Return to England---Seizure at Nimeguen---Jermyn Street, London--- Edinburgh---Abbotsford---Death and funeral of Scott in September 1832---His Character---Monuments to his Memory--- Pictures, Busts, and Statues.
The last jotting of Sir Walter Scott's Diary---perhaps the last specimen of his handwriting---records his starting from Naples on the 16th of April. After the 11th of May the story can hardly be told too briefly.
The irritation of impatience, which had for a moment been suspended by the aspect and society of Rome, returned the moment he found himself again on the road, and seemed to increase hourly. His companions could with difficulty prevail on him to see even the falls of Terni, or the church of Santa Croce at Florence. On the 17th, a cold and dreary day, they passed the Apennines, and dined on the top of the mountains. The snow and the pines recalled Scotland, and he expressed pleasure at the sight of them. That night they reached Bologna, but he would see none of the interesting objects there;---and next day, hurrying in like manner through Ferrara, he proceeded as far as Monselice. On the 19th he arrived at Venice; and he remained there till the 23d; but shewed no curiosity about anything except the Bridge of Sighs and the adjoining dungeons---down into which he would scramble, though the exertion was exceedingly painful to him. On the other historical features of that place---one so sure in other days to have inexhaustible attractions for him---he would not even look; and it was the same with all that he came within reach of---even with the fondly anticipated chapel at Inspruck---as they proceeded through the Tyrol, and so onwards, by Munich, Ulm, and Heidelberg, to Frankfort. Here (June 5) he entered a bookseller's shop; and the people seeing an English party, brought out among the first things, a lithographed print of Abbotsford. He said---``I know that already, sir,'' and hastened back to the inn without being recognised. Though in some parts of the journey they had very severe weather, he repeatedly wished to travel all the night as well as all the day; and the symptoms of an approaching fit were so obvious, that he was more than once bled, ere they reached Mayence, by the hand of his affectionate domestic.
At this town they embarked, on the 8th June, in the Rhine steam-boat; and while they descended the famous river through its most picturesque region, he seemed to enjoy, though he said nothing the perhaps unrivalled scenery it presented to him. His eye was fixed on the successive crags and castles, and ruined monasteries, each of which had been celebrated in some German ballad familiar to his ear, and all of them blended in the immortal panorama of Childe Harold. But so soon as they had passed Cologne, and nothing but flat shores, and here and there, a grove of poplars and a village spire were offered to the vision, the weight of misery sunk down again upon him. It was near Nimeguen, on the evening of the 9th, that he sustained another serious attack of apoplexy, combined with paralysis. Nicolson's lancet restored, after the lapse of some minutes, the signs of animation; but this was the crowning blow. Next day he insisted on resuming journey, and on the 11th was lifted into an English steamboat at Rotterdam.
He reached London about six o'clock on the evening of Wednesday the 13th of June. Owing to the unexpected rapidity of the journey, his eldest daughter had had no notice when to expect him; and fearful of finding her either out of town, or unprepared to receive him and his attendants under her roof, Charles Scott drove to the St James's hotel in Jermyn Street, and established his quarters there before he set out in quest of his sister and myself. When we reached the hotel, he recognised us with many marks of tenderness, but signified that he was totally exhausted; so no attempt was made to remove him further, and he was put to bed immediately. Dr Fergusson saw him the same night, and next day Sir Henry Halford and Dr Holland saw him also; and during the next three weeks the two latter visited him daily, while Fergusson was scarcely absent from his pillow. The Major was soon on the spot. To his children, all assembled once more about him, he repeatedly gave his blessing in a very solemn manner, as if expecting immediate death; but he was never in a condition for conversation, and sunk either into sleep or delirious stupor upon the slightest effort.
Mrs Thomas Scott came to town as soon as she heard of his arrival, and remained to help us. She was more than once recognised and thanked. Mr Cadell, too, arrived from Edinburgh, to render any assistance in his power. I think Sir Walter saw no other of his friends except Mr John Richardson, and him only once. As usual, he woke up at the sound of a familiar voice, and made an attempt to put forth his hand, but it dropped powerless, and he said, with a smile---``Excuse my hand.'' Richardson made a struggle to suppress his emotion, and, after a moment, got out something about Abbotsford and the woods, which he had happened to see shortly before. The eye brightened, and he said---``How does Kirklands get on?'' Mr Richardson had lately purchased the estate so called in Teviotdale, and Sir Walter had left him busied with plans of building. His friend told him that his new house was begun, and that the Marquis of Lothian had very kindly lent him one of his own, meantime, in its vicinity. ``Ay, Lord Lothian is a good man,'' said Sir Walter; ``he is a man from whom one may receive a favour, and that's saying a good deal for any man in these days.'' The stupor then sank back upon him, and Richardson never heard his voice again. This state of things continued till the beginning of July.
