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June 1829

June 1.--Being Sunday I remained to work the whole day, and finished half of the proposed volume of History. I was not disturbed the whole day, a thing rather unusual.

June 2.--Received Mr. Rees of London and Col. Ferguson to breakfast. Mr. Rees is clearly of opinion our scheme (the _Magnum_) must answer.[328] I got to letter-writing after breakfast, and cleared off old scores in some degree. Dr. Ross called and would hardly hear of my going out. I was obliged, however, to attend the meeting of the trustees for the Theatre.[329] The question to be decided was, whether we should embrace an option left to us of taking the old Theatre at a valuation, or whether we should leave it to Mrs. Siddons and Mr. Murray to make the best of it. There were present Sir Patrick Murray, Baron Hume, Lord Provost, Sir John Hay, Mr. Gilbert Innes, and myself. We were all of opinion that personally we ought to have nothing to do with it. But I thought as trustees for the public, we were bound to let the public know how the matter stood, and that they might, if they pleased, have the theatrical property for £16,000, which is dog cheap. They were all clear to give it up (the right of reversion) to Mrs. Siddons. I am glad she should have it, for she is an excellent person, and so is her brother. But I think it has been a little jobbish. There is a clause providing the new patentees may redeem. I desired that the circumstance should be noted, that we were only exercising our own judgment, leaving the future trustees to exercise theirs. I rather insisted that there should be some saving clause of this kind, even for the sake of our honour. But I could not prevail upon my colleagues to put such a saving clause on the minutes, though they agreed to the possibility of the new patentees redeeming on behalf of the public. I do not think we have done right.

I called on Mr. Cadell, whose reports of the _Magnum_ might fill up the dreams of Alnaschar should he sleep as long as the seven sleepers. The rest was labour and letters till bed-time.

June 3.--The ugly symptoms still continue. Dr. Ross does not make much of it, and I think he is apt to look grave.[330] I wrote in the morning. Dr. Macintosh Mackay came to breakfast, and brought a Gaelic book, which he has published--the Poetry of Rob Donn--some of which seems pretty as he explained it. Court kept me till near two, and then home comes I. Afternoon and evening was spent as usual. In the evening Dr. Ross ordered me to be cupped, an operation which I only knew from its being practised by that eminent medical practitioner the barber of Bagdad. It is not painful; and, I think, resembles a giant twisting about your flesh between his finger and thumb.

June 4.--I was obliged to absent myself from the Court on Dr. Ross's positive instance; and, what is worse, I was compelled to send an apology to Hopetoun House, where I expected to see Madame Caradori, who was to sing Jock of Hazeldean. I wrote the song for Sophia; and I find my friends here still prefer her to the foreign syren.

    "However, Madame Caradori,
    To miss you I am very sorry,
    I should have taken it for glory
    To have heard you sing my Border story."
I worked at the _Tales of my Grandfather_, but leisurely.

June 5.--Cadell came to dine with me _tête-à-tête,_ for the girls are gone to Hopetoun House. We had ample matter to converse upon, for his horn was full of good news. While we were at dinner we had letters from London and Ireland, which decided him to raise the impression of _Waverley_ to 15,000. This, with 10,000 on the number line which Ireland is willing to take, will make £18,000 a year of divisible profit. This leads to a further speculation, as I said, of great importance. Longman & Co. have agreed to sell their stock on hand of the Poetry, in which they have certain shares, their shares included, for £8000. Cadell thinks he could, by selling off at cheap rates, sorting, making waste, etc., get rid of the stock for about £5000, leaving £3000 for the purchase of the copyrights, and proposes to close the bargain as much cheaper as he can, but at all events to close it. Whatever shall fall short of the price returned by the stock, the sale of which shall be entirely at his risk, shall be reckoned as the price of the copyright, and we shall pay half of that balance. I had no hesitation in authorising him to proceed in his bargain with Owen Rees of Longman's house upon that principle. For supposing, according to Cadell's present idea, the loss on the stock shall amount to £2000 or £3000, the possession of the entire copyright undivided would enable us, calculating upon similar success to that of the Novels, to make at least £500 per cent. Longman & Co. have indeed an excellent bargain, but then so will we. We pay dear indeed for what the ostensible subject of sale is, but if it sets free almost the whole of our copyrights, and places them in our own hands, we get a most valuable _quid pro quo_. There is only one-fourth, I think, of _Marmion_ in Mr. Murray's hands, and it must be the deuce if that cannot be [secured].[331] Mr. Cadell proposed that, as he took the whole books on his risk, he ought to have compensation, and that it should consist in the sum to be given to me for arranging and making additions to the volumes of Poetry thus to be republished. I objected to this, for in the first place he may suffer no loss, for the books may go off more rapidly than he thinks or expects. In the second place, I do not know what my labours in the Poetry may be. In either case it is a blind bargain; but if he should be a sufferer beyond the clear half of the loss, which we agree to share with him, I agreed to make him some compensation, and he is willing to take what I shall think just; so stands our bargain. Remained at home and wrote about four pages of _Tales_. I should have done more, but my head, as Squire Sullen says, "aiked consumedly."[332] Rees has given Cadell a written offer to be binding till the twelfth; meantime I have written to Lockhart to ask John Murray if he will treat for the fourth share of _Marmion_, which he possesses. It can be worth but little to him, and gives us all the copyrights. I have a letter from Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, touching a manuscript of Messrs. Hay Allan called the _Vestiarium Scotiæ_ by a Sir Richard Forrester. If it is an imposition it is cleverly done, but I doubt the quarter it comes from. These Hay Allans are men of warm imaginations. It makes the strange averment that all the Low-Country gentlemen and border clans wore tartan, and gives sets of them all. I must see the manuscript before I believe in it. The Allans are singular men, of much accomplishment but little probity--that is, in antiquarian matters. Cadell lent me £10,--funny enough, after all our grand expectations, for Croesus to want such a gratility!

