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March 1828

March 1.--Wrought a little this morning; always creeping on. We had a hard pull at the Court, and after it I walked a little for exercise, as I fear indigestion from dining out so often.

Dined to-day with the bankers who went as delegates to London in Malachi Malagrowther's days. Sir John Hay Kinnear and Tom Allan were my only acquaintances of the party; the rest seemed shrewd capable men. I particularly remarked a Mr. Sandeman with as intellectual a head as I ever witnessed.

March 2.--A day of hard work with little interruption, and completed volume second. I am not much pleased with it. It wants what I desire it to have, and that is passion.

The two Ballantynes and Mr. Cadell dined with me quietly. Heard from London; all well.

March 3.--I set about clearing my desk of unanswered letters, which I had suffered to accumulate to an Augean heap. I daresay I wrote twenty cards that might have been written at the time without half-a-minute being lost. To do everything when it ought to be done is the soul of expedition. But then, if you are interrupted eternally with these petty avocations, the current of the mind is compelled to flow in shallows, and you lose the deep intensity of thought which alone can float plans of depth and magnitude. I sometimes wish I were one of those formalists who can assign each hour of the day its special occupations, not to be encroached upon; but it always returns upon my mind that I do better _à la débandade_, than I could with rules of regular study. A work begun is with me a stone turned over with the purpose of rolling it down hill. The first revolutions are made with difficulty--but _vires acquirit eundo_. Now, were the said stone arrested in its progress, the whole labour would be to commence again. To take a less conceited simile: I am like a spavined horse, who sets out lame and stiff, but when he warms in his gear makes a pretty good trot of it, so that it is better to take a good stage of him while you can get it. Besides, after all, I have known most of those formalists, who were not men of business or of office to whom hours are prescribed as a part of duty, but who voluntarily make themselves

    "Slaves to an hour, and vassals to a bell,"[142]--
to be what I call very poor creatures.

General Ainslie looked in, and saddened me by talking of poor Don. The General is a medallist, and entertains an opinion that the bonnet-piece of James V. is the work of some Scottish artist who died young, and never did anything else. It is far superior to anything which the Mint produced since the Roman denarii. He also told me that the name of Andrea de Ferrara is famous in Italy as an armourer.

Dined at home, and went to the Royal Society in the evening after sending off my processes for the Sheriff Court. Also went after the Society to Mr. James Russell's symposium.

March 4.--A letter from Italy signed J.S. with many acute remarks on inaccuracies in the life of Bonaparte.

His tone is hostile decidedly, but that shall not prevent my making use of all his corrections where just.

The wretched publication of Leigh Hunt on the subject of Byron is to bring forward Tom Moore's life of that distinguished poet, and I am honoured and flattered by the information that he means to dedicate it to me.[143]

A great deal of worry in the Court to-day, and I lost my spectacles, and was a dark and perplexed man--found them again though. Wrote to Lockhart and to Charles, and will do more if I can, but am sadly done up. An old friend came and pressed unmercifully some selfish request of his own to ask somebody to do something for his son. I shall be glad to be at Abbotsford to get rid of this town, where I have not, in the proper and social sense of the word, a single friend whose company pleases me. In the country I have always Tom Purdie.

Dined at the Lord Chief Commissioner's, where I met, the first time for thirty years, my old friend and boon companion, with whom I shared the wars of Bacchus, Venus, and sometimes of Mars. The past rushed on me like a flood and almost brought tears into my eyes. It is no very laudable exploit to record, but I once drank three bottles of wine with this same rogue--Sir William Forbes and Sir Alexander Wood being of the party. David Erskine of Cardross keeps his looks better than most of our contemporaries. I hope we shall meet for a longer time.

March 5.--I corrected sheets, and, being a Teind Wednesday, began the second volume and proceeded as far as page fourth.

