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June 1827

June 1.--Settled my household-book. Sophia does not set out till the middle of the week, which is unlucky, our antiquarian skirmish beginning in Fife just about the time she is to arrive. Letter from John touching public affairs; don't half like them, and am afraid we shall have the Whig alliance turn out like the calling in of the Saxons. I told this to Jeffrey, who said they would convert us, as the Saxons did the British. I shall die in my Paganism for one. I don't like a bone of them as a party. Ugly reports of the King's health; God pity this poor country should that be so, but I think it a thing devised by the enemy. Anne arrived from Abbotsford. I dined at Sir Robert Dundas's, with Mrs. Dundas, Arniston, and other friends. Worked a little, not much.

June 2.--Do. Do. Dined at Baron Hume's. These dinners are cruelly in the way, but _que faut-il faire_? the business of the Court must be done, and it is impossible absolutely to break off all habits of visiting. Besides, the correcting of proof-sheets in itself is now become burdensome. Three or four a day is hard work.

June 3.--Wrought hard. I think I have but a trifle more to do, but new things cast up; we get beyond the life, however, for I have killed him to-day. The newspapers are very saucy; _The Sun_ says I have got £4000 for suffering a Frenchman to look over my manuscript. Here is a proper fellow for you! I wonder what he thinks Frenchmen are made of--walking money-bags, doubtless. Now as Sir Fretful Plagiary[527] says, another man would be mad at this, but I care not one brass farthing.

June 4.--The birthday of our good old king. It was wrong not to keep up the thing as it was of yore with dinners, and claret, and squibs, and crackers, and saturnalia. The thoughts of the subjects require sometimes to be turned to the sovereign, were it but only that they may remember there is such a person.

The Bannatyne edition of Melville's _Memoirs_ is out, and beats all print. Gad, it is a fine institution that; a rare one, by Jove! beats the Roxburghe. Wrought very bobbishly to-day, but went off at dinner-time to Thomas Thomson, where we had good cheer and good fun. By the way, we have lost our Coal Gas Bill. Sorry for it, but I can't cry.

June 5.--Proofs. Parliament House till two. Commenced the character of _Bonaparte_. To-morrow being a Teind-day I will hope to get it finished. Meantime I go out to-night to see _Frankenstein_ at the theatre.

June 6.--_Frankenstein_ is entertaining for once--considerable art in the man that plays the Monster, to whom he gave great effect. Cooper is his name; played excellently in the farce too, as a sailor--a more natural one, I think, than my old friend Jack Bannister, though he has not quite Jack's richness of humour. I had seven proof-sheets to correct this morning, by Goles. So I did not get to composition till nine; work on with little interruption (save that Mr. Verplanck, an American, breakfasted with us) until seven, and then walked, for fear of the black dog or devil that worries me when I work too hard.

June 7.--This morning finished _Boney_. And now, as Dame Fortune says, in Quevedo's Visions, _Go, wheel, and the devil drive thee_.[528] It was high time I brought up some reinforcements, for my pound was come to half-crowns, and I had nothing to keep house when the Lockharts come. Credit enough to be sure, but I have been taught by experience to make short reckonings. Some great authors now will think it a degradation to write a child's book; I cannot say I feel it such. It is to be inscribed to my grandson, and I will write it not only without a sense of its being _infra dig_. but with a grandfather's pleasure.

I arranged with Mr. Cadell for the property of _Tales of a Grandfather_, 10,000 copies for £787, 10s.

June 8.--A Mr. Maywood, much protected by poor Alister Dhu, brought me a letter from the late Colonel Huxley. His connection and approach to me is through the grave, but I will not be the less disposed to assist him if an opportunity offers. I made a long round to-day, going to David Laing's about forwarding the books of the Bannatyne Club to Sir George Rose and Duke of Buckingham. Then I came round by the printing-office, where the presses are groaning upon _Napoleon_, and so home through the gardens. I have done little to-day save writing a letter or two, for I was fatigued and sleepy when I got home, and nodded, I think, over Sir James Melville's _Memoirs_. I will do something, though, when I have dined. By the way, I corrected the proofs for Gillies; they read better than I looked for.

