LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Chapter IV 1818

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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Rob Roy and his wife, Bailie Nicol Jarvie and his housekeeper, Die Vernon and Rashleigh Osbaldistone—these boldly drawn and most happily contrasted personages were welcomed as warmly as the most fortunate of their predecessors. Constable’s resolution to begin with an edition of 10,000, proved to have been as sagacious as bold; for within a fortnight a second impression of 3000 was called for; and the subsequent sale of this novel has considerably exceeded 40,000 more.

Scott, however, had not waited for this new burst of applause. As soon as he came within view of the completion of Rob Roy, he desired John Ballantyne to propose to Constable and Co. a second series of the Tales of my Landlord, to be comprised, like the first, in four volumes, and ready for publication by “the King’s birth-day;” that is, the 4th of June, 1818. “I have hungered and thirsted,” he wrote, “to see the end of those shabby borrowings among friends; they have all been wiped out except the good Duke’s L.4000—and I
will not suffer either new offers of land or any thing else to come in the way of that clearance. I expect that you will be able to arrange this resurrection of Jedediah, so that L.5000 shall be at my order.”

Mr Rigdum used to glory in recounting that he acquitted himself on this occasion with a species of dexterity not contemplated in his commission. He well knew how sorely Constable had been wounded by seeing the first Tales of Jedediah published by Murray and Blackwood—and that the utmost success of Rob Roy would only double his anxiety to keep them out of the field, when the hint should be dropt that a second MS. from Gandercleuch might shortly be looked for. He, therefore, took a convenient opportunity to mention the new scheme as if casually so as to give Constable the impression that the author’s purpose was to divide the second series, also between his old rival in Albemarle Street, of whom his jealousy was always most sensitive, and his neighbour Blackwood, whom, if there had been no other grudge, the recent conduct and rapidly increasing sale of his Magazine would have been sufficient to make Constable hate with a perfect hatred. To see not only his old Scots Magazine eclipsed, but the authority of the Edinburgh Review itself bearded on its own soil by this juvenile upstart, was to him gall and wormwood; and, moreover, he himself had come in for his share in some of those grotesque jeux d’esprit by which, at this period, Blackwood’s young Tory wags delighted to assail their elders and betters of the Whig persuasion. To prevent the proprietor of this new journal from acquiring any thing like a hold on the author of Waverley, and thus competing with himself not only in periodical literature, but in the highest of the time, was an object for which, as John Ballantyne shrewdly guessed, Constable would have made at that moment
almost any sacrifice. When, therefore, the haughty but trembling bookseller “The Lord High Constable” (as he had been dubbed by these jesters) signified his earnest hope that the second Tales of my Landlord were destined to come out under the same auspices with Rob Roy, the plenipotentiary answered with an air of deep regret, that he feared it would be impossible for the author to dispose of the work unless to publishers who should agree to take with it the whole of the remaining stock of “John Ballantyne and Co.;” and Constable, pertinaciously as he had stood out against many more modest propositions of this nature, was so worked upon by his jealous feelings, that his resolution at once gave way. He agreed on the instant to do all that John seemed to shrink from asking and at one sweep cleared the Augean stable in Hanover Street of unsaleable rubbish to the amount of L.5270! I am assured by his
surviving partner that when he had finally redisposed of the stock, he found himself a loser by fully two-thirds of this sum.

Burthened with this heavy condition, the agreement for the sale of 10,000 copies of the embryo series was signed before the end of November, 1817; and on the 7th of January, 1818, Scott wrote as follows to his noble friend:—

To the Duke of Buccleuch, &c. &c.
“My dear Lord Duke,

“I have the great pleasure of enclosing the discharged bond which your Grace stood engaged in for me, and on my account. The accommodation was of the greatest consequence to me, as it enabled me to retain possession of some valuable literary property, which I must otherwise have suffered to be sold at a time when the booksellers had no money to buy it. My dear Lord, to wish that all your numerous and extensive acts
of kindness may be attended with similar advantages to the persons whom you oblige, is washing you what to your mind will be the best recompense; and to wish that they may be felt by all as gratefully as by me, though you may be careless to hear about that part of the story, is only wishing what is creditable to human nature. I have this moment your more than kind letter, and congratulate your Grace that, in one sense of the word, you can be what you never will be in any other, ambidexter. But I am sorry you took so much trouble, and I fear pains besides, to display your new talent. Ever your Grace’s truly faithful

Walter Scott.”

The closing sentence of this letter refers to a fit of the gout which had disabled the Duke’s right hand, but not cooled his zeal on a subject which, throughout January, 1818, occupied, I firmly believe, much more of his correspondent’s thoughts by day and dreams by night, than any one, or perhaps than all others, besides. The time now approached when a Commission to examine the Crown-room in the Castle of Edinburgh, which had sprung from one of Scott’s conversations with the Prince Regent in 1815, was at length to be acted upon. The minstrel of the “Rough Clan” had taken care that the name of his chief should stand at the head of the document; but the Duke’s now precarious health ultimately prevented him from being present at the discovery of the long buried and almost forgotten regalia of Scotland. The two following letters on this subject are of the same date—Edinburgh, 14th January, 1818.

To the Duke of Buccleuch, &c. &c. Bowhill.
“My dear Lord,

“You will hear from the Advocate, that the Com-
mission for opening the Regalia is arrived, and that the Commissioners held their first meeting yesterday. They have named next Wednesday (in case your Grace can attend) for opening the mysterious chest. So this question will be put to rest for ever.

“I remember among the rebel company which debauched my youth, there was a drunken old Tory, who used to sing a ballad made about these same regalia at the time of the Union, in which they were all destined to the basest uses; the crown, for example,
‘To make a can for Brandy Nan
To puke in when she’s tipsy.’
The rest of the song is in a tone of equally pure humour; the chorus ran
‘Farewell, thou ancient kingdom—
Farewell, thou ancient kingdom,
Who sold thyself for English pelf—
Was ever such a thing done?’
I hope your Grace feels yourself sufficiently interested in the recovery of these ancient symbols of national independence, so long worn by your forefathers, and which were never profaned by the touch of a monarch of a foreign dynasty.—Here is fine planting weather. I trust it is as good in the Forest and on Tweedside. Ever your Grace’s truly faithful