We dined at Hector Macdonald's with several Highlanders, most of whom were in their garb, intending to go to a great fancy ball in the evening. There were young Cluny Macpherson, Campbell Airds, Campbell Saddell, and others of the race of Diarmid. I went for an hour to the ball, where there were many gay and some grotesque figures. A dressed ball is, for the first half-hour, a splendid spectacle; you see youth and beauty dressed in their gayest attire, unlimited, save by their own taste, and enjoying the conscious power of charming, which gives such life and alacrity to the features. But the charm ceases in this like everything else. The want of masks takes away the audacity with which the disguised parties conduct themselves at a masquerade, and [leaves] the sullen sheepishness which makes them, I suppose, the worst maskers in Europe. At the only real masquerade which I have known in Edinburgh there were many, if not most, of those who had determined to sustain characters, who had more ill-breeding than facetiousness. The jests were chiefly calculated to give pain, and two or three quarrels were with difficulty prevented from ripening into duels. A fancy ball has no offence in it, therefore cannot be wrecked on this rock. But, on the other hand, it is horribly dull work when the first _coup d'œil_ is over.

There were some good figures, and some grossly absurd. A very gay cavalier with a broad bright battle-axe was pointed out to me as an eminent distiller, and another knight in the black coarse armour of a cuirassier of the 17th century stalked about as if he thought himself the very mirror of chivalry. He was the son of a celebrated upholsterer, so might claim the broad axe from more titles than one. There was some good dancing; Cluny Macpherson footed it gallantly.

March 6.--Wrote two pages this morning before breakfast. Went to the Court, where I learned that the "Colliers" are in alarm at the determination shown by our Committee, and are willing to give better terms. I hope this is so--but _Cogan na Shie_--peace or war, I care not. I never felt less anxiety about where I went and what I did. A feather just lighted on the ground can scarce be less concerned where the next blast may carry it. If I go, I shall see my children--if I stay, I shall mend my fortune. Dined at home and went to the play in the evening. Lady Torphichen had commanded the play, and there were all my Swinton cousins young and old. The play was "A Bold Stroke for a Wife,"[144]--Charles Kemble acting as Feignwell. The plot is extravagant nonsense, but with lively acting the ludicrousness of the situation bears it through, and few comedies act better. After this came _Rob Roy_, where the Bailie played with his usual excellence. The piece was not over until near one in the morning, yet I did not feel tired--which is much.

March 7.--To-day I wrought and corrected proof-sheets; went to the Court, and had a worry at the usual trashy small wares which are presented at the end of a Session. An official predecessor of mine, the facetious Robert Sinclair, was wont to say the three last days of the Session should be abolished by Act of Parliament.[145] Came home late, and was a good deal broken in upon by visitors. Amongst others, John Swinton, now of Swinton, brought me the skull of his ancestor, Sir Allan Swinton, who flourished five hundred years ago. I will get a cast made of the stout old carle. It is rare to see a genuine relic of the mortal frame drawing so far back. Went to my Lord Gillies's to dinner, and witnessed a singular exhibition of personification.

Miss Stirling Grame,[146] a lady of the Duntroon family, from which Clavers was descended, looks like thirty years old, and has a face of the Scottish cast, with a good expression in point of good sense and good humour. Her conversation, so far as I have had the advantage of hearing it, is shrewd and sensible, but no ways brilliant. She dined with us, went off as to the play, and returned in the character of an old Scottish lady. Her dress and behaviour were admirable, and the conversation unique. I was in the secret, of course, did my best to keep up the ball, but she cut me out of all feather. The prosing account she gave of her son, the antiquary, who found an auld wig in a slate quarry, was extremely ludicrous, and she puzzled the Professor of Agriculture with a merciless account of the succession of crops in the parks around her old mansion-house. No person to whom the secret was not intrusted had the least guess of an impostor, except one shrewd young lady present, who observed the hand narrowly and saw it was plumper than the age of the lady seemed to warrant. This lady, and Miss Bell[147] of Coldstream, have this gift of personification to a much higher degree than any person I ever saw.