June 7.--I rose at seven, and wrote to Sir Thomas Lauder a long warning on the subject of these Allans and their manuscript.[333] Proceeded to write, but found myself pulled up by the necessity of reading a little. This occupied my whole morning. The Lord President called very kindly to desire me to keep at home to-morrow. I thought of being out, but it may be as well not. I am somehow or other either listless or lazy. My head aches cruelly. I made a fight at reading and working till eleven, and then came sleep with a party-coloured [mantle] of fantastic hues, and wrapt me into an imaginary world.

June, 8.--I wrote the whole morning till two o'clock. Then I went into the gardens of Princes Street, to my great exhilaration. I never felt better for a walk; also it is the first I have taken this whole week and more. I visited some remote garden grounds, where I had not been since I walked there with the good Samaritan Skene, sadly enough, at the time of my misfortunes.[334] The shrubs and young trees, which were then invisible, are now of good size, and gay with leaf and blossom. I, too, old trunk as I am, have put out tender buds of hope, which seemed checked for ever.

I may now look with fair hope to freeing myself of obligation from all men, and spending the rest of my life in ease and quiet. God make me thankful for so cheering a prospect!

June 9.--I wrote in the morning, set out for a walk at twelve o'clock as far as Mr. Cadell's. I found him hesitating about his views, and undecided about the Number plan. He thinks the first plan answers so much beyond expectation it is a pity to interfere with it, and talks of re-engraving the plates. This would be touchy, but nothing is resolved on.

Anne had a little party, where Lady Charlotte Bury, Lady Hopetoun, and others met the Caradori, who sung to us very kindly. She sung Jock of Hazeldean very well, and with a peculiar expression of humour. Sandie Ballantyne kindly came and helped us with fiddle and flageolet. Willie Clerk was also here. We had a lunch, and were very gay, not the less so for the want of Mr. Bury, who is a thorough-paced coxcomb, with some accomplishments, however. I drank two glasses of champagne, which have muddled my brains for the day. Will Clerk promised to come back and dine on the wreck of the turkey and tongue, pigeon-pie, etc. He came, accordingly, and stayed till nine; so no time for work. It was not a lost day, however.[335]

June 10.--_Nota bene_, my complaint quite gone. I attended the Court, and sat there till late. Evening had its lot of labour, which is, I think, a second nature to me. It is astonishing how little I look into a book of entertainment. I have been reading over the _Five Nights of St. Albans_,--very much _extra mœnia nostri mundi_, and possessed of considerable merit, though the author[336] loves to play at cherry-pit with Satan.[337]

June 11.--I was kept at Court by a hearing till near three. Then sat to Mr. Graham for an hour and a half. When I came home, behold a letter from Mr. Murray, very handsomely yielding up the fourth share of _Marmion_, which he possessed.[338] Afterwards we went to the theatre, where St. Ronan's Well was capitally acted by Murray and the Bailie,--the part of Clara Mowbray being heavy for want of Mrs. Siddons. Poor old Mrs. Renaud, once the celebrated Mrs. Powell, took leave of the stage. As I was going to bed at twelve at night, in came R.P.Gillies like a tobacco cask. I shook him off with some difficulty, pleading my having been lately ill, but he is to call to-morrow morning.