June 9.--Corrected proofs in the morning. When I came home from Court I found that John Lockhart and Sophia were arrived by the steam-boat at Portobello, where they have a small lodging. I went down with a bottle of Champagne, and a flask of Maraschino, and made buirdly cheer with them for the rest of the day. Had the great pleasure to find them all in high health. Poor Johnny is decidedly improved in his general health, and the injury on the spine is got no worse. Walter is a very fine child.

June 10.--Rose with the odd consciousness of being free of my daily task. I have heard that the fish-women go to church of a Sunday with their creels new washed, and a few stones in them for ballast, just because they cannot walk steadily without their usual load. I feel somewhat like this, and rather inclined to pick up some light task, than to be altogether idle. I have my proof-sheets, to be sure; but what are these to a whole day? Fortunately my thoughts are agreeable; cash difficulties, etc., all provided for, as far as I can see, so that we go on hooly and fairly. Betwixt and August 1st I should receive £750, and I cannot think I have more than the half of it to pay away. Cash, to be sure, seems to burn in my pocket. "He wasna gien to great misguiding, but coin his pouches wouldna bide in."[529] By goles, this shall be corrected, though! Lockhart gives a sad account of Gillies's imprudences. Lockhart dined with us. Day idle.

June 11.--The attendance on the Committee, and afterwards the general meeting of the Oil Gas Company took up my morning, and the rest dribbled away in correcting proofs and trifling; reading, among the rest, an odd volume of _Vivian Grey_;[530] clever, but not so much so as to make me, in this sultry weather, go up-stairs to the drawing-room to seek the other volumes. Ah! villain, but you smoked when you read.--Well, Madam, perhaps I think the better of the book for that reason. Made a blunder,--went to Ravelston on the wrong day. This Anne's fault, but I did not reproach her, knowing it might as well have been my own.

June 12.--At Court, a long hearing. Got home only about three. Corrected proofs, etc. Dined with Baron Clerk, and met several old friends; Will Clerk in particular.

June 13.--Another long seat at Court. Almost overcome by the heat in walking home, and rendered useless for the day. Let me be thankful, however; my lameness is much better, and the nerves of my unfortunate ankle are so much strengthened that I walk with comparatively little pain. Dined at John Swinton's; a large party. These festive occasions consume much valuable time, besides trying the stomach a little by late hours, and some wine shed, though that's not much.

June 14.--Anne and Sophia dined. Could not stay at home with them alone. We had the Skenes and Allan, and amused ourselves till ten o'clock.

June 15.--This being the day long since appointed for our cruise to Fife, Thomas Thomson, Sir A. Ferguson, Will Clerk, and I, set off with Miss Adam, and made our journey successfully to Charlton, where met Lord Chief-Baron and Lord Chief-Commissioner, all in the humour to be happy, though time is telling with us all. Our good-natured host, Mr. A. Thomson, his wife, and his good-looking daughters, received us most kindly, and the conversation took its old roll, in spite of woes and infirmities. Charlton is a good house, in the midst of highly-cultivated land, and immediately surrounded with gardens and parterres, together with plantations, partly in the old, partly in the new, taste; I like it very much; though, as a residence, it is perhaps a little too much finished. Not even a bit of bog to amuse one, as Mr. Elphinstone said.

June 16.--This day we went off in a body to St. Andrews, which Thomas Thomson had never seen. On the road beyond Charlton saw a small cottage said to have been the heritable appanage of a family called the _Keays_ [?]. He had a right to feed his horse for a certain time on the adjoining pasture. This functionary was sent to Falkland with the fish for the royal table. The ruins at St. Andrews have been lately cleared out. They had been chiefly magnificent from their size--not their extent of ornament. I did not go up to St. Rule's Tower as on former occasions; this is a falling off, for when before did I remain sitting below when there was a steeple to be ascended? But the rheumatism has begun to change that vein for some time past, though I think this is the first decided sign of acquiescence in my lot. I sat down on a grave-stone, and recollected the first visit I made to St. Andrews, now thirty-four years ago. What changes in my feeling and my fortune have since then taken place! some for the better, many for the worse. I remembered the name I then carved in Runic characters on the turf beside the castle-gate, and I asked why it should still agitate my heart. But my friends came down from the tower, and the foolish idea was chased away.[531]

June 17.--Lounged about while the good family went to church. The day is rather cold and disposed to rain. The papers say that the Corn Bill is given up in consequence of the Duke of Wellington having carried the amendment in the House of Lords. All the party here--Sir A.F. perhaps excepted--are Ministerialists on the present double bottom. They say the names of Whig and Tory are now to exist no longer. Why have they existed at all?