March 8.--Wrote in the morning, then to Court, where we had a sederunt till nigh two o'clock. From thence to the Coal Gas Committee, with whom we held another, and, thank God, a final meeting. Gibson went with me. They had Mr. Munro, Trotter, Tom Burns, and Inglis. The scene put me in mind of Chichester Cheyne's story of a Shawnee Indian and himself, dodging each other from behind trees, for six or seven hours, each in the hope of a successful shot. There was bullying on both sides, but we bullied to best purpose, for we must have surrendered at discretion, notwithstanding the bold face we put on it. On the other hand, I am convinced they have got a capital bargain.

March 9.--I set about arranging my papers, a task which I always take up with the greatest possible ill-will and which makes me cruelly nervous. I don't know why it should be so, for I have nothing particularly disagreeable to look at; far from it, I am better than I was at this time last year, my hopes firmer, my health stronger, my affairs bettered and bettering. Yet I feel an inexpressible nervousness in consequence of this employment. The memory, though it retains all that has passed, has closed sternly over it; and this rummaging, like a bucket dropped suddenly into a well, deranges and confuses the ideas which slumbered on the mind. I am nervous, and I am bilious, and, in a word, I am unhappy. This is wrong, very wrong; and it is reasonably to be apprehended that something of serious misfortune will be the deserved punishment of this pusillanimous lowness of spirits. Strange that one who, in most things, may be said to have enough of the 'care na by', should be subject to such vile weakness! Well, having written myself down an ass, I will daub it no farther, but e'en trifle till the humour of work comes.

Before the humour came I had two or three long visits. Drummond Hay, the antiquary and lyon-herald, came in.[148] I do not know anything which relieves the mind so much from the sullens as trifling discussion about _antiquarian old-womanries_. It is like knitting a stocking, diverting the mind without occupying it; or it is like, by Our Lady, a mill-dam, which leads one's thoughts gently and imperceptibly out of the channel in which they are chafing and boiling. To be sure, it is only conducting them to turn a child's mill; what signifies that?--the diversion is a relief, though the object is of little importance. I cannot tell what we talked of; but I remember we concluded with a lamentation on the unlikelihood that Government would give the Museum £2000 to purchase the _bronze Apollo_ lately discovered in France, although the God of Delos stands six feet two in his stocking-soles, and is perfectly entire, saving that on the right side he wants half a hip, and the leg from the knee, and that on the left his heel is much damaged. Colonel Ferguson just come to town--dines with us.

March 10.--I had a world of trumpery to do this morning: cards to write, and business to transact, visits to make, etc. Received letters from the youth who is to conduct _The Keepsake_, with blarney on a £200 Bank note. No blarney in that. I must set about doing something for these worthies. I was obliged to go alone to dine at Mr. Scott Gala's. Met the Sinclair family. Lady Sinclair told me a singular story of a decrepit man keeping a lonely toll at a place called the Rowan-tree, on the frontiers, as I understood, between Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire [Wigtownshire?]. It was a wild, lonely spot, and was formerly inhabited by robbers and assassins, who murdered passengers. They were discovered by a boy whom they had taken into the cottage as a menial. He had seen things which aroused his attention, and was finally enlightened as to the trade of his masters by hearing one of them, as he killed a goat, remark that the cries of the creature resembled those of the last man they had dealt with. The boy fled from the house, lodged an information, and the whole household was seized and executed. The present inhabitants Lady Sinclair described as interesting. The man's feet and legs had been frost-bitten while herding the cattle, and never recovered the strength of natural limbs. Yet he had acquired some education, and was a country schoolmaster for some time, till the distance and loneliness of the spot prevented pupils from attending. His daughter was a reader, and begged for some old magazines, newspapers, or any printed book, that she might enjoy reading. They might have been better had they been allowed to keep a cow. But if they had been in comfortable circumstances, they would have had visitors and lodgers, who might have carried guns to destroy the gentleman's creation, _i.e._ game; and for this risk the wretches were kept in absolute and abject poverty. I would rather be--himself than this brutal Earl. The daughter showed Lady Sinclair a well in the midst of a small bog, of great depth, into which, like Thurtell and Probert, they used to thrust the bodies of their victims till they had an opportunity of burying them. Lady Sinclair stooped to taste the water, but the young woman said, with a strong expression of horror, "You would not drink it?" Such an impression had the tale, probably two centuries old, made upon the present inhabitants of this melancholy spot. The whole legend is curious; I will try to get hold of it.[149]