Walter Scott.”
To J. B. S. Morritt, Esq., M.P., Rokeby.
“Dear Morritt,

“Our fat friend has remembered a petition which I put up to him, and has granted a Commission to the Officers of State and others (my unworthy self included)—which trusty and well-beloved persons are to in-
stitute a search after the Regalia of Scotland. There has an odd mystery hung about the fate of these royal symbols of national independence. The spirit of the Scotch at the Union clang fondly to these emblems; and to sooth their jealousy, it was specially provided by an article of the Union, that the Regalia should never be removed, under any pretext, from the kingdom of Scotland. Accordingly, they were deposited, with much ceremony, as an authentic instrument bears, in a strong chest, secured by many locks, and the chest itself placed in a strong room, which again was carefully bolted up and secured, leaving to national pride the satisfaction of pointing to the barred window, with the consciousness that there lay the Regalia of Scotland. But this gratification was strangely qualified by a surmise, which somehow became generally averred, stating, that the Regalia had been sent to London; and you may remember that we saw at the Jewel Office a crown, said to be the ancient Crown of Scotland. If this transfer (by the way highly illegal) was ever made, it must have been under some secret warrant; for no authority can be traced for such a proceeding in the records of the Secretary of State’s Office. Fifteen or twenty years ago, the Crown-room, as it is called, was opened by certain Commissioners, under authority of a sign-manual. They saw the fatal chest, strewed with the dust of an hundred years, about six inches thick: a coating of like thickness lay on the floor; and I have heard the late
President Blair say, that the uniform and level appearance of the dust warranted them to believe that the chest, if opened at all after 1707, must have been violated within a short time of that date, since, had it been opened at a later period, the dust accumulated on the lid, and displaced at opening it, must have been lying around the chest. But the Commissioners did
not think their warrant entitled them to force this chest, for which no keys could be found; especially as their warrant only entitled them to search for records—not for crowns and sceptres.

“The mystery, therefore, remained unpenetrated; and public curiosity was left to console itself with the nursery rhime—
‘On Tintock tap there is a mist,
And in the mist there is a kist.’
fat friend’s curiosity, however, goes to the point at once, authorizing and enjoining an express search for the Regalia. Our friend of Buccleuch is at the head of the commission, and will, I think, be as keen as I or any one to see the issue.

“I trust you have read Rob by this time. I think he smells of the cramp. Above all, I had too much flax on my distaff; and as it did not consist with my patience or my plan to make a fourth volume, I was obliged at last to draw a rough, coarse, and hasty thread. But the book is well liked here, and has reeled off in great style. I have two stories on the anvil, far superior to Rob Roy in point of interest. Ever yours,

Walter Scott.”

The Commissioners, who finally assembled on the 4th of February, were, according to the record “the Right Hon. Charles Hope, Lord President of the Court of Session; the Right Hon. David Boyle, Lord Justice Clerk; the Right Hon. William Adam, Lord Chief Commissioner of the Jury Court; Major-General John Hope (Commanding the Forces in Scotland); the Solicitor General (James Wedderburn, Esq.); the Lord Provost of Edinburgh (Kincaid Mackenzie, Esq.); William Clerk, Esq., Principal Clerk of the Jury Court;
Henry Jardine, Esq., Deputy Remembrancer in the Exchequer; Thomas Thompson, Esq., Deputy Clerk Register of Scotland; and Walter Scott, Esq., one of the Principal Clerks of Session.”

Of the proceedings of this day, the reader has a full and particular account in an Essay which Scott penned shortly afterwards, and which is included in his Prose Miscellanies (vol. vii.) But I must not omit the contemporaneous letters in which he announced the success of the quest to his friend the Secretary of the Admiralty, and through him to the Regent

To J. W. Croker, Esq. M.P., &c. &c. Admiralty, London.
“Edinburgh, 4th Feb., 1818.
“My dear Croker,

“I have the pleasure to assure you the Regalia of Scotland were this day found in perfect preservation. The Sword of State and Sceptre showed marks of hard usage at some former period; but in all respects agree with the description in Thomson’s work.* I will send you a complete account of the opening to-morrow, as the official account will take some time to draw up. In the mean time, I hope you will remain as obstinate in your unbelief as St Thomas, because then you will come down to satisfy yourself. I know nobody entitled to earlier information, save one, to whom you can perhaps find the means of communicating the result of our researches. The post is just going off. Ever yours truly,

Walter Scott.”

* Collection of Inventories and other Records of the Royal Wardrobe and Jewel-House, &c. Edin. 1815, 4to.

To the Same.
“Edinburgh, 5th February, 1818.
“My dear Croker,

“I promised I would add something to my report of yesterday, and yet I find I have but little to say. The extreme solemnity of opening sealed doors of oak and iron, and finally breaking open a chest which had been shut since 7th March, 1707, about a hundred and eleven years, gave a sort of interest to our researches, which I can hardly express to you, and it would be very difficult to describe the intense eagerness with which we watched the rising of the lid of the chest, and the progress of the workmen in breaking it open, which was neither an easy nor a speedy task. It sounded very hollow when they worked on it with their tools, and I began to lean to your faction of the Little Faiths. However, I never could assign any probable or feasible reason for withdrawing these memorials of ancient independence; and my doubts rather arose from the conviction that many absurd things are done in public as well as in private life merely out of a hasty impression of passion or resentment. For it was evident the removal of the Regalia might have greatly irritated people’s minds here, and offered a fair pretext of breaking the Union which, for thirty years, was the predominant wish of the Scottish nation.