June 12.--Gillies made his appearance. I told him frankly I thought he conducted his affairs too irregularly for any one to assist him, and I could not in charity advise any one to encourage subscriptions, but that I should subscribe myself, so I made over to him about £50, which the _Foreign Review_ owes me, and I will grow hard-hearted and do no more. I was not long in the Court, but I had to look at the controversy about the descent of the Douglas family, then I went to Cadell and found him still cock-a-hoop. He has raised the edition to 17,000, a monstrous number, yet he thinks it will clear the 20,000, but we must be quiet in case people jalouse the failure of the plates. I called on Lady J.S.[339] When I came home I was sleepy and over-walked. By the way, I sat till Graham finished my picture.[340] I fell fast asleep before dinner, and slept for an hour. After dinner I wrote to Walter, Charles, Lockhart, and John Murray, and took a screed of my novel; so concluded the evening idly enough.

June 13.--We hear of Sophia's motions. She is to set sail by steam-boat on the 16th, Tuesday, and Charles is to make a run down with her. But, alas! my poor Johnnie is, I fear, come to lay his bones in his native land. Sophia can no longer disguise it from herself, that as his strength weakens the disease increases. The poor child is so much bent on coming to see Abbotsford and grandpapa, that it would be cruel not to comply with his wish--and if affliction comes, we will bear it best together.

    "Not more the schoolboy who expires
    Far from his native home desires
    To see some friend's familiar face,
    Or meet a parent's last embrace."
It must be all as God wills it. Perhaps his native air may be of service.

More news from Cadell. He deems it necessary to carry up the edition to 20,000.

[Abbotsford.]--This day was fixed for a start to Abbotsford, where we arrived about six o'clock, evening. To my thinking, I never saw a prettier place; and even the trees and flowers seemed to say to me, We are your own again. But I must not let imagination jade me thus. It would be to make disappointment doubly bitter: and, God knows, I have in my child's family matter enough to check any exuberant joy.

June 14.--A delicious day--threatening rain; but with the languid and affecting manner in which beauty demands sympathy when about to weep. I wandered about the banks and braes all morning, and got home about three, and saw everything in tolerable order, excepting that there was a good number of branches left in the walks. There is a great number of trees cut, and bark collected. Colonel Ferguson dined with us, and spent the afternoon.

June 15.--Another charming day. Up and despatched packets for Ballantyne and Cadell; neither of them was furiously to the purpose, but I had a humour to be alert. I walked over to Huntly Burn, and round by Chiefswood and Janeswood, where I saw Captain Hamilton. He is busy finishing his Peninsular campaigns.[341] He will not be cut out by Napier, whose work has a strong party cast; and being, besides, purely abstract and professional, to the public seems very dull. I read General Miller's account of the South American War.[342] I liked it the better that Basil Hall brought the author to breakfast with me in Edinburgh. A fine, tall, military figure, his left hand withered like the prophet's gourd, and plenty of scars on him. There have been rare doings in that vast continent; but the strife is too distant, the country too unknown, to have the effect upon the imagination which European wars produce.

This evening I indulged in the _far niente_--a rare event with me, but which I enjoy proportionally.

June 16.--Made up parcel for Dr. Lardner; and now I propose to set forth my memoranda of Byron for Moore's acceptance, which ought in civility to have been done long since.[343] I will have a walk, however, in the first place.

I did not get on with Byron so far as I expected--began it though, and that is always something. I went to see the woods at Huntly Burn, and Mars Lea, etc. Met Captain Hamilton, who tells me a shocking thing. Two Messrs. Stirling of Drumpellier came here and dined one day, and seemed spirited young men. The younger is murdered by pirates. An Indian vessel in which he sailed was boarded by these miscreants, who behaved most brutally; and he, offering resistance I suppose, was shockingly mangled and flung into the sea. He was afterwards taken up alive, but died soon after. Such horrid accidents lie in wait for those whom we see "all joyous and unthinking,"[344] sweeping along the course of life; and what end may be waiting ourselves? Who can tell?

June 17.--Must take my leave of sweet Abbotsford, and my leisure hour, my eve of repose. To go to town will take up the morning.

[Edinburgh.]--We set out about eleven o'clock, got to Edinburgh about four, where I dined with Baron Clerk and a few Exchequer friends--Lord Chief Baron, Sir Patrick Murray, Sir Henry Jardine, etc. etc.