In the forenoon we went off to explore the environs; we visited two ancient manor-houses, those of Elie and Balcaskie. Large roomy mansions, with good apartments, two or three good portraits, and a collection of most extraordinary frights, prodigiously like the mistresses of King George I., who "came for all the goods and chattels" of old England. There are at Elie House two most ferocious-looking Ogresses of this cast. There are noble trees about the house. Balcaskie put me in mind of poor Philip Anstruther, dead and gone many a long year since. He was a fine, gallant, light-hearted young sailor. I remember the story of his drawing on his father for some cash, which produced an angry letter from old Sir Robert, to which Philip replied, that if he did not know how to write like a gentleman, he did not desire any more of his correspondence. Balcaskie is much dilapidated; but they are restoring the house in the good old style, with its terraces and yew-hedges. The beastly fashion of bringing a bare ill-kept park up to your very doors seems going down. We next visited with great pleasure the Church of St. Monans, which is under repair, designed to correspond strictly with the ancient plan, which is the solid, gloomy, but impressive Gothic It was built by David II., in the fulfilment of a vow made to St. Monan on the field of battle at Neville's Cross. One would have judged the king to be thankful for small mercies, for certainly St. Monan proved but an ineffective patron.

Mr. Hugh Cleghorn[532] dined at Charlton, and I saw him for the first time, having heard of him all my life. He is an able man, has seen much, and speaks well. Age has clawed him in his clutch, and he has become deaf. There is also Captain Black of the navy, second lieutenant of the Mars at Trafalgar. Villeneuve was brought on board that ship after the debate. He had no expectation that the British fleet would have fought till they had formed a regular line. Captain Black disowns the idea of the French and Spaniards being drawn up chequer form for resisting the British attack, and imputes the appearance of that array to sheer accident of weather.

June 18.--We visited Wemyss Castle on our return to Kinghorn. On the left, before descending to the coast, are considerable remains of a castle, called popularly the old castle, or Macduff's Castle. That of the Thane was situated at Kennochquay, at no great distance. The front of Wemyss Castle, to the land, has been stripped entirely of its castellated appearance, and narrowly escaped a new front. To the sea it has a noble situation, overhanging the red rocks; but even there the structure has been much modernised and tamed. Interior is a good old house, with large oak staircases, family pictures, etc. We were received by Captain Wemyss--a gallant sea-captain, who could talk against a north-wester,--by his wife Lady Emma, and her sister Lady Isabella--beautiful women of the house of Errol, and vindicating its title to the _handsome Hays_. We reached the Pettycur about half-past one, crossed to Edinburgh, and so ended our little excursion. Of casualties we had only one: Triton, the house-dog at Charlton, threw down Thomson and he had his wrist sprained. A restive horse threatened to demolish our landau, but we got off for the fright. Happily L.C.B. was not in our carriage.

Dined at William M'Kenzie's to meet the Marquis and Marchioness of Stafford, who are on their road to Dunrobin. Found them both very well.

June 19.--Lord Stafford desires to be a member of the Bannatyne Club--also Colin M'Kenzie. Sent both names up accordingly.

The day furnishes a beggarly record of trumpery. From eight o'clock till nine wrote letters, then Parliament House, where I had to wait on without anything to do till near two, when rain forced me into the Antiquarian museum. Lounged there till a meeting of the Oil Gas Committee at three o'clock. There remained till near five. Home and smoked a cheroot after dinner. Called on Thomson, who is still disabled by his sprain. _Pereat inter hæc_. We must do better to-morrow.

June 20.--Kept my word, being Teind Wednesday. Two young Frenchmen, friends of Gallois, rather interrupted me. I had asked them to breakfast, but they stayed till twelve o'clock, which is scarce fair, and plagued me with compliments. Their names are Rémusat and Guyzard.[533] Pleasant, good-humoured young men. Notwithstanding this interruption I finished near six pages, three being a good Session-day's work. _Allons, vogue la galère_. Dined at the Solicitor's with Lord Hopetoun, and a Parliament House party.

June 21.--Finished five leaves--that is, betwixt morning and dinner-time. The Court detained me till two o'clock. About nine leaves will make the volume quite large enough.