March 11.--I sent Reynolds a sketch of two Scottish stories for subjects of art for his _Keepsake_--the death of the Laird's Jock the one, the other the adventure of Duncan Stuart with the stag.

Mr. Drummond Hay breakfasted with me--a good fellow, but a considerable bore. He brought me a beautiful bronze statue of Hercules, about ten inches or a foot in height, beautifully wrought. He bought it in France for 70 francs, and refused £300 from Payne Knight. It is certainly a most beautiful piece of art. The lion's hide which hung over the shoulders had been of silver, and, to turn it to account, the arm over which it hung was cut off; otherwise the statue was perfect and extremely well wrought. Allan Swinton's skull sent back to Archibald Swinton.

March 12.--The boy got four leaves of copy to-day, and I wrote three more. Received by Mr. Cadell from Treuttel and Wurtz for articles in _Foreign Review_ £52, 10s., which is at my credit with him. Poor Gillies has therefore kept his word so far, but it is enough to have sacrificed £100 to him already in literary labour, which I make him welcome to. I cannot spare him more--which, besides, would do him no good.

March 13, [Abbotsford].--I wrote a little in the morning and sent off some copy. We came off from Edinburgh at ten o'clock, and got to Abbotsford by four, where everything looks unusually advanced; the birds singing and the hedges budding, and all other prospects of spring too premature to be rejoiced in.

I found that, like the foolish virgins, the servants had omitted to get oil for my lamp, so I was obliged to be idle all the evening. But though I had a diverting book, the _Tales of the Munster Festivals,_[150] yet an evening without writing hung heavy on my hands. The _Tales_ are admirable. But they have one fault, that the crisis is in more cases than one protracted after a keen interest has been excited, to explain and to resume parts of the story which should have been told before. Scenes of mere amusement are often introduced betwixt the crisis of the plot and the final catastrophe. This is impolitic. But the scenes and characters are traced by a firm, bold, and true pencil, and my very criticism shows that the catastrophe is interesting,--otherwise who would care for its being interrupted?

March [14 to] 16.--The same record applies to these three days. From seven to half-past nine writing--from half-past nine to a quarter past ten a hearty breakfast. From eleven or thereby, to one or two, wrote again, and from one or two ride, drive, or walk till dinner-time--for two or three hours--five till seven, dine and rest yourself--seven till nine, wrote two pages more, from nine to quarter past ten lounge, read the papers, and then go to bed. If your story is tolerably forward you may, I think, keep at this rate for twelve days, which would be a volume. But no brain could hold it out longer. Wrote two additional leaves in the evening.

March 17.--Sent away copy this morning to J.B. with proofs. I then wrote all the day till two o'clock, walked round the thicket and by the water-side, and returning set to work again. So that I have finished five leaves before dinner, and may discuss two more if I can satisfy myself with the way of winding up the story. There are always at the end such a plaguey number of stitches to take up, which usually are never so well done but they make a botch. I will try if the cigar will inspire me. Hitherto I have been pretty clear, and I see my way well enough, only doubt of making others see it with sufficient simplicity. But it is near five, and I am too hungry to write more.[151]