June 18.--Corrected proofs for Dr. Dionysius Lardner. Cadell came to breakfast. Poor fellow, he looks like one who had been overworked; and the difficulty of keeping paper-makers up to printers, printers up to draughtsmen, artists to engravers, and the whole party to time, requires the utmost exertion. He has actually ordered new plates, although the steel ones which we employ are supposed to throw off 30,000 without injury. But I doubt something of this. Well, since they will buckle fortune on our back we must bear it scholarly and wisely.[345] I went to Court. Called on my return on J.B. and Cadell. At home I set to correct _Ivanhoe_. I had twenty other things more pressing; but, after all, these novels deserve a preference. Poor Terry is totally prostrated by a paralytic affection. Continuance of existence not to be wished for.

To-morrow I expect Sophia and her family by steam.

June 19.--Sophia, and Charles who acted as her escort, arrived at nine o'clock morning, fresh from the steamboat. They were in excellent health--also the little boy and girl; but poor Johnnie seems very much changed indeed, and I should not be surprised if the scene shortly closes. There is obviously a great alteration in strength and features. At dinner we had our family chat on a scale that I had not enjoyed for many years. The Skenes supped with us.

June 20.--Corrected proof-sheets in the morning for Dr. Lardner. Then I had the duty of the Court to perform.

As I came home I recommended young Shortreed to Mr. Cadell for a printing job now and then when Ballantyne is over-loaded, which Mr. Cadell promised accordingly.

Lady Anna Maria Elliot's company at dinner. Helped on our family party, and passed the evening pleasantly enough, my anxiety considering.

June 21.--A very wet Sunday. I employed it to good purpose, bestowing much labour on the History, ten pages of which are now finished. Were it not for the precarious health of poor Johnnie I would be most happy in this reunion with my family, but, poor child, this is a terrible drawback.

June 22.--I keep working, though interruptedly. But the heat in the midst of the day makes me flag and grow irresistibly drowsy. Mr. and Mrs. Skene came to supper this evening. Skene has engaged himself in drawing illustrations to be etched by himself for _Waverley_. I wish it may do.[346]

June 23.--I was detained in the Court till half-past [three]. Captain William Lockhart dined with Skene. The Captain's kind nature had brought him to Edinburgh to meet his sister-in-law.

June 24.--I was detained late in the Court, but still had time to go with Adam Wilson and call upon a gentlemanlike East Indian officer, called Colonel Francklin, who appears an intelligent and respectable man. He writes the History of Captain Thomas,[347] a person of the condition of a common seaman, who raised himself to the rank of a native prince, and for some time waged a successful war with the powers around him. The work must be entertaining.

June 25.--Finished correcting proofs for Tales, 3d Series. The Court was over soon, but I was much exhausted. On the return home quite sleepy and past work. I looked in on Cadell, whose hand is in his housewife's cap, driving and pushing to get all the works forward in due order, and cursing the delays of artists and engravers. I own I wish we had not hampered ourselves with such causes of delay.

June 26.--Mr. Ellis, missionary from the South Sea Islands, breakfasted, introduced by Mr. Fletcher, minister of the parish of Stepney.

Mr. Ellis's account of the progress of civilisation, as connected with religion, is very interesting. Knowledge of every kind is diffused--reading, writing, printing, abundantly common. Polygamy abolished. Idolatry is put down; the priests, won over by the chiefs, dividing among them the consecrated lands which belonged to their temples. Great part of the population are still without religion, but willing to be instructed. Wars are become infrequent; and there is in each state a sort of representative body, or senate, who are a check on the despotism of the chief. All this has come hand in hand with religion. Mr. Ellis tells me that the missionaries of different sects avoided carefully letting the natives know that there were points of disunion between them. Not so some Jesuits who had lately arrived, and who taught their own ritual as the only true one. Mr. Ellis described their poetry to me, and gave some examples; it had an Ossianic character, and was composed of metaphor. He gave me a small collection of hymns printed in the islands. If this gentleman is sincere, which I have no doubt of, he is an illustrious character. He was just about to return to the Friendly Islands, having come here for his wife's health.

[Blairadam.]--After the Court we set off (the two Thomsons and I) for Blair-Adam, where we held our Macduff Club for the twelfth anniversary. We met the Chief Baron, Lord Sydney Osborne, Will Clerk, the merry knight Sir Adam Ferguson, with our venerable host the Lord Chief Commissioner, and merry men were we.