By the way, the booksellers have taken courage to print up 2000 more of the first edition [of Napoleon]; which, after the second volume, they curtailed from 8000 to 6000. This will be £1000 more in my way, at least, and that is a good help. We dine with the Skenes to-day, Lockhart being with us.[534]

June 22.--Wrought in the morning as usual. Received to breakfast Dr. Bishop, a brother of Bishop the composer. He tells me his brother was very ill when he wrote "The Chough and Crow," and other music for Guy Mannering. Singular! but I do think illness, if not too painful, unseals the mental eye, and renders the talents more acute, in the study of the fine arts at least.[535]

I find the difference on 2000 additional copies will be £3000 instead of £1000 in favour of the author. My good friend Publicum is impatient. Heaven grant his expectations be not disappointed! _Coragio, andiamos_! Such another year of labour and success would do much towards making me a free man of the forest. But I must to work since we have to dine with Lord and Lady Gray. By the way, I forgot an engagement to my old friend, Lord Justice-Clerk. This is shockingly ill-bred. But the invitation was a month old, and that is some defence.

June 23.--I corrected proofs and played the grandfather in the morning. After Court saw Lady Wedderburn, who asked my advice about printing some verses of Mrs. Hemans in honour of the late Lord James Murray, who died in Greece. Also Lord Gray, who wishes me to write some preliminary matter to his ancestor, the Master of Gray's correspondence. I promised. But ancestor was a great rogue, and if I am to write about him at all, I must take my will of him. Anne and I dined at home. She went to the play, and I had some mind to go too. But Miss Foote was the sole attraction, and Miss Foote is only a very pretty woman, and if she played Rosalind better than I think she can, it is a bore to see Touchstone and Jacques murdered. I have a particular respect for _As You Like It_. It was the first play I ever saw, and that was at Bath in 1776 or 1777. That is not yesterday, yet I remember the piece very well. So I remained at home, smoked a cigar, and worked leisurely upon the review of the Culloden Papers, which, by dint of vamping and turning, may make up the lacking copy for the "Works" better, I think, than that lumbering Essay on Border Antiquities.

June 24.--I don't care who knows it, I was lazy this morning. But I cheated my laziness capitally, as you shall hear. My good friend, Sir Watt, said I to my esteemed friend, it is hard you should be obliged to work when you are so disinclined to it. Were I you, I would not be quite idle though. I would do something that you are not obliged to do, just as I have seen a cowardly dog willing to fight with any one save that which his master would have desired him to yoke with. So I went over the review of the Culloden Papers, and went a great way to convert it into the Essay on Clanship, etc., which I intend for the Prose Works. I wish I had thought of it before correcting that beastly border essay. Naboclish!

June 25.--Wrote five pages of the _Chronicles_, and hope to conquer one or two more ere night to fetch up the leeway. Went and saw Allan's sketch of a picture for Abbotsford, which is promising; a thing on the plan of Watteau. He intends to introduce some interesting characters, and some, I suspect, who have little business there. Yesterday I dined with the Lockharts at Portobello.[536] To-day at home with Anne and Miss Erskine. They are gone to walk. I have a mind to go to trifle, so I do not promise to write more to-night, having begun the dedication (advertisement I mean) to the _Chronicles_. I have pleasant subjects of reflection. The fund in Gibson's hands will approach £40,000, I think.

Lord Melville writes desiring to be a candidate for the Bannatyne Club.

I made a balance of my affairs, and stuck it into my book: it should answer very well, but still

    "I am not given to great misguiding,
     But coin my pouches will na bide in,
     With me it ne'er was under hiding,
       I dealt it free."
I must, however, and will, be independent.

June 26.--Well, if ever I saw such another thing since my mother bound up my head![537] Here is nine of clock strucken and I am still fast asleep abed. I have not done the like of this many a day. However, it cannot be helped. Went to Court, which detained me till two o'clock. A walk home consumed the hour to three! Wrote in the Court, however, to the Duke of Wellington and Lord Bloomfield. and that is a good job over.

I have a letter from a member of the Commission of the Psalmody of the Kirk, zealous and pressing. I shall answer him, I think.[538] One from Sir James Stuart,[539] on fire with Corfe Castle, with a drawing of King Edward, occupying one page, as he hurries down the steep, mortally wounded by the assassin. Singular power of speaking at once to the eye and the ear. Dined at home. After dinner sorted papers. Rather idle.