During these melancholy weeks, great interest and sympathy were manifested. Allan Cunningham mentions that, walking home late one night, he found several working-men standing together at the corner of Jermyn Street, and one of them asked him---as if there was but one deathbed in London---``Do you know, sir, if this is the street where he is lying?'' The inquiries both at the hotel and at my house were incessant; and I think there was hardly a member of the royal family who did not send every day. The newspapers teemed with paragraphs about Sir Walter; and one of these, it appears, threw out a suggestion that his travels had exhausted his pecuniary resources, and that if he were capable of reflection at all, cares of that sort might probably harass his pillow. This paragraph came from a very ill-informed, but, I dare say, a well-meaning quarter. It caught the attention of some members of the Government; and, in consequence, I received a private communication, to the effect that, if the case were as stated, Sir Walter's family had only to say what sum would relieve him from embarrassment, and it would be immediately advanced by the Treasury. The then Paymaster of the Forces, Lord John Russell, had the delicacy to convey this message through a lady with whose friendship he knew us to be honoured---the Honourable Catherine Arden. We expressed our grateful sense of his politeness, and of the liberality of the Government, and I now beg leave to do so once more;---but his Lordship was of course informed that Sir Walter Scott was not situated as the journalist had represented.
Dr Fergusson's Memorandum on Jermyn Street will be acceptable to the reader. He says---``When I saw Sir Walter, he was lying in the second floor back-room of the St James's Hotel, in a state of stupor, from which, however, he could be roused for a moment by being addressed, and then he recognised those about him, but immediately relapsed. I think I never saw anything more magnificent than the symmetry of his colossal bust, as he lay on the pillow with his chest and neck exposed. During the time he was in Jermyn Street he was calm but never collected, and in general either in absolute stupor or in a waking dream. He never seemed to know where he was, but imagined himself to be still in the steam-boat. The rattling of carriages, and the noises of the street, sometimes disturbed this illusion---and then he fancied himself at the polling-booth of Jedburgh, where he had been insulted and stoned. During the whole of this period of apparent helplessness, the great features of his character could not be mistaken. He always exhibited great self-possession, and acted his part with wonderful power whenever visited, though he relapsed the next moment into the stupor from which strange voices had roused him. A gentleman [Mr Richardson] stumbled over a chair in his dark room;---he immediately started up, and though unconscious that it was a friend, expressed as much concern and feeling as if he had never been labouring under the irritability of disease. It was impossible even for those who most constantly saw and waited on him in his then deplorable condition, to relax from the habitual deference which he had always inspired. He expressed his will as determinedly as ever, and enforced it with the same apt and good-natured irony as he was wont to use.
``At length his constant yearning to return to Abbotsford induced his physicians to consent to his removal; and the moment this was notified to him, it seemed to infuse new vigour into his frame. It was on a calm, clear afternoon of the 7th July, that every preparation was made for his embarkation on board the steam-boat. He was placed on a chair by his faithful servant Nicolson, half-dressed, and loosely wrapped in a quilted dressing-gown. He requested Lockhart and myself to wheel him towards the light of the open window, and we both remarked the vigorous lustre of his eye. He sat there silently gazing on space for more than half an hour, apparently wholly occupied with his own thoughts, and having no distinct perception of where he was, or how he came there. He suffered himself to be lifted into his carriage, which was surrounded by a crowd, among whom were many gentlemen on horseback, who had loitered about to gaze on the scene. His children were deeply affected, and Mrs Lockhart trembled from head to foot, and wept bitterly. Thus surrounded by those nearest to him, he alone was unconscious of the cause or the depth of their grief, and while yet alive seemed to be carried to his grave.''
On this his last journey, Sir Walter was attended by his two daughters, Mr Cadell, and myself---and also by Dr Thomas Watson, who (it being impossible for Dr Fergusson to leave town at that moment) kindly undertook to see him safe at Abbotsford. We embarked in the James Watt steam-boat, the master of which (Captain John Jamieson), as well as the agents of the proprietors, made every arrangement in their power for the convenience of the invalid. The Captain gave up for Sir Walter's use his own private cabin, which was a separate erection---a sort of cottage on the deck; and he seemed unconscious, after laid in bed there, that any new removal had occurred. On arriving at Newhaven, late on the 9th, we found careful preparations made for his landing by the manager of the Shipping Company (Mr Hamilton)---and Sir Walter, prostrate in his carriage, was slung on shore, and conveyed from thence to Douglas's hotel, in St Andrew's Square, in the same complete apparent unconsciousness. Mrs Douglas had in former days been the Duke of Buccleuch's housekeeper at Bowhill, and she and her husband had also made the most suitable provision.