“The discovery of the Regalia has interested people’s minds much more strongly than I expected, and is certainly calculated to make a pleasant and favourable impression upon them in respect to the kingly part of the constitution. It would be of the utmost consequence that they should be occasionally shown to them, under proper regulations, and for a small fee. The Sword of State is a most beautiful piece of workmanship, a present from Pope Julius II. to James IV. The scabbard
is richly decorated with filigree work of silver, double gilded, representing oak leaves and acorns, executed in a taste worthy that classical age in which the arts revived. A draughtsman has been employed to make sketches of these articles, in order to be laid before his Royal Highness. The fate of these Regalia, which his Royal Highness’ goodness has thus restored to light and honour, has, on one or two occasions been singular enough. They were, in 1652, lodged in the Castle of Dunnottar, the seat of the
Earl Marischal, by whom, according to his ancient privilege, they were kept. The castle was defended by George Ogilvie of Barra, who, apprehensive of the progress which the English made in reducing the strong places in Scotland, became anxious for the safety of these valuable memorials. The ingenuity of his lady had them conveyed out of the castle in a bag on a woman’s back, among some hards, as they are called, of lint. They were carried to the Kirk of Kinneff, and intrusted to the care of the clergyman named Grainger, and his wife, and buried under the pulpit. The Castle of Dunnottar, though very strong and faithfully defended, was at length under necessity of surrendering, being the last strong place in Britain on which the royal flag floated in those calamitous times. Ogilvie and his lady were threatened with the utmost extremities by the Republican General Morgan, unless they should produce the Regalia. The governor stuck to it that he knew nothing of them, as in fact they had been carried away without his knowledge. The Lady maintained she had given them to John Keith, second son of the Earl Marischal, by whom, she said, they had been carried to France. They suffered a long imprisonment, and much ill usage. On the Restoration, the old Countess Marischal, founding upon the story Mrs Ogilvie had told to screen her husband,
obtained for her own son, John Keith, the earldom of Kintore, and the post of Knight Marischal, with L.400 a-year, as if he had been in truth the preserver of the Regalia. It soon proved that this reward had been too hastily given, for Ogilvie of Barra produced the Regalia, the honest clergyman refusing to deliver them to any one but those from whom he received them. Ogilvie was made a Knight Baronet, however, and got a new charter of the lands acknowledging the good service. Thus it happened oddly enough, that Keith who was abroad during the transaction, and had nothing to do with it, got the earldom, pension, &c., Ogilvie only inferior honours, and the poor clergyman nothing whatever, or, as we say, the hares foot to lick. As for Ogilvie’s lady, she died before the Restoration, her health being ruined by the hardships she endured from the Cromwellian satellites. She was a Douglas, with all the high spirit of that proud family. On her deathbed, and not till then, she told her husband where the honours were concealed, charging him to suffer death rather than betray them. Popular tradition says, not very probably, that Grainger and his wife were booted (that is, tortured with the engine called the boots). I think the Knight Marischal’s office rested in the Kintore family until 1715, when it was resumed on account of the bearded Earl’s accession to the Insurrection of that year. He escaped well, for they might have taken his estate and his earldom. I must save post, however, and conclude abruptly. Yours ever,

Walter Scott.”

On the 5th, after the foregoing letter had been written at the Clerk’s table, Scott and several of his brother Commissioners revisited the Castle, accompanied by some of the ladies of their families. His daughter tells
REGALIA—FEB. 5, 1818.119
me that her father’s conversation had worked her feelings up to such a pitch, that when the lid was again removed, she nearly fainted, and drew back from the circle. As she was retiring, she was startled by his voice exclaiming, in a tone of the deepest emotion, “something between anger and despair,” as she expresses it,—“By G— No!” One of the Commissioners, not quite entering into the solemnity with which Scott regarded this business, had, it seems, made a sort of motion as if he meant to put the crown on the head of one of the young ladies near him, but the voice and aspect of the Poet were more than sufficient to make the worthy gentleman understand his error; and respecting the enthusiasm with which he had not been taught to sympathize, he laid down the ancient diadem with an air of painful embarrassment. Scott whispered “pray, forgive me;” and turning round at the moment, observed his daughter deadly pale, and leaning by the door. He immediately drew her out of the room, and when the air had somewhat recovered her, walked with her across the Mound to Castle Street. “He never spoke all the way home,” she says, “but every now and then, I felt his arm tremble; and from that time I fancied he began to treat me more like a woman than a child. I thought he liked me better, too, than he had ever done before.”

These little incidents may give some notion of the profound seriousness with which his imagination had invested this matter. I am obliged to add, that in the society of Edinburgh at the time, even in the highest Tory circles, it did not seem to awaken much even of curiosity—to say nothing of any deeper feeling; there was, however, a great excitement among the common people of the town, and a still greater among the peasantry, not only in the neighbourhood, but all over Scotland; and
the Crown-room, becoming thenceforth one of the established lions of a city much resorted to, moreover, by stranger tourists, was likely, on the most moderate scale of admission-fee, to supply a revenue sufficient for remunerating responsible and respectable guardianship. This post would, as
Scott thought, be a very suitable one for his friend, Captain Adam Ferguson; and he exerted all his zeal for that purpose. The Captain was appointed: his nomination, however, did not take place for some months after; and the postscript of a letter to the Duke of Buccleuch, dated May 14th, 1818, plainly indicates the interest on which Scott mainly relied for its completion:—“If you happen,” he writes, “to see Lord Melville, pray give him a jog about Ferguson’s affair; but between ourselves, I depend chiefly on the kind offices of Willie Adam, who is an auld sneck-drawer.” The Lord Chief Commissioner, at all times ready to lend Scott his influence with the Royal Family, had, on the present occasion, the additional motive of warm and hereditary personal regard for Ferguson.

I have placed together such letters as referred principally to the episode of the Regalia; but shall now give in the order of time, a few which will sufficiently illustrate the usual course of his existence, while the Heart of Mid-Lothian was in progress. It appears that he resumed, in the beginning of this year, his drama of Devorgoil; his letters to Terry are of course full of that subject, but they contain, at the same time, many curious indications of his views and feelings as to theatrical affairs in general and mixed up with these a most characteristic record of the earnestness with which he now watched the interior fitting up, as he had in the season before the outward architecture, of the new edifice at Abbotsford. Mean while it will be seen that he found leisure hours for various contributions to periodical works;
among others an
article on Kirkton’s Church History, and another on (of all subjects in the world) military bridges, for the Quarterly Review; a spirited version of the old German ballad on the Battle of Sempach, and a generous criticism on Mrs Shelly’s romance of Frankenstein, for Blackwood’s Magazine. This being the first winter and spring of Laidlaw’s establishment at Kaeside, communications as to the affairs of the farm were exchanged weekly whenever Scott was in Edinburgh, and they afford delightful evidence of that paternal solicitude for the wellbeing of his rural dependants, which all along kept pace with Scott’s zeal as to the economical improvement, and the picturesque adornment of his territories.

To D. Terry, Esq., London.
“Edinburgh, 23d Jan. 1818.
“My dear Terry,

“You have by this time the continuation of the drama, down to the commencement of the third act, as I have your letter on the subject of the first. You will understand that I only mean them as sketches; for the first and second acts are too short, and both want much to combine them with the third. I can easily add music to Miss Devorgoil’s part. As to Braham, he is a beast of an actor, though an angel of a singer, and truly I do not see what he could personify. Let me know, however, your thoughts and wishes, and all shall be moulded to the best of my power to meet them; the point is to make it take if we can; the rest is all leather and prunella. A great many things must occur to you technically better, in the way of alteration and improvement, and you know well that, though too indolent to amend things on my own conviction, I am always ready to make them meet my friends’ wishes if possible. We shall both
wish it better than I can make it, but there is no reason why we should not do for it all that we can. I advise you to take some sapient friend into your counsels, and let me know the result, returning the MS. at the same time.