    "Ego nunquam potui scribere jejunus."
March 18.--I was sorely worried by the black dog this morning, that vile palpitation of the heart--that _tremor cordis_--that hysterical passion which forces unbidden sighs and tears, and falls upon a contented life like a drop of ink on white paper, which is not the less a stain because it conveys no meaning. I wrought three leaves, however, and the story goes on. I dined at the Club of the Selkirkshire yeomanry, now disbanded.
    "The Eldrich knight gave up his arms
    With many a sorrowful sigh."
The dissolution of the Yeomanry was the act of the last ministry. The present did not alter the measure on account of the expense saved. I am one of the oldest, if not the very oldest Yeoman in Scotland, and have seen the rise, progress, and now the fall of this very constitutional part of the national force. Its efficacy, on occasions of insurrection, was sufficiently proved in the Radical time. But besides, it kept up a spirit of harmony between the proprietors of land and the occupiers, and made them known to and beloved by each other; and it gave to the young men a sort of military and high-spirited character, which always does honour to a country. The manufacturers are in great glee on this occasion. I wish Parliament, as they have turned the Yeoman adrift somewhat scornfully, may not have occasion to roar them in again.[152]

March 19.--I applied myself again to my labour, my mind flowing in a less, gloomy current than yesterday. I laboured with little interruption, excepting a walk as far as Faldonside with the dogs, and at night I had not finished more than three leaves. But, indeed, it is pretty fair; I must not work my brains too hard, in case of provoking the hypochondria which extreme exertion or entire indolence are equally unfavourable to.

March 20.--Thomson breakfasted. I left him soon, being desirous to finish my labours. The volume is finished, all but one fourth or somewhat shorter; four days should despatch it easily, but I have letters to write and things are getting into disorder. I took a drive with my daughter, for exercise, and called at Huntly Burn. This evening went on with work as usual; there was not above four pages finished, but my conscience is quiet on my exertions.

March 21.--I received young Whytbank to breakfast, and talked genealogy, which he understands well; I have not a head for it. I only value it as interspersed with anecdote. Whytbank's relationship and mine exists by the Shaws. A younger brother of Shaw of Sauchie, afterwards Greenock, chief of the name, was minister of the Kirk of Selkirk. My great-grandfather, John Rutherford, minister of the gospel at Yarrow, married one of this reverend gentleman's daughters; and John Pringle, rector of Fogo, great-grandfather of the present Whytbank, married another. It was Christian Shaw, my grandmother, who possessed the manuscript respecting the murder of the Shaws by the Master of Sinclair.[153] She could not, according to the reckoning of that age, be a distant relation. Whytbank parted, agreeing to return to dinner to meet the bride and bridegroom. I had little time to write, for Colonel Russell, my cousin, called between one and two, and he also agreed to stay dinner; so I had a walk of three hours with him in the plantations. At dinner we had Mr. and Mrs. Bruce, Mr. Scrope, Mrs. and Dr. Brewster, Whytbank, Russell, and young Nicol Milne, who will be a pleasant lad if he had a little polish. I was glad of the society, as I had rather felt the _besoin de parler_, which was perhaps one cause of my recent dumps. Scrope and Colonel Russell stayed all night; the rest went home.

March 22.--Had a packet from James--low about the novel; but I had another from Cadell equally uppish. He proposes for three novels in eighteen months, which would be £12,600. Well, I like the bookseller's predictions better than the printer's. Neither are bad judges; but James, who is the best, is not sensible of historical descriptions, and likes your novel style out and out.

Cadell's letter also contained a state of cash matters, since much improved. I will arrange them a day or two hence. I wrote to-day and took a long walk. The thought more than once passed over me, Why go to London? I shall but throw away £150 or £200 which were better saved. Then on the other hand, it is such a gratification to see all the children that I must be tempted. If I were alone, I could scrub it, but there's no doing that with Anne.

March 23.--I wrought regularly till one, and then took the wood and marked out to Tom the places I would have thinned, particularly at the Carlin's hole, which will require much thinning. I had a letter from Cadell stating that 3000 _Tales of a Grandfather_ must go to press, bringing a return to me of £240, the price being £80 per thousand. This is snug enough, and will prettily cover my London journey, and I really think ought in fairness to silence my prudential remorse. With my usual delight in catching an apology for escaping the regular task of the day, I threw by the novel of St. Valentine's Eve and began to run through and correct the _Grandfather's Tales_ for the press. If I live to finish them, they will be a good thing for my younger children. If I work to the amount of £10,000 a year for the creditors, I think I may gain a few hundreds for my own family at by-hours.