June 27.--Corrected proofs and wrote till breakfast. Then the Court. Called on Skene and Charles K. Sharpe, and did not get home until three o'clock, and then so wet as to require a total change. We dine at Hector Buchanan Macdonald's, where there are sometimes many people and little conversation. Sent a little chest of books by the carrier to Abbotsford.

A visit from a smart young man, Gustavus Schwab of Königsberg; he gives a flattering picture of Prussia, which is preparing for freedom. The King must keep his word, though, or the people may chance to tire of waiting. Dined at H.B. Macdonald's with rather a young party for Colin M'Kenzie and me.

June 28.--Wrote a little and corrected proofs. How many things have I unfinished at present?

Chronicles, first volume not ended.

do., second volume begun.

Introduction to ditto.

Tales of My Grandfather.

Essay on Highlands. This unfinished, owing to certain causes, chiefly want of papers and books to fill up blanks, which I will get at Abbotsford. Came home through rain about two, and commissioned John Stevenson to call at three about binding some books. Dined with Sophia; visited, on invitation, a fine old little Commodore Trunnion, who, on reading a part of Napoleon's history, with which he had himself been interested, as commanding a flotilla, thought he had detected a mistake, but was luckily mistaken, to my great delight.

    "I fear thee, ancient mariner."
To be cross-examined by those who have seen the true thing is the devil. And yet these eye-witnesses are not all right in what they repeat neither, indeed cannot be so, since you will have dozens of contradictions in their statements.

June 29.--A distressing letter from Haydon; imprudent, probably, but who is not? A man of rare genius. What a pity I gave that £10 to Craig! But I have plenty of ten pounds sure, and I may make it something. I will get £100 at furthest when I come back from the country. Wrote at proofs, but no copy; I fear I shall wax fat and kick against Madam Duty, but I augur better things.

Just as we were sitting down to dinner, Cadell burst in in high spirits with the sale of _Napoleon_[540] the orders for which pour in, and the public report is favourable. Detected two gross blunders though, which I have ordered for cancel. Supped (for a wonder) with Colin Mackenzie and a bachelor party. Mr. Williams[541] was there, whose extensive information, learning, and lively talent makes him always pleasant company. Up till twelve--a debauch for me nowadays.

June 30.--_Redd up_ my things for moving,[542] which will clear my hands a little on the next final flitting. Corrected proof-sheets. Williams told me an English bull last night. A fellow of a college, deeply learned, sitting at a public entertainment beside a foreigner, tried every means to enter into conversation, but the stranger could speak no dead language, the Doctor no living one but his own. At last the scholar, in great extremity, was enlightened by a happy "_Nonne potes loqui cum digitis_?"--said as if the difficulty was solved at once.

Abbotsford.--Reached this about six o'clock.[543]



[527] Sheridan's _Critic_, Act I. Sc, 1.

[528] "No sooner had the Sun uttered these words than Fortune, as if she had been playing on a cymbal, began to unwind her wheel, which, whirling about like a hurricane, huddled all the world into an unparalleled confusion. Fortune gave a mighty squeak, saying, 'Fly, wheel, and the devil drive thee.'"--_Fortune in her Wits_, Quevedo. English trans. (1798), vol. iii. p. 107.

[529] Burns: "On a Scotch Bard, gone to the West Indies."

[530] _Vivian Grey_, by Benjamin Disraeli, was published anonymously in 5 vols. 12mo, 1826-7.

[531] If the reader turns to December 18, 1825, he will see that this is not the first allusion in the Journal to his "first love,"--an innocent attachment, to which we owe the tenderest pages, not only of _Redgauntlet_ (1824), but of the _Lay of the Last Minstrel_ (1805), and of _Rokeby_ (1813). In all these works the heroine has certain distinctive features drawn from one and the same haunting dream. The lady was "Williamina Belches, sole child and heir of a gentleman who was a cadet of the ancient family of Invermay, and who afterwards became Sir John Stuart of Fettercairn." She married Sir William Forbes in 1797 and died in 1810.--_Life_, vol. i. p. 333; Shairp's _Memoirs of Principal Forbes_, pp. 4, 5, 8vo, London, 1873, where her portrait, engraved from a miniature, is given.