“I am now anxious to complete Abbotsford. I think I told you I mean to do nothing whatever to the present house, but to take it away altogether at some future time, so that I finish the upper story without any communication with Mrs Bedford’s ci-devant mansion, and shall place the opening in the lower story, wherever it will be most suitable for the new house, without regard to defacing the temporary drawingroom. I am quite feverish about the armoury. I have two pretty complete suits of armour, one Indian one, and a cuirassier’s, with boots, casque, &c.; many helmets, corslets, and steel caps, swords and poniards without end, and about a dozen of guns, ancient and modern. I have besides two or three battle-axes and maces, pikes and targets, a Highlander’s accoutrement complete, a great variety of branches of horns, pikes, bows and arrows, and the clubs and creases of Indian tribes. Mr Bullock promised to give some hint about the fashion of disposing all these matters; and now our spring is approaching, and I want but my plans to get on. I have reason to be proud of the finishing of my castle, for even of the tower for which I trembled, not a stone has been shaken by the late terrific gale, which blew a roof clear off in the neighbourhood. It was lying in the road like a saddle, as Tom Purdie expressed it. Neither has a slate been lifted, though about two yards of slating were stripped from the stables in the haugh, which you know were comparatively less exposed.

“I am glad to hear of Mrs Terry’s improved health and good prospects. As for young Master Mumble-
crust, I have no doubt he will be a credit to us all. Yours ever truly,

W. Scott.

As the letters to Mr Laidlaw did not travel by post, but in the basket which had come laden with farm-produce for the use of the family in Edinburgh, they have rarely any date but the day of the week. This is, however, of no consequence.

To Mr Laidlaw, Kaeside.
“Wednesday. [Jan. 1818.]
“Dear Willie,

“Should the weather be rough, and you nevertheless obliged to come to town, do not think of riding, but take the Blucher.* Remember your health is of consequence to your family. Pray, talk generally with the notables of Darnick—I mean Rutherford, and so forth, concerning the best ordering of the road to the marle; and also of the foot-road. It appears to me some route might be found more convenient than the present, but that which is most agreeable to those interested shall also be most agreeable for me. As a patriotic member of the community of Darnick, I consider their rights equally important as my own.

“I told you I should like to convert the present steading at Beechland into a little hamlet of labourers, which we will name Abbotstown. The art of making people happy is to leave them much to their own guidance, but some little regulation is necessary. In the first place I should like to have active and decent people there; then it is to be considered on what footing they should be. I conceive the best possible is, that they should pay for

* A stage-coach so called which runs betwixt Edinburgh and Melrose.

their cottages, and cow-grass, and potato ground, and be paid for their labour at the ordinary rate. I would give them some advantages sufficient to balance the following conditions, which, after all, are conditions in my favour—1st, That they shall keep their cottages, and little gardens, and doors, tolerably neat; and 2d, That the men shall on no account shoot, or the boys break timber, or take birds’ nests, or go among the planting. I do not know any other restrictions, and these are easy. I should think we might settle a few families very happily here, which is an object I have much at heart, for I have no notion of the proprietor who is only ambitious to be lord of the ‘beast and the brute,’ and chases the human face from his vicinity. By the by, could we not manage to have a piper among the colonists?

“We are delighted to hear that your little folks like the dells. Pray, in your walks try to ascertain the locality of St John’s Well, which cures the botts, and which John Moss claims for Kaeside; also the true history of the Carline’s Hole. Ever most truly yours,

W. Scott.

“I hope Mrs Laidlaw does not want for any thing that she can get from the garden or elsewhere.”

To Daniel Terry, Esq.
“8th February, 1818.
“My dear Terry,

“Yours arrived, unluckily, just half an hour after my packet was in the Post-office, so this will cost you 9d., for which I grieve. To answer your principal question first, the drama is
‘Yours, Terry, yours in every thought.’

“I should never have dreamed of making such an attempt in my own proper person; and if I had such a
vision, I should have been anxious to have made it something of a legitimate drama, such as a literary man, uncalled upon by any circumstance to connect himself with the stage, might have been expected to produce. Now this is just what any gentleman in your situation might run off, to give a little novelty to the entertainment of the year, and as such will meet a mitigated degree of criticism, and have a better chance of that productive success, which is my principal object in my
godson’s behalf. If any time should come when you might wish to disclose the secret, it will be in your power, and our correspondence will always serve to show that it was only at my earnest request, annexed as the condition of bringing the play forward, that you gave it your name—a circumstance which, with all the attending particulars, will prove plainly that there was no assumption on your part.

“A beautiful drama might be made on the concealment of the Scotch regalia during the troubles. But it would interfere with the democratic spirit of the times, and would probably
——‘By party rage,
Or right or wrong, be hooted from the stage.’

“I will never forgive you if you let any false idea of my authorial feelings prevent your acting in this affair as if you were the real parent, not the godfather of the piece. Our facetious friend J. B. knows nought of such a matter being en train, and never will know. I am delighted to hear my windows are finished. Yours very truly,

Walter Scott.”
To Mr Laidlaw, Kaeside.
“Wednesday. [Feb. 1818].
“Dear Willie,

“I am not desirous to buy more land at present,
unless I were to deal with Mr Rutherford or Hicton, and I would rather deal with them next year than this, when I would have all my payments made for what I am now buying. Three or four such years as the last would enable me with prudence and propriety to ask
Nicol* himself to flit and remove.

“I like the idea of the birch-hedge much, and if intermixed with holly and thorns, I think it might make an impenetrable thicket, having all the advantages of a hedge without the formality. I fancy you will also need a great number of (black) Italian poplars which are among the most useful and best growers, as well as most beautiful of plants which love a wet soil.

“I am glad the saws are going.† We may begin by and by with wrights, but I cannot but think that a handy labourer might be taught to work at them. I shall insist on Tom learning the process perfectly himself.

“As to the darkness of the garrets, they are intended for the accommodation of travelling geniuses, poets, painters, and so forth, and a little obscurity will refresh their shattered brains. I daresay Lauchie‡ will shave his knoll, if it is required—it may to the barber’s with the Laird’s hebdomadal beard—and Packwood would have thought it the easier job of the two.