March 24.--Sent copy and proof to J.B.[154] I continued my revision of the _Tales of a Grandfather_ till half-past one. Then went to Torwoodlee to wait on George Pringle and his bride. We did not see the young people, but the old Laird and Miss Pringle gave us a warm reception, and seemed very happy on the occasion. We had friends to dinner, Mr. and Mrs. Theobald, Charles Kerr and his wife, my old acquaintance Magdalen Hepburn, whose whole [kin] was known to me and mine. I have now seen the fifth generation of the family in Mrs. Kerr's little girl, who travels with them. Well--I partly wish we had been alone. Yet it is perhaps better. We made our day out tolerably well, having the advantage of Mr. Davidoff and his friend Mr. Collyer to assist us.

March 25.--Mr. and Mrs. Kerr left us, Mr. Davidoff and Mr. Collyer also. Mr. Davidoff showed himself a good deal affected. I hope well of this young nobleman, and trust the result will justify my expectations, but it may be doubted if his happiness be well considered by those who send a young person, destined to spend his life under a despotic government, to receive the ideas and opinions of such a people as we are:

        "where ignorance is bliss,
    'Tis folly to be wise."[155]
We drove as far as Yair with Mr. and Mrs. Theobald. The lady read after dinner--and read well.

March 26.--The Theobalds left us, giving me time to work a little. A walk of two hours diversified my day. I received Cadell's scheme for the new edition. I fear the trustees will think Cadell's plan expensive in the execution. Yet he is right; for, to ensure a return of speedy sale, the new edition should be both handsome and cheap. He proposes size a Royal 12mo, with a capital engraving to each volume from a design by the best artists. This infers a monstrous expense, but in the present humour of the public ensures the sale. The price will be 5s. per volume, and the whole set, 32 volumes, from _Waverley_ to _Woodstock_ included, will be £8.

March 27.--This also was a day of labour, affording only my usual interval of a walk. Five or six sheets was the result. We now appropinque an end. My story has unhappily a divided interest; there are three distinct strands of the rope, and they are not well twisted together. "Ah, Sirs, a foul fawt," as Captain Tommy says.

March 28.--The days have little to distinguish each other, very little. The morning study, the noontide walk, all monotonous and inclined to be melancholy; God help me! But I have not had any nervous attack. Read _Tales of an Antiquary_,[156] one of the chime of bells which I have some hand in setting a-ringing. He is really entitled to the name of an antiquary; but he has too much description in proportion to the action. There is a capital wardrobe of properties, but the performers do not act up to their character.

March 29.--Finished volume third this morning. I have let no grass grow beneath my heels this bout.

Mr. Cadell with J. and A. Ballantyne came to dinner. Mr. and Mrs. George Pringle, new married, dined with us and old Torwoodlee. Sandy's music made the evening go sweetly down.

March 30.--A long discourse with Cadell, canvassing his scheme. He proposes I should go on immediately with the new novel. This will furnish a fund from which may be supplied the advances necessary for the new work, which are considerable, and may reach from £4000 to £8000--the last sum quite improbable--before it makes returns. Thus we can face the expenditure necessary to set on foot our great work. I have written to recommend the plan to John Gibson. This theme renewed from time to time during the forenoon. Dr. Clarkson[157] dined with us. We smoked and had whisky and water after.

March 31.--The Ballantynes and Cadell left us in high spirits, expecting much from the new undertaking, and I believe they are not wrong. As for me, I became torpid after a great influx of morning visitors.