At a very early hour on the morning of Wednesday the 11th, we again placed him in his carriage, and he lay in the same torpid state during the first two stages on the road to Tweedside. But as we descended the vale of the Gala he began to gaze about him, and by degrees it was obvious that he was recognizing the features of that familiar landscape. Presently he murmured a name or two---``Gala Water, surely---Buckholm--- Torwoodlee.'' As we rounded the hill at Ladhope, and the outline of the Eildons burst on him, he became greatly excited; and, when turning himself on the couch, his eye caught at length his own towers at the distance of a mile, he sprang up with a cry of delight. The river being in flood, we had to go round a few miles by Melrose bridge; and during the time this occupied, his woods and house being within prospect, it required occasionally both Dr Watson's strength and mine, in addition to Nicolson's, to keep him in the carriage. After passing the bridge, the road for a couple of miles loses sight of Abbotsford, and he relapsed into his stupor; but on gaining the bank immediately above it, his excitement became again ungovernable.
Mr Laidlaw was waiting at the porch, and assisted us in lifting him into the dining-room, where his bed had been prepared. He sat bewildered for a few moments, and then resting his eye on Laidlaw, said---``Ha! Willie Laidlaw! O man, how often have I thought of you!'' By this time his dogs had assembled about his chair---they began to fawn upon him and lick his hands, and he alternately sobbed and smiled over them, until sleep oppressed him. Dr Watson having consulted on all things with Mr Clarkson of Melrose and his father, the good old ``Country Surgeon'' of Selkirk, resigned the patient to them, and returned to London. None of them could have any hope, but that of soothing irritation. Recovery was no longer to be thought of: but there might be _Euthanasia._
And yet something like a ray of hope did break in upon us next morning. Sir Walter awoke perfectly conscious where he was, and expressed an ardent wish to be carried out into his garden. We procured a Bath chair from Huntley Burn, and Laidlaw and I wheeled him out before his door, and up and down for some time on the turf, and among the rose-beds then in full bloom. The grand-children admired the new vehicle, and would be helping in their way to push it about. He sat in silence, smiling placidly on them and the dogs their companions, and now and then admiring the house, the screen of the garden, and the flowers and trees. By and by he conversed a little, very composedly, with us---said he was happy to be at home---that he felt better than he had ever done since he left it, and would perhaps disappoint the doctors after all. He then desired to be wheeled through his rooms, and we moved him leisurely for an hour or more up and down the hall and the great library:---``I have seen much,'' he kept saying, ``but nothing like my ain house---give me one turn more!'' He was gentle as an infant, and allowed himself to be put to bed again, the moment we told him that we thought he had had enough for one day.
Next morning he was still better. After again enjoying the Bath chair for perhaps a couple of hours out of doors, he desired to be drawn into the library, and placed by the central window, that he might look down upon the Tweed. Here he expressed a wish that I should read to him, and when I asked from what book, he said---``Need you ask? There is but one.'' I chose the 14th chapter of St John's Gospel; he listened with mild devotion, and said when I had done---``Well, this is a great comfort---I have followed you distinctly, and I feel as if I were yet to be myself again.'' In this placid frame he was again put to bed, and had many hours of soft slumber.
On the third day Mr Laidlaw and I again wheeled him about the small piece of lawn and shrubbery in front of the house for some time; and the weather being delightful, and all the richness of summer around him, he seemed to taste fully the balmy influences of nature. The sun getting very strong, we halted the chair in a shady corner, just within the verge of his verdant arcade around the court-wall; and breathing the coolness of the spot, he said, ``Read me some amusing thing---read me a bit of Crabbe.'' I brought out the first volume of his old favourite that I could lay hand on, and turned to what I remembered as one of his most favourite passages in it---the description of the arrival of the Players in the Borough. He listened with great interest, and also, as I soon perceived, with great curiosity. Every now and then he exclaimed, ``Capital---excellent---very good---Crabbe has lost nothing''---and we were too well satisfied that he considered himself as hearing a new production, when, chuckling over one couplet, he said ``Better and better---but how will poor Terry endure these cuts?'' I went on with the poet's terrible sarcasms upon the theatrical life, and he listened eagerly, muttering, ``Honest Dan!''---``Dan won't like this.'' At length I reached those lines---
``Sad happy race! soon raised and soon depressed, Your days all passed in jeopardy and jest: Poor without prudence, with afflictions vain, Not warned by misery, nor enriched by gain.''