“I saw Blackwood yesterday, and Hogg the day

* Mr Nicol Mylne of Faldonside. This gentleman’s property is a valuable and extensive one, situated immediately to the westward of Abbotsford; and Scott continued, year after year, to dream of adding it also to his own.

† A saw-mill had just been erected at Toftfield.

‡ A cocklaird adjoining Abbotsford at the eastern side. His farm is properly Lochbreist but in the neighbourhood he was generally known as Laird Lauchie—or Lauchie Langlegs. Washington Irving describes him, in his “Abbotsford,” with high gusto. He was a most absurd original.

before, and I understand from them you think of resigning the Chronicle department of the
Magazine. Blackwood told me that if you did not like that part of the duty, he would consider himself accountable for the same sum he had specified to you for any other articles you might communicate from time to time. He proposes that Hogg should do the Chronicle: He will not do it so well as you, for he wants judgment and caution, and likes to have the appearance of eccentricity where eccentricity is least graceful; that, however, is Blackwood’s affair. If you really do not like the Chronicle, there can be no harm in your giving it up. What strikes me is, that there is a something certain in having such a department to conduct, whereas you may sometimes find yourself at a loss when you have to cast about for a subject every month. Blackwood is rather in a bad pickle just now—sent to Coventry by the trade, as the booksellers call themselves, and all about the parody of the two beasts.* Surely these gentlemen think them-

* An article in one of the early numbers of Blackwood’s Magazine, entitled The Chaldee MS., in which the literati and booksellers of Edinburgh were quizzed en masseScott himself among the rest. It was in this lampoon that Constable first saw himself designated in print by the sobriquet of “The Crafty,” long before bestowed on him by one of his own most eminent Whig supporters; but nothing nettled him so much as the passages in which he and Blackwood are represented entreating the support of Scott for their respective Magazines, and waved off by “the Great Magician” in the same identical phrases of contemptuous indifference. The description of Constable’s visit to Abbotsford may be worth transcribing—for Sir David Wilkie, who was present when Scott read it, says he was almost choked with laughter, and he afterwards confessed that the Chaldean author had given a sufficiently accurate version of what really passed on the occasion:—

“26. But when the Spirits were gone, he (The Crafty) said unto himself, I will arise and go unto a magician, which is of my friends: of a surety he will devise some remedy, and free me out of all my distresses.

selves rather formed of porcelain clay than of common potter’s ware. Dealing in satire against all others, their own dignity suffers so cruelly from an ill-imagined joke! If B. had good books to sell, he might set them all at defiance. His Magazine does well, and beats
Constable’s; but we will talk of this when we meet.

“As for Whiggery in general, I can only say, that as no man can be said to be utterly overset until his rump has been higher than his head, so I cannot read in history of any free state which has been brought to slavery until the rascal and uninstructed populace had had their short hour of anarchical government, which naturally leads to the stern repose of military despotism. Property, morals, education, are the proper qualifica-

“27. So he arose and came unto that great magician, which hath his dwelling in the old fastness, hard by the River Jordan, which is by the Border.

“28. And the magician opened his mouth and said, Lo! my heart wisheth thy good, and let the thing prosper which is in thy hands to do it.

“29. But thou seest that my hands are full of working, and my labour is great. For, lo, I have to feed all the people of my land, and none knoweth whence his food cometh; but each man openeth his mouth, and my hand filleth it with pleasant things.

“30. Moreover, thine adversary also is of my familiars.

“31. The land is before thee: draw thou up thine hosts for the battle on the mount of Proclamation, and defy boldly thine enemy, which hath his camp in the place of Princes; quit ye as men, and let favour be shown unto him which is most valiant.

“32. Yet be thou silent; peradventure will I help thee some little.

“33. But the man which is Crafty saw that the magician loved him not. For he knew him of old, and they had had many dealings; and he perceived that he would not assist him in the day of his adversity.

“34. So he turned about, and went out of his fastness. And he shook the dust from his feet, and said, Behold, I have given this magician much money, yet see now, he hath utterly deserted me. Verily, my fine gold hath perished.”—Chap. III.

tions for those who should hold political rights, and extending them very widely greatly lessens the chance of these qualifications being found in electors. Look at the sort of persons chosen at elections, where the franchise is very general, and you will find either fools who are content to flatter the passions of the mob for a little transient popularity, or knaves who pander to their follies, that they make their necks a footstool for their own promotion. With these convictions I am very jealous of Whiggery, under all modifications, and I must say my acquaintance with the total want of principle in some of its warmest professors does not tend to recommend it. Somewhat too much of this. My compliments to the goodwife. Yours truly,

Walter Scott.”
To the Same.
“Wednesday. [Feb. 1818.]
“Dear Willie,

“I have no idea Usher* will take the sheep land again, nor would I press it on him. As my circumstances stand, immediate revenue is much less my object than the real improvement of this property, which amuses me besides; our wants are amply supplied by my L.1600 a-year official income; nor have we a wish or a motive to extend our expenses beyond that of the decencies and hospitality of our station in life; so that my other resources remain for buying land in future, or improving what we have. No doubt Abbotsford, in maintaining our establishment during the summer, may be reckoned L.150

* John Usher, the ex-proprietor of Toftfield, was eventually Scott’s tenant on part of those lands for many years. He was a man of far superior rank and intelligence to the rest of the displaced lairds—and came presently to be one of Scott’s trusty rural friends, and a frequent companion of his sports.

or L.200 saved on what we must otherwise buy, and if we could arrange to have mutton and beef occasionally, it would be a still greater saving. All this you will consider: for
Tom, thoroughly honest and very clever in his way, has no kind of generalizing, and would often like to save sixpence in his own department at the expense of my paying five shillings in another. This is his fault, and when you join to it a Scotch slovenliness which leads him to see things half-finished without pain or anxiety, I do not know any other he has—but such as they are these must be guarded against. For our housemaid (for housekeeper we must not call her), I should like much a hawk of a nest so good as that you mention; but would not such a place be rather beneath her views? Her duty would be to look to scrupulous cleanliness within doors, and employ her leisure in spinning, or plain-work, as wanted. When we came out for a blink, she would be expected to cook a little in a plain way, and play maid of all works; when we were stationary, she would assist the housemaid and superintend the laundry. Probably your aunt’s granddaughter will have pretensions to something better than this; but as we are to be out on the 12th March, we will talk it over. Assuredly a well-connected steady person would be of the greatest consequence to us. I like your plan of pitting much, and to compromise betwixt you and Tom, do one half with superior attention, and slit in the others for mere nurses. But I am no friend to that same slitting.

