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Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Sir Walter Scott to Sophia Lockhart, 24 October 1828

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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“Abbotsford, 24th October, 1828.
“My dear Sophia,

“I write to you rather than to the poor Terrys, on the subject of their plans, which appear to me to require reconsideration, as I have not leisure so to modify my expressions as to avoid grating upon feelings which may be sore enough already. But if I advise I must be plain. The plan of a cottage in this neighbourhood is quite visionary. London or its vicinity is the best place for a limited income, because you can get every thing you want without taking a pennyweight more of it than you have occasion for. In the country (with us at least) if you want a basin of milk every day, you must keep a cow—if you want a bunch of straw, you must have a farm. But what is still worse, it seems to me that such a plan would remove Terry out of his natural

* These queries all point to the annotation of The Antiquary.

sphere of action. It is no easy matter, at any rate, to retreat from the practice of an art to the investigation of its theory; but common sense says, that if there is one branch of literature which has a chance of success for our friend, it must be that relating to the drama. Dramatic works, whether designed for the stage or the closet,—dramatic biography (an article in which the public is always interested)—dramatic criticism these can all be conducted with best advantage in London, or, rather, they can be conducted nowhere else. In coming down to Scotland, therefore, Terry would be leaving a position in which, should he prove able to exert himself and find the public favourable, he might possibly do as much for his family as he could by his profession. But then he will require to be in book-shops and publishing houses, and living among those up to the current of public opinion. And although poor Terry’s spirits might not at first be up to this exertion, he should remember that the power of doing things easily is only to be acquired by resolution and habit, and if he really could give heart and mind to literature in any considerable degree, I can’t see how, amidst so many Bijoux, and Albums, and Souvenirs—not to mention daily papers, critics, censors, and so forth—I cannot see how he could fail to make L.200 or L.300 a-year. In Edinburgh there is nothing of this kind going forwards, positively nothing. Since
Constable’s fall, all exertion is ended in the Gude Town in the publishing business, excepting what I may not long be able to carry on.

“We have had little Walter Terry with us. He is a nice boy. I have got him sent to the New Academy in Edinburgh, and hope he will do well. Indeed, I have good hopes as to them all, but the prospect of success must remain, first, with the restoration of Terry to the power of thought and labour, a matter which is in God’s
OCTOBER, 1828.151
hand; and, secondly, on the choice he shall make of a new sphere of occupation. On these events no mortal can have influence, unless so far as
Mrs Terry may be able to exert over him that degree of power which mind certainly possesses over body.

“Our worthy old aunt, Lady Raeburn, is gone, and I am now the eldest living person of my father’s family. My old friend, Sir William Forbes, is extremely ill, dying I fear, and the winter seems to approach with more than usual gloom. We are well here, however, and send love to Lockhart and the babies. I want to see L. much, and hope he may make a run down at Christmas.

“You will take notice, that all the advice I venture to offer to the Terrys is according as matters now stand.* Indeed, I think he is better now, than when struggling against a losing concern, turning worse every day. With health I have little doubt he may do well yet, and without it what can any one do? Poor Rose, he too seems to be very badly, and so end, if I lose him, wit, talent, frolic beyond the bounds of sobriety, all united with an admirable heart and feelings.

“Besides all other objections to Terry’s plan, the poor invalid would be most uncomfortable here. As my guest, it was another thing; but without power to entertain the better sort of folk, and liable from his profession to the prejudices of our middling people, without means too of moving about, he must, while we are not at Abbotsford, be an absolute hermit. Besides, health may be restored so as to let him act again—regimen and quiet living do much in such cases and he should not rashly throw up professional connexions. If they

* Mr Terry died in London on the 22d June, 1829. His widow to whom these Memoirs have owed many of their materials, is now (1837), married to Mr Charles Richardson of Tulse Hill, the author of the well-known Dictionary of the English Language, &c.

be bent on settling in Scotland, a small house in Edinburgh would be much better than the idea of residing here.

“I have been delighted with your views of coming back to Chiefswood next summer,—but had you not better defer that for another year? Here is plenty of room for you all—plenty of beef and mutton—plenty of books for L., and he should have the little parlour (the monkey-room, as Morritt has christened it) inviolate—and he and I move on easily without interrupting each other. Pray think of all this, and believe that, separated as I am so much from you both and the grandchildren, the more I can see of you all while I have eyes left to see you with, the greater will be my pleasure. I am turning a terrible fixture with rheumatism, and go about little but in the carriage, and round the doors. A change of market-days, but seams will slit, and elbows will out. My general health is excellent.—I am always, dearest, Sophia, your affectionate father,

Walter Scott.”