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Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Sir Walter Scott to Daniel Terry, 14 February 1823

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 Terry,

“I will not fail to send Mr Atkinson, so soon as I can get it, a full account of Mr Holdsworth of Glasgow’s improved use of steam, which is in great acceptation. Being now necessarily sometimes with men of science,
AIR-BELLS, &c.265
I hear a great deal of these matters; and, like Don Diego Snapshorto with respect to Greek, though I do not understand them, I like the sound of them. I have got a capital stove (proved and exercised by
Mr Robison,* who is such a mechanical genius as his father, the celebrated professor,) for the lower part of the house, with a communication for ventilating in the summer. Moreover, I have got for one or two of the rooms a new sort of bell, which I think would divert you. There is neither wire nor crank of any kind; the whole consisting of a tube of tin, such as is used for gas, having at one extremity a cylinder of wider dimensions, and in the other a piece of light wood. The larger cylinder—suppose an inch and a half in diameter—terminates in the apartment, and, ornamented as you please, is the handle, as it were, of the bell. By pressing a piston down into this upper and wider cylinder, the air through the tube, to a distance of a hundred feet if necessary, is suddenly compressed, which compression throws out the light piece of wood, which strikes the bell. The power of compression is exactly like that of the Bramah patent—the acting element being air instead of water. The bell may act as a telegraph by sinking once, twice, thrice, or so forth. The great advantage, however, is, that it never can go out of order—needs no cranks, or pullies, or wires—and can be contorted into any sort of twining or turning, which convenience of communication may require, being simply an air-tight tube. It might be used to communicate with the stable, and I think of something of that kind with the porter’s lodge with the gardener’s house. I have a model now in the room

* Mr John Robison, son of the author of “Elements of Mechanical Philosophy,” &c. is now Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

with me. The only thing I have not explained is, that a small spring raises the piston B when pressed down. I wish you would show this to Mr Atkinson: if he has not seen it, he will be delighted. I have it tried on a tube of fifty feet, and it never fails, indeed cannot. It may be called the ne plus ultra of bell-ringing—the pea-gun principle, as one may say. As the bell is stationary, it might be necessary (were more than one used) that a little medallion should be suspended in such a manner as to be put in vibration, so as to show the servant which bell has been struck.—I think we have spoke of wellnigh all the commodities wanted at Conundrum Castle worth mentioning. Still there are the carpets.

“I have no idea my present labours will be dramatic in situation: as to character, that of Louis XI., the sagacious, perfidious, superstitious, jocular, and politic tyrant, would be, for a historical chronicle, containing his life and death, one of the most powerful ever brought on the stage.—Yours truly,

W. Scott.”