“I adhere to trying a patch or two of larches of a quarter of an acre each upon the Athole plan, by way of experiment. We can plant them up if they do not thrive. On the whole, three-and-a-half feet is, I think, the right distance. I have no fear of the ground being impoverished. Trees are not like arable crops, which necessarily derive their sustenance from the superficial
earth—the roots of trees go far and wide, and, if incommoded by a neighbour, they send out suckers to procure nourishment elsewhere. They never hurt each other till their tops interfere, which may be easily prevented by timely weeding.

“I rejoice in the sawmill. Have you settled with Harper? and how do Ogg and Bashan* come on? I cannot tell you how delighted I am with the account Hogg gives me of Mr Grieve. The great Cameron was chaplain in the house of my great something grandfather, and so I hope Mr Grieve will be mine. If, as the King of Prussia said to Rousseau, ‘a little persecution is necessary to make his home entirely to his mind,’ he shall have it; and what persecutors seldom promise, I will stop whenever he is tired of it. I have a pair of thumbikins also much at his service, if he requires their assistance to glorify God and the Covenant. Sincerely, I like enthusiasm of every kind so well, especially when united with worth of character, that I shall be delighted with this old gentleman. Ever yours,

W. Scott.

The last paragraph of this letter refers to an uncle of Laidlaw’s (the father of Hogg’s friend John Grieve), who at this time thought of occupying a cottage on Scott’s estate. He was a preacher of the Cameronian sect, and had long ministered to a very small remnant of “the hill-folk” scattered among the wilds of Ettrick. He was a very good man, and had a most venerable and apostolical benignity of aspect; but his prejudices were as extravagant as those of Cameron his patriarch himself could have been. The project of his removal to Tweedside was never realized.

* A yoke of oxen.

The following admirable letter was written at the request of Messrs
Constable, who had, on Scott’s recommendation, undertaken the publication of Mr Maturin’s novel, “Women, or Pour et Contre.” The reverend author’s “Bertram” had, it may be remembered, undergone some rather rough usage in Coleridge’sBiographia Literaria;” and he was now desirous to revenge himself by a preface of the polemical sort:—

To the Rev. C. R. Maturin, Dublin.
“26th February, 1818.
“Dear Sir,

“I am going to claim the utmost and best privilege of sincere friendship and good-will, that of offering a few words of well-meant advice; and you may be sure that the occasion seems important to induce me to venture so far upon your tolerance. It respects the preface to your work, which Constable and Co. have sent to me. It is as well written as that sort of thing can be; but will you forgive me if I say—it is too much in the tone of the offence which gave rise to it, to be agreeable either to good taste or to general feeling. Coleridge’s work has been little read or heard of, and has made no general impression whatever—certainly no impression unfavourable to you or your Play. In the opinion, therefore, of many, you will be resenting an injury of which they are unacquainted with the existence. If I see a man beating another unmercifully, I am apt to condemn him upon the first blush of the business, and hardly excuse him though I may afterwards learn he had ample provocation. Besides, your diatribe is not hujus loci. We take up a novel for amusement, and this current of controversy breaks out upon us like a stream of lava out of the side of a beautiful green hill; men will say you should have reserved your disputes for re-
views or periodical publications, and they will sympathize less with your anger, because they will not think the time proper for expressing it. We are bad judges, bad physicians, and bad divines in our own case; but, above all, we are seldom able, when injured or insulted, to judge of the degree of sympathy which the world will bear in our resentment and our retaliation. The instant, however, that such degree of sympathy is exceeded, we hurt ourselves and not our adversary; I am so convinced of this, and so deeply fixed in the opinion, that besides the uncomfortable feelings which are generated in the course of literary debate, a man lowers his estimation in the public eye by engaging in such controversy, that, since I have been dipped in ink, I have suffered no personal attacks (and I have been honoured with them of all descriptions) to provoke me to reply. A man will certainly be vexed on such occasions, and I have wished to have the knaves where the muircock was the bailie—or, as you would say, upon the sod—but I never let the thing cling to my mind, and always adhered to my resolution, that if my writings and tenor of life did not confute such attacks, my words never should. Let me entreat you to view Coleridge’s violence as a thing to be contemned, not retaliated—the opinion of a British public may surely be set in honest opposition to that of one disappointed and wayward man. You should also consider, en bon Chrétien, that Coleridge has had some room to be spited at the world, and you are, I trust, to continue to be a favourite with the public—so that you should totally neglect and despise criticism, however virulent, which arises out of his bad fortune and your good.

“I have only to add, that Messrs Constable and Co. are seriously alarmed for the effects of the preface upon the public mind as unfavourable to the work. In this they must be tolerable judges, for their experience
as to popular feeling is very great; and as they have met your wishes, in all the course of the transaction, perhaps you will be disposed to give some weight to their opinion upon a point like this. Upon my own part I can only say, that I have no habits of friendship, and scarce those of acquaintance with
Coleridge—I have not even read his autobiography—but I consider him as a man of genius, struggling with bad habits and difficult circumstances. It is, however, entirely upon your account that I take the liberty of stating an opinion on a subject of such delicacy. I should wish you to give your excellent talents fair play, and to ride this race without carrying any superfluous weight; and I am so well acquainted with my old friend, the public, that I could bet a thousand pounds to a shilling that the preface (if that controversial part of it is not cancelled) will greatly prejudice your novel.

“I will not ask your forgiveness for the freedom I have used, for I am sure you will not suspect me of any motives but those which arise from regard to your talents and person; but I shall be glad to hear (whether you follow my advice or no) that you are not angry with me for having volunteered to offer it.

“My health is, I think, greatly improved; I have had some returns of my spasmodic affection, but tolerable in degree, and yielding to medicine. I hope gentle exercise and the air of my hills will set me up this summer. I trust you will soon be out now. I have delayed reading the sheets in progress after vol. I., that I might enjoy them when collected. Ever yours, &c.,

Walter Scott.”
To Mr Laidlaw.
“Edinburgh, Wednesday. [March 1818.]
“Dear Willie,

“I am delighted to hear the plantings get on so well. The weather here has been cruelly changeable—fresh one day—frost the next—snow the third. This morning the snow lay three inches thick, and before noon it was gone, and blowing a tempest. Many of the better ranks are ill of the typhus fever, and some deaths. How do your poor folks come on? Let Tom advance you money when it is wanted. I do not propose, like the heroine of a novel, to convert the hovels of want into the abodes of elegant plenty, but we have enough to spare to relieve actual distress, and do not wish to economize where we can find out (which is difficult) where the assistance is instantly useful.