[532] Hugh Cleghorn had been Professor of Civil History in St. Andrews for ten years, afterwards becoming tutor to the Earl of Home, and subsequently employed by our Government in various foreign missions. A glimpse of his work is obtainable in Southey's _Life, of Dr. Andrew Bell_. Mr. Cleghorn died in 1833, aged 83.

[533] Count Paul de Rémusat has been good enough to give me another view of this visit which will be read with interest:--"118 Faubourg St. Honoré, February 10, 1890.--.... My father has often spoken to me of this visit to Sir Walter Scott--for it was indeed my father, Charles de Rémusat, member of the French Academy, and successively Minister of the Interior and for Foreign Affairs, who went at the age of thirty to Abbotsford, and he retained to the last days of his life a most lively remembrance of the great novelist who did not acknowledge the authorship of his novels, and to whom it was thus impossible otherwise than indirectly to pay any compliment. It gives me great pleasure to learn that the visit of those young men impressed him favourably. My father's companion was his contemporary and friend, M. Louis de Guizard, who, like my father, was a contributor at that time to the Liberal press of the Restoration, the _Globe_ and _La Revue Française,_ and who, after the Revolution of 1830, entered, as did my father likewise, upon political life. M. de Guizard was first _préfet_, then _député_, and after 1848 became Directeur-général des Beaux Arts. He died about 1877 or 1878, after his retirement from public life."

[534] "_Woodstock_ placed upwards of £8000 in the hands of Sir Walter's creditors. The _Napoleon_ (first and second editions) produced for them a sum which it even now startles me to mention--£18,000. As by the time the historical work was published nearly half of the First Series of _Chronicles of the Canongate_ had been written, it is obvious that the amount to which Scott's literary industry, from the close of 1825 to the 10th of June 1827, had diminished his debt, cannot be stated at less than £28,000. Had health been spared him, how soon must he have freed himself from all his encumbrances!"--J.G.L.

[535] See _Life_, vol. vi. p. 89. In Mr. Ballantyne's _Memorandum_, there is a fuller account of the mode in which _The Bride of Lammermoor_, _The Legend of Montrose_, and almost the whole of _Ivanhoe_ were produced, and the mental phenomenon which accompanied the preparation of the first-named work:--

"During the progress of composing _The Heart of Midlothian_, _The Bride of Lammermoor_, and _Legend of Montrose_--a period of many months--Mr. Scott's health had become extremely indifferent, and was often supposed to place him in great danger. But it would hardly be credited, were it not for the notoriety of the fact, that although one of the symptoms of his illness was pain of the most acute description, yet he never allowed it to interrupt his labours. The only difference it produced, that I am aware of, was its causing him to employ the hand of an amanuensis in place of his own. Indeed, during the greater part of the day at this period he was confined to his bed. The person employed for this purpose was the respectable and intelligent Mr. Wm. Laidlaw, who acted for him in this capacity in the country, and I think also attended him to town. I have often been present with Mr. Laidlaw during the short intervals of his labour, and it was deeply affecting to hear the account he gave of his patron's severe sufferings, and the indomitable spirit which enabled him to overmaster them. He told me that very often the dictation of Caleb Balderston's and the old cooper's best jokes was mingled with groans extorted from him by pains; but that when he, Mr. L., endeavoured to prevail upon him to take a little respite, the only answer he could obtain from Mr. Scott was a request that he would see that the doors were carefully shut, so that the expressions of his agony might not reach his family--'As to stopping work, Laidlaw,' he said, 'you know that is wholly out of the question.' What followed upon these exertions, made in circumstances so very singular, appears to me to exhibit one of the most singular chapters in the history of the human intellect. The book having been published before Mr. Scott was able to rise from his bed, he assured me that, when it was put into his hands, he did not recollect one single incident, character, or conversation it contained. He by no means desired me to understand, nor did I understand, that his illness had erased from his memory all or any of the original family facts with which he had been acquainted from the period probably of his boyhood. These of course remained rooted where they had ever been, or, to speak more explicitly, where explicitness is so entirely important, he remembered the existence of the father and mother, the son and daughter, the rival lovers, the compulsory marriage, and the attack made by his bride upon the unhappy bridegroom, with the general catastrophe of the whole. All these things he recollected, just as he did before he took to his bed, but the marvel is that he recollected literally nothing else--not a single character woven by the Romancer--not one of the many scenes and points of exquisite humour, nor anything with which he was connected as writer of the work. 'For a long time I felt myself very uneasy,' he said, 'in the course of my reading, always kept on the _qui vive_ lest I should be startled by something altogether glaring and fantastic; however, I recollected that the printing had been performed by James Ballantyne, who I was sure would not have permitted anything of this sort to pass.' 'Well,' I said, 'upon the whole, how did you like it?' 'Oh,' he said, 'I felt it monstrous gross and grotesque, to be sure, but still the worst of it made me laugh, and I trusted therefore the good-natured public would not be less indulgent.' I do not think that I ever ventured to lead to this singular subject again. But you may depend upon it, that what I have said is as distinctly reported as if it had been taken down at the moment in shorthand. I should not otherwise have imparted the phenomenon at all."--_Mr. Ballantyne's MSS_.