    "I grew vapourish and odd,
      And would not do the least right thing,
    Neither for goddess nor for god--
      Nor paint nor jest nor laugh, nor sing."
I was quite reluctant to write letters, or do anything whatsoever, and yet I should surely write to Sir Cuthbert Sharp and Surtees. We dined alone. I was main stupid, indeed, and much disposed to sleep, though my dinner was very moderate.



[142] Oldham--"Lines addressed to a friend about to leave the University."--_Poems and Translations_, 8vo. Lond. 1694.

[143] On the 20th April Moore writes to Scott: "I am delighted you do not reject my proffered dedication, though between two such names as yours and Byron's I shall but realise the description in the old couplet of Wisdom and Wit,

'With folly at full length between.'

However, never mind; in cordial feeling and good fellowship I flatter myself I am a match for either of you."

[144] By Mrs. Centlivre.

[145] See _Life_, vol. viii. p. 257 _n_.

[146] Miss Graham tells us in her _Mystifications_ (Edin. 1864) that Sir Walter, on leaving the room, whispered in her ear, "Awa, awa, the Deil's ower grit wi' you." "To meet her in company," wrote Dr. John Brown half a century later, when she was still the charm and the delight as well as the centre of a large circle of friends, "one saw a quiet, unpretending, sensible, shrewd, kindly little lady; perhaps you would not remark anything extraordinary in her, but let her _put on the old lady_; it was as if a warlock spell had passed over her; not merely her look but her nature was changed: her spirit had passed into the character she represented; and jest, quick retort, whimsical fancy, the wildest nonsense flowed from her lips, with a freedom and truth to nature which appeared to be impossible in her own personality."

With this faculty for satire and imitation, Miss Graham never used it to give pain. She was as much at home, too, with old Scotch sayings as Sir Walter himself. For example, speaking of a field of cold, wet land she said, "It grat a' winter and girned a' simmer," and of herself one morning at breakfast when she thought she was getting too much attention from her guests (she was at this time over ninety) she exclaimed, "I'm like the bride in the old song:--

'Twa were blawing at her nose And three were buckling at her shoon.'"

Miss Graham's friends will never forget the evenings they have spent at 29 Forth Street, Edinburgh, or their visits at Duntrune, where the venerable lady died in her ninety-sixth year in September 1877.

[147] Miss Elizabeth Bell, daughter of the Rev. James Bell, minister of the parish of Coldstream from 1778 to 1794. This lady lived all her life in her native county, and died at a great age at a house on the Tweed, named Springhill, in 1876.

[148] _Ante_, vol. i. p. 253.

[149] _The Murder Hole_, a story founded on the tradition and under this name, was printed in _Blackwood's Mag_., vol. xxv. p. 189: 1829.

[150] Written by Gerald Griffin

[151] _St. Valentine's Eve_, or _The Fair Maid of Perth_.

[152] _Coriolanus_, Act VI. Sc. 6.

[153] _Ante_, p. 40.

[154] It may have been with this packet that the following admonitory note was sent to Ballantyne:--"DEAR JAMES,--I return the sheets of _Tales_ with some waste of _Napoleon_ for ballast. Pray read like a lynx, for with all your devoted attention things will escape. Imagine your printing that the Douglases after James II. had dirked the Earl, trailed the royal safe-conduct at the TAIL of a _serving man_, instead of the _tail_ of a _starved Mare_.--Yours truly, however, W.S." So printed in first edition, vol. ii. p. 129, but corrected in the subsequent editions to "a miserable cart jade."

[155] Gray's _Ode on Eton_.

[156] By Richard Thomson, author of _Chronicles of London Bridge_, etc. He died in 1865.

[157] Dr. Ebenezer Clarkson, a Surgeon of distinguished merit at Selkirk and through life a trusty friend and crony of the Sheriffs.--J.G.L.

"In Mr. Gideon Gray, in _The Surgeon's Daughter_, Sir Walter's neighbours on Tweedside saw a true picture--a portrait from life of Scott's hard-riding and sagacious old friend to all the country dear."--_Life_, vol. ix. p. 181.

Sir Walter Scott