``Shut the book,'' said Sir Walter---``I can't stand more of this---it will touch Terry to the very quick.''
On the morning of Sunday the 15th, he was again taken out into the little _pleasaunce,_ and got as far as his favourite terrace-walk between the garden and the river, from which he seemed to survey the valley and the hills with much satisfaction. On re-entering the house, he desired me to read to him from the New Testament, and after that he again called for a little of Crabbe; but whatever I selected from that poet seemed to be listened to as if it made part of some new volume published while he was in Italy. He attended with this sense of novelty even to the tale of Ph<oe>be Dawson, which not many months before he could have repeated every line of, and which I chose for one of these reading, because, as is known to every one, it had formed the last solace of Mr Fox's death-bed. On the contrary, his recollection of whatever I read from the Bible appeared to be lively; and in the afternoon, when we made his grandson, a child of six years, repeat some of Dr Watts' hymns by his chair, he seemed also to remember them perfectly. That evening he heard the Church service, and when I was about to close the book, said---``Why do you omit the visitation for the sick?''---which I added accordingly.
On Monday he remained in bed, and seemed extremely feeble; but after breakfast on Tuesday the 17th he appeared revived somewhat, and was again wheeled about on the turf. Presently he fell asleep in his chair, and after dozing for perhaps half an hour, started awake, and shaking the plaids we had put about him from off his shoulders, said---``This is sad idleness. I shall forget what I have been thinking of, if I don't set it down now. Take me into my own room, and fetch the keys of my desk.'' He repeated this so earnestly, that we could not refuse; his daughters went into his study, opened his writing-desk, and laid paper and pens in the usual order, and I then moved him through the hall and into the spot where he had always been accustomed to work. When the chair was placed at the desk, and he found himself in the old position, he smiled and thanked us, and said---``Now give me my pen, and leave me for a little to myself,'' Sophia put the pen into his hand, and he endeavoured to close his fingers upon it, but they refused their office---it dropped on the paper. He sank back among his pillows, silent tears rolling down his cheeks; but composing himself by and by, motioned to me to wheel him out of doors again. Laidlaw met us at the porch, and took his turn of the chair. Sir Walter, after a little while, again dropt into slumber. When he was awaking, Laidlaw said to me ``Sir Walter has had a little repose.''---``No, Willie,'' said he---``no repose for Sir Walter but in the grave.'' The tears again rushed from his eyes. ``Friends,'' said he, ``don't let me expose myself---get me to bed---that's the only place.''
With this scene ended our glimpse of daylight. Sir Walter never, I think, left his room afterwards, and hardly his bed, except for an hour or two in the middle of the day; and after another week he was unable even for this. During a few days he was in a state of painful irritation--- and I saw realized all that he had himself prefigured in his description of the meeting between Chrystal Croftangry and his paralytic friend. Dr Ross came out from Edinburgh, bringing with him his wife, one of the dearest _nieces_ of the Clerks' table. Sir Walter with some difficulty recognized the Doctor; but on hearing Mrs Ross's voice, exclaimed at once---``Isn't that Kate Hume?'' These kind friends remained for two or three days with us. Clarkson's lancet was pronounced necessary, and the relief it afforded was, I am happy to say, very effectual.
After this he declined daily, but still there was great strength to be wasted, and the process was long. He seemed, however, to suffer no bodily pain; and his mind, though hopelessly obscured, appeared, when there was any symptom of consciousness, to be dwelling, with rare exceptions, on serious and solemn things; the accent of the voice grave, sometimes awful, but never querulous, and very seldom indicative of any angry or resentful thoughts. Now and then he imagined himself to be administering justice as Sheriff; and once or twice he seemed to be ordering Tom Purdie about trees. A few times also, I am sorry to say, we could perceive that his fancy was at Jedburgh---and _Burk Sir Walter_ escaped him in a melancholy tone. But commonly whatever we could follow him in was a fragment of the Bible (especially the Prophecies of Isaiah and the Book of Job), or some petition in the litany, or a verse of some psalm (in the old Scotch metrical version), or of some of the magnificent hymns of the Romish ritual, in which he had always delighted, but which probably hung on his memory now in connexion with the Church services he had attended while in Italy. We very often heard distinctly the cadence of the _Dies Ir<ae>;_ and I think the very last _stanza_ that we could make out, was the first of a still greater favourite:---
``Stabat Mater dolorosa, Juxta crucem lachrymosa, Dum pendebat Filius.''
All this time he continued to recognise his daughters, Laidlaw, and myself, whenever we spoke to him---and received every attention with a most touching thankfulness. Mr Clarkson, too, was always saluted with the old courtesy, though the cloud opened but a moment for him to do so. Most truly might it be said that the gentleman survived the genius.