[536] Mr. Lockhart says:--"My wife and I spent the summer of 1827 partly at a sea-bathing place near Edinburgh, and partly in Roxburghshire. The arrival of his daughter and her children at Portobello was a source of constant refreshment to him during June, for every other day he came down and dined there, and strolled about afterwards on the beach, thus interrupting, beneficially for his health, and I doubt not for the result of his labours also, the new custom of regular night-work, or, as he called it, serving double tides."

[537] See Swift, "Mary the cook to Dr. Sheridan."

[538] The answer is printed in the _Scott Centenary Catalogue_ by David Laing, from which the following extracts are given:--

"The expression of the old metrical translation, though homely, is plain, forcible, and intelligible, and very often possesses a rude sort of majesty, which perhaps would be ill-exchanged for mere elegance." "They are the very words and accents of our early Reformers--sung by them in woe and gratitude, in the fields, in the churches, and on the scaffold." "The parting with this very association of ideas is a serious loss to the cause of devotion, and scarce to be incurred without the certainty of corresponding advantages. But if these recollections are valuable to persons of education, they are almost indispensable to the edification of the lower ranks whose prejudices do not permit them to consider as the words of the inspired poetry, the versions of living or modern poets, but persist, however absurdly, in identifying the original with the ancient translation."--p. 158.

[539] Sir James Stuart, the last baronet of Allanbank.

[540] "The _Life of Bonaparte_, then, was at last published about the middle of June 1827."--_Life_, ix. 117.

[541] Archdeacon Williams, Rector of the New Edinburgh Academy from 1824 to 1847.

[542] Among the letters which Sir Walter found time to write before leaving Edinburgh, was one to congratulate his old and true friend Mrs. Coutts on her marriage, which took place on the 16th of June. That letter has not been preserved, but it drew from her Grace the following reply:--

"My dear Sir Walter Scott,--Your most welcome letter has 'wandered mony a weary mile after me.' Thanks, many thanks for all your kind congratulations. I am a Duchess at last, that is certain, but whether I am the better for it remains to be proved. The Duke is very amiable, gentle, and well-disposed, and I am sure he has taken pains enough to accomplish what he says has been the first wish of his heart for the last three years. All this is very flattering to an old lady, and we lived so long in friendship with each other that I was afraid I should be unhappy if I did not say I _will_--yet (whisper it, dear Sir Walter) the name of Coutts--and a right good one it is--is, and ever will be, dear to my heart. What a strange, eventful life has mine been, from a poor little player child, with just food and clothes to cover me, dependent on a very precarious profession, without talent or a friend in the world! 'to have seen what I have seen, seeing what I see.' Is it not wonderful? is it true? can I believe it?--first the wife of the best, the most perfect, being that ever breathed, his love and unbounded confidence in me, his immense fortune so honourably acquired by his own industry, all at my command, ... and now the wife of a Duke. You must write my life; the History of Tom Thumb, Jack the Giant Killer, and Goody Two Shoes, will sink compared with my true history written by the Author of _Waverley_; and that you may do it well I have sent you an inkstand. Pray give it a place on your table in kind remembrance of your affectionate friend,


"STRATTON STREET, _July 16th, 1827_."

[543] Next morning the following pleasant little billet was despatched to Kaeside:--

"My dear Mr. Laidlaw, I would be happy if you would come at _kail-time_ to-day. _Napoleon_ (6000 copies) is sold for £11,000.--Yours truly,

"_Sunday._ W.S."

--_Abbotsford Notanda_, by R. Carruthers, Edin. 1871.

Sir Walter Scott