“Don’t let Tom forget hedgerow trees, which he is very unwilling to remember; and also to plant birches, oaks, elms, and suchlike round-headed trees along the verges of the Kaeside plantations; they make a beautiful outline, and also a sort of fence, and were not planted last year because the earth at the sunk fences was too newly travelled. This should be mixed with various bushes, as hollies, thorns, so as to make a wild hedge, or thickety obstruction to the inroads of cattle. A few sweetbriers, alders, honeysuckles, laburnums, &c., should be thrown in. A verdant screen may be made in this way of the wildest and most beautiful description, which should never be dipt, only pruned, allowing the loose branches to drop over those that are taken away. Tom is very costive about trees, and talks only of 300 poplars. I shall send at least double that number; also some hag-berries, &c. He thinks he is saving me money, when he is starving my projects; but he is a pearl of honesty and good intention, and I like him the
better for needing driving where expense is likely. Ever yours,

W. Scott.”
To John Murray, Esq., Albemarle Street, London.
“Abbotsford, 23d March, 1818.
“Dear Murray,
‘Grieve not for me, my dearest dear,
I am not dead but sleepeth here’—

“I have little to plead for myself, but the old and vile apologies of laziness and indisposition. I think I have been so unlucky of late as to have always the will to work when sitting at the desk hurts me, and the irresistible propensity to be lazy, when I might, like the man whom Hogarth introduces into Bridewell with his hands strapped up against the wall, ‘better work than stand thus.’ I laid Kirkton* aside half finished, from a desire to get the original edition of the lives of Cameron, &c., by Patrick Walker, which I had not seen since a boy, and now I have got it, and find, as I suspected, that some curious morceaux have been cut out by subsequent editors.† I will, without loss of time, finish the article, which I think you will like. Blackwood kidnapped an article for his Magazine on the Frankenstein

* Scott’s article on Kirkton’s History of the Church of Scotland, edited by Mr C. K. Sharpe, appeared in the 36th number of the Quarterly Review. See Miscellaneous Prose Works, vol. xix. p. 213.

Scott expressed great satisfaction on seeing the Lives of the Covenanters—Cameron, Peden, Semple, Wellwood, Cargill, Smith, Renwick, &c., reprinted without mutilation in the “Biographia Presbyteriana. Edin. 1827.” The publisher of this collection was the late Mr John Stevenson, long chief clerk to John Ballantyne, and usually styled by Scott “True Jock,” in opposition to one of his old master’s many aliases—viz.: “Leein’ Johnnie.”

story,* which I intended for you. A very old friend and school companion of mine, and a gallant soldier, if ever there was one,
Sir Howard Douglas, has asked me to review his work on Military Bridges. I must get a friend’s assistance for the scientific part, and add some balaam of mine own (as printers’ devils say) to make up four or five pages. I have no objection to attempt Lord Orford if I have time, and find I can do it with ease. Though far from admiring his character, I have always had a high opinion of his talents, and am well acquainted with his works. The letters you have published are, I think, his very best—lively, entertaining, and unaffected.† I am greatly obliged to you for these and other literary treasures, which I owe to your goodness from time to time. Although not thankfully acknowledged as they should be in course, these things are never thanklessly received.

“I could have sworn that Beppo was founded on Whistlecraft, as both were on Anthony Hall,‡ who, like Beppo, had more wit than grace.

“I am not, however, in spirits at present for treating either these worthies, or my friend Rose, though few have warmer wishes to any of the trio. But this confounded changeable weather has twice within this fortnight brought back my cramp in the stomach. Adieu. My next shall be with a packet. Yours truly,

W. Scott.”

In the next letter we have Scott’s lamentation over

* See Scott’s Prose Miscellanies, vol. 18, p. 250.

† The Letters of Horace Walpole to George Montague.

Anthony Hall is only known as Editor of one of Leland’s works: I have no doubt Scott was thinking of John Hall Stevenson, author of “Crazy Tales;” the friend, and (it is said) the Eugenius of Sterne.

§ I believe Mr Rose’sCourt and Parliament of Beasts” is here alluded to.

the death of
Mrs Murray Keith—the Mrs Bethune Baliol of his Chronicles of the Canongate. The person alluded to under the designation of “Prince of the Black Marble Islands,” was Mr George Bullock, already often mentioned as, with Terry and Mr Atkinson, consulted about all the arrangements of the rising house at Abbotsford. Scott gave him this title from the Arabian Nights, on occasion of his becoming the lessee of some marble quarries in the Isle of Anglesea.

To D. Terry, Esq. London.
“April 30th, 1818. Selkirk.
“My dear Terry,

“Your packet arrived this morning. I was much disappointed not to find the Prince of the Black Islands’ plan in it, nor have I heard a word from him since anent it, or anent the still more essential articles of doors and windows. I heard from Hector MacDonald Buchanan, that the said doors and windows were packing a fortnight since, but there are no news of them. Surely our friend’s heart has grown as hard as his materials; or the spell of the enchantress, which confined itself to the extremities of his predecessor, has extended over his whole person. Mr Atkinson has kept tryste charmingly, and the cieling of the diningroom will be superb. I have got, I know not how many casts from Melrose and other places, of pure Gothic antiquity. I must leave this on the 12th, and I could bet a trifle the doors, &c. will arrive the very day I set out, and be all put up à la bonne aventure. Mean time I am keeping open house, not much to my convenience, and I am afraid I shall be stopped in my plastering by the want of these matters. The exposed state of my house has led to a mysterious disturbance. The night before last we were awaked by a violent noise, like drawing heavy boards along the new part of the
house. I fancied something had fallen, and thought no more ahout it. This was about two in the morning. Last night, at the same witching hour, the very same noise occurred.
Mrs S., as you know, is rather timbersome, so up got I, with Beardie’s broadsword under my arm,
‘So bolt upright,
And ready to fight.’
But nothing was out of order, neither can I discover what occasioned the disturbance. However, I went to bed, grumbling against Tenterden Street* and all its works. If there was no entrance but the key-hole, I should warrant myself against the ghosts. We have a set of idle fellows called workmen about us, which is a better way of accounting for nocturnal noises than any that is to be found in
Baxter or Glanville.