June 27.--I ought not, where merry men convene, to omit our jovial son of Neptune, Admiral Adam. The morning proving delightful, we set out for the object of the day, which was Falkland. We passed through Lochore, but without stopping, and saw on the road eastward, two or three places, as Balbedie, Strathendry, and some others known to me by name. Also we went through the town of Leslie, and saw what remains of the celebrated rendezvous of rustic gallantry called Christ's Kirk on the Green.[348] It is now cut up with houses, one of the most hideous of which is a new church, having the very worst and most offensive kind of Venetian windows. This, I am told, has replaced a quiet lowly little Gothic building, coeval, perhaps, with the royal poet who celebrated the spot. Next we went to Falkland, where we found Mr. Howden, factor of Mr. Tyndall Bruce, waiting to show us the palace.

Falkland has most interesting remains. A double entrance-tower, and a side building running east from it, is roofed, and in some degree habitable; a corresponding building running northward from the eastern corner is totally ruinous, having been destroyed by fire. The architecture is highly ornamented, in the style of the Palace at Stirling. Niches with statues, with projections, cornices, etc, are lavished throughout. Many cornice medallions exhibited such heads as those procured from the King's room at Stirling, the originals, perhaps, being the same. The repeated cypher of James V. and Mary of Guise attest the builder of this part of the palace. When complete it had been a quadrangle. There is as much of it as remained when Slezer published his drawings. Some part of the interior has been made what is called habitable, that is, a half-dozen of bad rooms have been gotten out of it. Am clear in my own mind a ruin should be protected, but never repaired. The proprietor has a beautiful place called Nut-hill, within ten minutes' walk of Falkland, and commanding some fine views of it and of the Lomond Hill. This should be the residence. But Mr. Bruce and his predecessor, my old professor, John Bruce,[349] deserve great credit for their attention to prevent dilapidation, which was doing its work fast upon the ancient palace. The only remarkable apartment was a large and well-proportioned gallery with a painted roof--_tempore Jacobi Sexti_--and built after his succession to the throne of England. I noticed a curious thing,--a hollow column concealed the rope which rung the Castle bell, keeping it safe from injury and interruption.

The town of Falkland is old, with very narrow streets. The arrival of two carriages and a gig was an event important enough to turn out the whole population. They are said to be less industrious, more dissipated, and readier to become soldiers than their neighbours. So long a court retains its influence!

We dined at Wellfield with my Mend George Cheape, with whom I rode in the cavalry some thirty years ago. Much mirth and good wine made us return in capital tune. The Chief Baron and Admiral Adam did not go on this trip. When we returned it was time to go to bed by a candle.

June 28.--Being Sunday, we lounged about in the neighbourhood of the crags called Kiery Craigs, etc. The Sheriff-substitute of Kinross came to dinner, and brought a gold signet[350] which had been found in that town. It was very neat work, about the size of a shilling. It bore in a shield the arms of Scotland and England, _parti per pale_, those of Scotland occupying the dexter side. The shield is of the heater or triangular shape. There is no crown nor legend of any kind; a slip of gold folds upwards on the back of the hinge, and makes the handle neatly enough. It is too well wrought for David II.'s time, and James IV. is the only monarch of the Scottish line who, marrying a daughter of England, may carry the arms of both countries _parti per pale._ Mr. Skelton is the name of the present possessor.

Two reported discoveries. One, that the blaeberry shrub contains the tanning quality as four to one compared to the oak--which may be of great importance, as it grows so commonly on our moors.

The other, that the cutting of an apple-tree, or other fruit-tree, may be preserved by sticking it into a potato and planting both together. Curious, if true.

June 29 [Edinburgh].--We dined together at Blair-Adam, having walked in the woods in the morning, and seen a beautiful new walk made through the woody hill behind the house. In a fine evening, after an early dinner, our party returned to Edinburgh, and there each dispersed to his several home and resting-place. I had the pleasure of finding my family all well, except Johnnie.

June 30.--After my short sniff of country air, here am I again at the receipt of custom. The sale with Longman & Co., for stock and copyrights of my [Poetical] Works, is completed, for £7000, at dates from twelve to thirty-six months. There are many sets out of which we may be able to clear the money, and then we shall make something to clear the copyright. I am sure this may be done, and that the bargain will prove a good one in the long run.

Dined at home with my family, whom, as they disperse to-morrow, I have dedicated the evening to.



[328] The first volume had just been issued with a dedication to the King. The series was completed in 48 vols., published at the beginning of each month, between 1829-33, and the circulation went on increasing until it reached 35,000 monthly.

[329] Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, which stood at that time in Shakespeare Square, the site of the present General Post-Office.

[330] Mr. Lockhart remarks that, besides the usual allowance of rheumatism, and other lesser ailments, Sir Walter had an attack that season of a nature which gave his family great alarm, and which for some days he himself regarded with the darkest prognostications. After some weeks, during which he complained of headache and nervous irritation, certain hæmorrhages indicated the sort of relief required, and he obtained it from copious cupping.--_Life_, vol. ix. p. 327-8.

