Sir Walter Scott. 4to, Edinburgh, 1822. Pp, 233-236.

of touching the corpse was observed in Germany. They call it barrecht.

March 27.—

‘The friers of Fail
Gat never owre hard eggs, or owre thin kale;
For they made their eggs thin wi’ butter,
And their kale thick wi’ bread.
And the friers of Fail they made gude kale
On Fridays when they fasted;
They never wanted gear enough
As lang as their neighbours’ lasted.’

“Fairy-rings.—N. B. Delrius says the same appearance occurs wherever the witches have held their Sabbath.

“For the ballad of Willie’s Lady,’ compare Apuleius, lib. i. p. 33. . . .

April 20—The portmanteau to contain the following articles:—2 shirts; 1 black handkerchief; 1 nightcap, woollen; 1 pair pantaloons, blue; 1 flannel shirt 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 tobacco-bag, flint, and steel; pipe-clay and oil, with brush for laying it on; a shoe-brush; a pair of shoes or hussar-boots; a horse-picker, and other loose articles.

“Belt with the flap and portmanteau, currycomb, brush, and mane-comb, with sponge.

“Over the portmanteau the 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, screw-driver and picker for pistol, with three or four spare flints.

“The horse-sheet may be conveniently folded below the saddle, and will save the back in a long march
NOTE-BOOK 1797.263
or bad weather. Beside the holster, two fore-feet shoes.*

May 22.—Apuleius, lib. ii. . . . . . . . . Anthony-a-Wood. . . . . Mr Jenkinson’s name (now Lord Liverpool) being proposed as a difficult one to rhyme to, a lady present hit off this verse extempore. N. B. Both father and son (Lord Hawkesbury) 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.—Delrius. . . .


I, John Bell of Brackenbrig, lies under this stane;
Four of my sons laid it on my wame.
I was man of my meat, and master of my wife,
And lived in mine ain house without meikle strife.
Gif thou be’st a better man in thy time than I was in mine,
Tak this stane off my wame, and lay it upon thine.’

“25.—Meric Casaubon on Spirits. . . . .


‘There saw we learned Maroe’s golden tombe;
The way he cut an English mile in length
Thorow a rock of stone in one night’s space.’

* Some of Scott’s most intimate friends at the Bar, partly, no doubt, from entertaining political opinions of another cast, were by no means disposed to sympathize with the demonstrations of his military enthusiasm at this period. For example, one of these gentlemen thus writes to another in April, 1797:—“By the way, Scott is become the merest trooper that ever was begotten by a drunken dragoon on his trull in a hay loft. Not an idea crosses his mind, or a word his lips, that has not an allusion to some d——d instrument or evolution of the Cavalry—‘draw your swords—by single files to the right of front—to the left wheel—charge.’ After all, he knows little more about wheels and charges than I do about the wheels of Ezekiel, or the King of Pelew about charges of horning on six days’ date. I saw them charge on Leith Walk a few days ago, and I can assure you it was by no means orderly proceeded. Clerk and I are continually obliged to open a six-pounder upon him in self-defence, but in spite of a temporary confusion, he soon rallies and returns to the attack.”


Christopher Marlowe’s Tragicall History of Dr Faustus a very remarkable thing. Grand subject—end grand. . . . . . Copied ‘Prophecy of Merlin’ from Mr Clerk’s MS.

“27—Read Everybody’s Business is Nobody’s Business, by Andrew Moreton. This was one of Defoe’s many aliases like his pen, in parts . . . . .

‘To Cuthbert, Car, and Collingwood, to Shafto and to Hall;
To every gallant generous heart that for King James did fall.’

“28—. . . . . . Anthony-a-Wood. . . . . Plain Proof of the True Father and Mother of the Pretended Prince of Wales, by W. Fuller. This fellow Was pilloried for a forgery some years. . . . . . . . later Began Nathan der Weise.

“June 29.—Read Introduction to a Compendium on Brief Examination, by W. S.—viz. William Stafford—though it was for a time given to no less a W. S. than William Shakspeare. A curious treatise—the Political Economy of the Elizabethan Day—worth reprinting. . . . .

“July 1.—Read Discourse of Military Discipline, by Captain Barry—a very curious account of the famous Low Countries’ armies—full of military hints worth note. . . . . . Anthony Wood again.

“3.—Nathan der Weise. . . . . Delrius. . . . .

“5.—Geutenberg’s Braut begun.

“6.—The Bride again. Delrius.”