“When you see Mr Atkinson, will you ask him how far he is satisfied with the arch between the armoury and the anteroom, and whether it pleases him as it now stands? I have a brave old oaken cabinet, as black as ebony, 300 years old at least, which will occupy one side of the anteroom for the present. It is seven feet and a half long, about eighteen inches deep, and upwards of six feet high—a fine stand for china, &c.

“You will be sorry to hear that we have lost our excellent old friend, Mrs Murray Keith. She enjoyed all her spirits and excellent faculties till within two days of her death, when she was seized with a feverish complaint, which eighty-two years were not calculated to resist. Much tradition, and of the very best kind, has died with this excellent old lady; one of the few persons whose spirits and cleanliness, and freshness of mind and body, made old age lovely and desirable. In the general case it seems scarce endurable.

* Bullock’s manufactory was in this street.


“It seems odd to me that Rob Roy* should have made good fortune; pray let me know something of its history. There is in Jedediah’s present work a thing capable of being woven out a Bourgeoise tragedy. I think of contriving that it shall be in your hands some time before the public see it, that you may try to operate upon it yourself. This would not be difficult, as vol. 4, and part of 3d contain a different story. Avowedly I will never write for the stage; if I do, ‘call me horse.’ And indeed I feel severely the want of knowledge of theatrical business and effect: however, something we will do. I am writing in the noise and babble of a head-court of freeholders, therefore my letter is incoherent, and therefore it is written also on long paper; but therefore, moreover, it will move by frank, as the member is here, and stands upon his popularity. Kind compliments to Mrs Terry and Walter. Yours very truly,.

Walter Scott.”

On the morning that Mr Terry received the foregoing letter in London, Mr William Erskine was breakfasting with him; and the chief subject of their conversation was the sudden death of George Bullock, which had occurred on the same night, and as nearly as they could ascertain, at the very hour when Scott was roused from his sleep by the “mysterious disturbance” here described, and sallied from his chamber with old Beardie’s Killiecrankie claymore in his hand. This coincidence, when Scott received Erskine’s minute detail of what had happened in Tenterden street, made a much stronger impression on his mind than might be gathered from the tone of an ensuing communication.

* A drama founded on the novel of Rob Roy had been produced, with great success, on the London stage.

To D. Terry, Esq., London.
“Abbotsford, 4th May, 1818. Dear Terry,

“I received with the greatest surprise, and the most sincere distress, the news of poor George Bullock’s death. In the full career of honourable industry,—distinguished by his uncommon taste and talent,—esteemed by all who transacted business with him,—and loved by those who had the pleasure of his more intimate acquaintance,—I can scarce conceive a more melancholy summons. It comes as a particular shock to me, because I had, particularly of late, so much associated his idea with the improvements here, in which his kind and enthusiastic temper led him to take such interest; and in looking at every unfinished or projected circumstance, I feel an impression of melancholy which will for some time take away the pleasure I have found in them. I liked George Bullock because he had no trumpery selfishness about his heart, taste, or feelings. Pray let me know about the circumstances of his family, &c. I feel most sincerely interested in all that concerns him. It must have been a dreadful surprise to Mr Atkinson and you who lived with him so much. I need not, I am sure, beg you to be in no hurry about my things. The confusion must be cruelly great, without any friend adding to it; and in fact, at this moment, I am very indifferent on the subject. The poor kind fellow! He took so much notice of little Charles, and was so domesticated with us all, that I really looked with a schoolboy’s anxiety for his being here in the season, to take his own quiet pleasures, and to forward mine. But God’s will be done. All that surviving friends can do upon such a loss is, if possible, to love each other still better. I beg to be kindly remembered to Mrs Terry and Monsieur Walter. Ever most truly yours,

Walter Scott.”
To the Same.
“Edinburgh, 16th May, 1818.
“My dear Terry,

Mr Nasmyth* has obligingly given me an opportunity of writing to you a few lines, as he is setting out for London. I cannot tell you how much I continue to be grieved for our kind-hearted and enthusiastic friend Bullock. I trust he has left his family comfortably settled, though with so many plans which required his active and intelligent mind to carry them through, one has natural apprehensions upon that score. When you can with propriety make enquiry how my matters stand, I should be glad to know. Hector Macdonald tells me that my doors and windows were ready packed, in which case, perhaps, the sooner they are embarked the better, not only for safety, but because they can only be in the way, and the money will now be the more acceptable. Poor Bullock had also the measures for my chimneypieces, for grates of different kinds, and orders for beds, dining-room tables and chairs. But how far these are in progress of being executed, or whether they can now be executed, I must leave to your judgment and enquiry. Your good sense and delicacy will understand the façon de faire better than I can point it out. I shall never have the pleasure in these things that I expected.

“I have just left Abbotsford to attend the summer session—left it when the leaves were coming out—the most delightful season for a worshipper of the country like me. The Home-bank, which we saw at first green with turnips, will now hide a man somewhat taller than Johnnie Ballantyne in its shades. In fact, the trees cover the ground, and have a very pretty bosky effect; from six years to ten or twelve, I think wood is as beau-

* Mr Alexander Nasmyth, an eminent landscape painter of Edinburgh—the father of Mrs Terry.

tiful as ever it is afterwards until it figures as aged and magnificent. Your hobble-de-hoy tree of twenty or twenty-five years’ standing is neither so beautiful as in its infancy, nor so respectable as in its age.

Counsellor Erskine is returned much pleased with your hospitality, and giving an excellent account of you. Were you not struck with the fantastical coincidence of our nocturnal disturbances at Abbotsford with the melancholy event that followed? I protest to you the noise resembled half-a-dozen men hard at work putting up boards and furniture, and nothing can be more certain than that there was nobody on the premises at the time. With a few additional touches, the story would figure in Glanville or Aubrey’s Collection. In the mean time, you may set it down with poor Dubisson’s warnings,* as a remarkable coincidence coming under your own observation. I trust we shall see you this season. I think we could hammer a neat comedie bourgeoise out of the Heart of Mid-Lothian. Mrs Scott and family join in kind compliments to Mrs Terry; and I am, ever yours truly,

Walter Scott.”

It appears from one of these letters to Terry, that, so late as the 30th of April, Scott still designed to include two separate stories in the second series of the Tales of my Landlord. But he must have changed his plan soon after that date; since the four volumes, entirely occupied with the Heart of Mid-Lothian, were before the public in the course of June. The story thus deferred, in consequence of the extent to which that of Jeanie Deans grew on his hands, was the Bride of Lammermoor.

* See ante, vol. ii., p. 344.