[331] See _infra_, p. 299.

[332] _The Beaux's Stratagem_, Farquhar.

[333] Through the courtesy of Miss Dick Lauder I am enabled to give the letter referred to:--

"My DEAR SIR THOMAS,--I received your kind letter and interesting communication yesterday, and hasten to reply. I am ashamed of the limited hospitality I was able to offer Mr. Lauder, but circumstances permitted me no more. I was much pleased with his lively and intelligent manners, and hope he will live to be a comfort and a credit to Lady Lauder and you.

"I need not say I have the greatest interest in the MS. which you mention. In case it shall really prove an authentic document, there would not be the least difficulty in getting the Bannatyne Club to take, perhaps, 100 copies, or obtaining support enough so as, at the least, to preclude the possibility of loss to the ingenious Messrs. Hay Allan. But I think it indispensable that the original MS. should be sent for a month or so to the Register House under the charge of the Deputy Register, Mr. Thomson, that its antiquity be closely scrutinised by competent persons. The art of imitating ancient writing has got to a considerable perfection, and it has been the bane of Scottish literature, and disgrace of her antiquities, that we have manifested an eager propensity to believe without inquiry and propagate the errors which we adopt too hastily ourselves. The general proposition that the Lowlanders ever wore plaids is difficult to swallow. They were of twenty different races, and almost all distinctly different from the Scots Irish, who are the proper Scots, from which the Royal Family are descended. For instance, there is scarce a great family in the Lowlands of Scotland that is not to be traced to the Normans, the proudest as well as most civilised race in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Is it natural to think that holding the Scots in the contempt in which they did, they would have adopted their dress? If you will look at Bruce's speech to David I., as the historian Ælred tells the story, you will see he talks of the Scots as a British officer would do of Cherokees. Or take our country, the central and western part of the border: it was British, Welsh if you please, with the language and manners of that people who certainly wore no tartan. It is needless to prosecute this, though I could show, I think, that there is no period in Scottish History when the manners, language, or dress of the Highlanders were adopted in the Low Country. They brought them with them from Ireland, as you will see from the very curious prints in Derrick's picture of Ireland, where you see the chiefs and followers of the wild Irish in the ordinary Highland dress, _tempore_ Queen Elizabeth. Besides this, where has slept this universal custom that nowhere, unless in this MS., is it even heard of? Lesley knew it not, though the work had been in his possession, and his attention must have been called to it when writing concerning the three races of Scots--Highlanders, Lowlanders, and Bordermen, and treating of their dress in particular. Andrew Borde knows nothing of it, nor the Frenchman who published the geographical work from which Pinkerton copied the prints of the Highlander and Lowlander, the former in a frieze plaid or mantle, while the Lowlander struts away in a cloak and trunk hose, liker his neighbour the Fleming. I will not state other objections, though so many occur, that the authenticity of the MS. being proved, I would rather suppose the author had been some tartan-weaver zealous for his craft, who wished to extend the use of tartan over the whole kingdom. I have been told, and believe till now, that the use of tartan was never general in Scotland (Lowlands) until the Union, when the detestation of that measure led it to be adopted as the national colour, and the ladies all affected tartan screens or mantles.

"Now, a word to your own private ear, my dear Sir Thomas. I have understood that the Messrs. Hay Allan are young men of talent, great accomplishments, enthusiasm for Scottish manners, and an exaggerating imagination, which possibly deceives even themselves. I myself saw one of these gentlemen wear the Badge of High Constable of Scotland, which he could have no more right to wear than the Crown. Davidoff used also to amuse us with stories of knighthoods and orders which he saw them wear at Sir William Cumming Gordon's. Now this is all very well, and I conceive people may fall into such dreaming habits easily enough, and be very agreeable and talented men in other respects, and may be very amusing companions in the country, but their authority as antiquaries must necessarily be a little apocryphal when the faith of MSS. rests upon their testimony. An old acquaintance of mine, Captain Watson of the navy, told me he knew these gentlemen's father, and had served with him; he was lieutenant, and of or about Captain Watson's age, between sixty I suppose, and seventy at present. Now what chance was there that either from age or situation he should be receiving gifts from the young Chevalier of Highland Manuscripts.

"All this, my dear Sir Thomas, you will make your own, but I cannot conceal from you my reasons, because I would wish you to know my real opinion. If it is an imitation, it is a very good one, but the title 'Liber Vestiarium' is false Latin I should think not likely to occur to a Scotsman of Buchanan's age. Did you look at the watermark of the MS.? If the Manuscript be of undeniable antiquity, I consider it as a great curiosity, and most worthy to be published. But I believe nothing else than ocular inspection will satisfy most cautious antiquaries....--Yours, my dear Sir Thomas, always,


"EDINBURGH, 5 June 1829."

The Messrs. Hay Allan subsequently took the names of John Sobieski Stuart (who assumed the title of Comte d'Albanie) and Charles Edward Stuart. John Sobieski died in 1872, and Charles Edward in 1880. The "original" of Sir Richard Forrester's manuscript was never submitted to the inspection of the Deputy Register, as suggested by Scott; but it was published in a very handsome shape a dozen years later, and furnished a text for an article in the _Quarterly_, in which the authenticity of the book, and the claims of the author and his brother, were unsparingly criticised by the late Professor Skene of Glasgow.--See "The Heirs of the Stuarts" in _Quarterly Review_, vol. lxxxii.

[334] _Ante_, vol. i. p. 91, 92.

[335] There are so few of "Darsie Latimer's" letters preserved that the following may be given relating to the _Bride of Lammermoor_:--

"EDIN. _Sept_. 1, 1829.

"MY DEAR SIR WALTER,--I greet you well (which, by the way, is the proper mode of salutation in this cursed weather, that is enough to make us all greet). But to come to my proposal, which is to forward to you a communication I had within these few days from Sir Robert Horne Dalrymple Elphinstone.

"After expressing the great pleasure the perusal of your notes to the new edition of the Novels had given him, he adds: 'I wish you would give him a hint of what I formerly mentioned to you regarding my great-grandaunt and your own relative, the unfortunate Bride of Lammermoor. It was first mentioned to me by Miss Maitland, the daughter of Lady Rothes (they were the nearest neighbours of the Stair family in Wigtownshire), and I afterwards heard the tradition from others in that country. It was to the following effect, that when, after the noise and violent screaming in the bridal chamber, comparative stillness succeeded, and the door was forced, the window was found open, and it was supposed by many that the lover (Lord Rutherford) had, by the connivance of some of the servants, found means, during the bustle of the marriage feast, to secrete himself within the apartment, and that soon after the entry of the married pair, or at least as soon as the parents and others retreated and the door was made fast, he had come out from his concealment, attacked and desperately wounded the bridegroom, and then made his escape by the window through the garden. As the unfortunate bride never spoke after having uttered the words mentioned by Sir Walter, no light could be thrown on the matter by them. But it was thought that Bucklaw's obstinate silence on the subject favoured the supposition of the chastisement having been inflicted by his rival. It is but fair to give the unhappy victim (who was by all accounts a most gentle and feminine creature) the benefit of an explanation on a doubtful point.'

"So far my worthy friend, who seems a little jealous of the poor bride's reputation. I send you his note, and you can make what you like of it. I am intending a little jaunt to his country, and we mean to visit sundry old castles in Aberdeenshire, and wish you were of the party. I have heard nothing of Linton [cognomen for Sir Adam Ferguson] this summer. I hope you have been passing your time agreeably.--With best compliments to all friends, I remain, my dear Sir Walter, ever yours,


[336] Written by William Mudford, born 1782, died 1848.

[337] _Twelfth Night_, Act III. Sc. 4

[338] See _Life_, vol ix. pp. 325-6.

[339] The last reference in the Journal to his old friend Lady Jane Stuart, who died on the following October.

[340] Now in the rooms of the Royal Society, Edinburgh.

[341] _Annals of the Peninsular War_. 3 vols. 8vo, 1829.

[342] _Memoirs of General Miller in the Service of the Republic of Peru_. 2 vols. 8vo, 1829.

[343] Mr. Lockhart had written on June 6:--"Moore is at my elbow and says he has not the face to bother you, but he has come exactly to the part where your reminiscences of Lord Byron would come in; so he is waiting for a week or so in case they should be forthcoming." And Moore himself had previously reminded Sir Walter of his promise.

April 25th, 1829.

"My DEAR SCOTT,--It goes to my heart to bother you, knowing how bravely and gloriously you are employed for that task-mistress--Posterity. But you may thank your stars that I have let you off so long. All that you promised me about Mrs. Gordon and Gicht, and a variety of other things, is remitted to you; but I positively _must_ have something from you of your recollections personally of Byron--and that as soon as possible, for I am just coming to the period of your acquaintance with him, which was, I think, in the year 1814. Tell me all the particulars of the presents you exchanged, and if his letters to you are really _all_ lost (which I will still hope is not the case); try, as much as possible, with your memory

'To lure the tassel gentles back again.'

"You will have seen by the newspapers the sad loss my little circle of home has experienced, a loss never to be made up to us in this world, whatever it may be the will of God in another. Mrs. Moore's own health is much broken, and she is about to try what Cheltenham can do for her, while I proceed to finish my printing in town. It would be far better for me to remain in my present quiet retreat, where I am working quite alone, but the devils beckon me nearer them, and I must begin in a few days. Direct to me, under cover to Croker--you see I take for granted you will have a packet to send--and he will always know where to find me.

"My kindest remembrances to Miss Scott, and believe me ever, my very dear friend, your truly and affectionate,


The "memoranda" were not acknowledged by Moore till Oct. 31, when he wrote Scott as follows:--

"MY DEAR SCOTT,--I ought to blush 'terrestrial rosy-red, shame's proper hue' for not sooner acknowledging your precious notes about Byron. One conclusion, however, you might have drawn from my silence, namely, that I was satisfied, and had all that I asked for. Your few pages indeed will be the best ornament of my book. Murray wished me to write to you (immediately on receipt of the last MS. you sent me) to press your asking Hobhouse for the letter of your own (in 1812) that produced Byron's reply. But I was doubtful whether you would like to authorise the publication of this letter, and besides it would be now too late, as the devils are in full hue and cry after my heels.

"Health and prosperity to you, my dear friend, and believe me, ever yours most truly,


[344] Burns.

[345] _Merry Wives_, Act I. Sc. 3.

[346] Mr. Skene at this time was engaged upon a series of etchings, regarding which he had several letters from Sir Walter, one of which may be given here:--

"MY DEAR SKENE,--I enclose you Basil Hall's letter, which is very interesting to me; but I would rather decline fixing the attention of the public further on my old friend George Constable. You know the modern rage for publication, and it might serve some newsmen's purpose by publishing something about my old friend, who was an humourist, which may be unpleasing to his friends and surviving relations.

"I did not think on Craignethan in writing about Tillietudlem, and I believe it differs in several respects from my Chateau en Espagne. It is not on the Clyde in particular, and, if I recollect, the view is limited and wooded. But that can be no objection to adopting it as that which public taste has adopted as coming nearest to the ideal of the place. Of the places in the _Black Dwarf,_ Meiklestane Moor, Ellislie, Earnscliffe, are all and each _vox et, praeterea nihil_. Westburnflat once was a real spot, now there is no subject for the pencil. The vestiges of a tower at the junction of two wild brooks with a rude hillside, are all that are subjects for the pencil, and they are very poor ones. Earnscliffe and Ganderscleuch are also visions.

"I hope your work is afloat[B] and sailing bobbishly. I have not heard of or seen it.

"_Rob Roy_ has some good and real subjects, as the pass at Loch Ard, the beautiful fall at Ledeard, near the head of the lake. Let me know all you desire to be informed without fear of bothering. Kindest compliments to Mrs. Skene and the young folks.--Always yours entirely, WALTER SCOTT."

[B] Twenty numbers of this work were published in 1828 and 1829 under the title of "A Series of Sketches of the existing Localities alluded to in the Waverley Novels," etched from original drawings by James Skene, Esq.

[347] A copy of this rather rare book is still in the Abbotsford Library. Its title is "Colonel Wm. Francklin's Military Memoirs of George Thomas, who by extraordinary talents and enterprise rose from an obscure situation to the rank of General in the service of the Native Powers in the N.W. of India," 4to, Calcutta, 1803.

[348] The poem of this name is attributed to King James I. of Scotland, but Dr. Irving in his _History of Scottish Poetry_ says the earliest edition known to him dates only from 1663.

[349] Professor of Logic in the University of Edinburgh from 1775 till 1792, when he resigned his chair and became Keeper of the State Paper Office, and Historiographer to the East India Company in London. He wrote several elaborate and valuable reports for the Government, which, though printed, were never published; among others, one in 1799, in 2 vols. 8vo, "On the Union between England and Scotland: its causes, effects, and influence of Great Britain in Europe." In the previous year he also prepared another on the arrangements made for repelling the Armada, and their application to the crisis of 1798. This able man returned to Scotland, and died in Falkland about two years before Scott visited the place.

[350] An account of the finding of this seal (which was thought to be that of Joan of Beaufort, wife of James I.) at Kinross, in April 1829, is given in the _Archæologia Scotica,_ vol. iv. p. 420.

Sir Walter Scott