After two or three weeks had passed in this way, I was obliged to leave Sir Walter for a single day, and go into Edinburgh to transact business, on his account, with Mr Henry Cockburn (now Lord Cockburn), then Solicitor-General for Scotland. The Scotch Reform Bill threw a great burden of new duties and responsibilities upon the Sheriffs; and Scott's Sheriff-substitute, the Laird of Raeburn, not having been regularly educated for the law, found himself unable to encounter these novelties, especially as regarded the registration of voters, and other details connected with the recent enlargement of the electoral franchise. Under such circumstances, as no one but the Sheriff could appoint another Substitute, it became necessary for Sir Walter's family to communicate the state he was in in a formal manner to the Law Officers of the Crown; and the Lord Advocate (Mr Jeffrey), in consequence, introduced and carried through Parliament a short bill (2 and 3 William IV. cap. 101), authorizing the Government to appoint a new Sheriff of Selkirkshire, ``during the incapacity or non-resignation of Sir Walter Scott.'' It was on this bill that the Solicitor-General had expressed a wish to converse with me: but there was little to be said, as the temporary nature of the new appointment gave no occasion for any pecuniary question; and, if that had been otherwise, the circumstances of the case would have rendered Sir Walter's family entirely indifferent upon such a subject. There can be no doubt, that if he had recovered in so far as to be capable of executing a resignation, the Government would have considered it just to reward thirty-two years' faithful services by a retired allowance equivalent to his salary---and as little, that the Government would have had sincere satisfaction in settling that matter in the shape most acceptable to himself. And perhaps (though I feel that it is scarcely worth while) I may as well here express my regret that a statement highly unjust and injurious should have found its way into the pages of some of Sir Walter's biographers. These writers have thought fit to insinuate that there was a want of courtesy and respect on the part of the Lord Advocate, and the other official persons connected with this arrangement. On the contrary, nothing could be more handsome and delicate than the whole of their conduct in it; Mr Cockburn could not have entered into the case with greater feeling and tenderness, had it concerned a brother of his own; and when Mr Jeffrey introduced his bill in the House of Commons, he used language so graceful and touching, that both Sir Robert Peel and Mr Croker went across the House to thank him cordially for it.
Perceiving, towards the close of August, that the end was near, and thinking it very likely that Abbotsford might soon undergo many changes, and myself, at all events, never see it again, I felt a desire to have some image preserved of the interior apartments as occupied by their founder, and invited from Edinburgh for that purpose Sir Walter's dear friend, Sir William Allan,---whose presence, I well knew, would even under the circumstances of that time be nowise troublesome to any of the family, but the contrary in all respects. Sir William willingly complied, and executed a series of beautiful drawings. He also shared our watchings, and witnessed all but the last moments. Sir Walter's cousins, the ladies of Ashestiel, came down frequently, for a day or two at a time, and did whatever sisterly affection could prompt, both for the sufferer and his daughters. Miss Mary Scott (daughter of his uncle Thomas), and Mrs Scott of Harden, did the like.
As I was dressing on the morning of Monday the 17th of September, Nicolson came into my room, and told me that his master had awoke in a state of composure and consciousness, and wished to see me immediately. I found him entirely himself, though in the last extreme of feebleness. His eye was clear and calm---every trace of the wild fire of delirium extinguished. ``Lockhart,'' he said, ``I may have but a minute to speak to you. My dear, be a good man---be virtuous---be religious---be a good man. Nothing else will give you any comfort when you come to lie here.''---He paused, and I said---``Shall I send for Sophia and Anne?''---``No,'' said he, ``don't disturb them. Poor souls! I know they were up all night---God bless you all.''---With this he sunk into a very tranquil sleep, and, indeed, he scarcely afterwards gave any sign of consciousness, except for an instant on the arrival of his sons.
They, on learning that the scene was about to close, obtained anew leave of absence from their posts, and both reached Abbotsford on the 19th. About half-past one =p.m.= on the 21st of September, Sir Walter breathed his last, in the presence of all his children. It was a beautiful day---so warm, that every window was wide open--- and so perfectly still, that the sound of all others most delicious to his ear, the gentle ripple of the Tweed over its pebbles, was distinctly audible as we knelt around the bed, and his eldest son kissed and closed his eyes. No sculptor ever modelled a more majestic image of repose.
Almost every newspaper that announced this event in Scotland, and many in England, had the signs of mourning usual on the demise of a king. With hardly an exception, the voice was that of universal, unmixed grief and veneration.
It was considered due to Sir Walter's physicians, and to the public, that the nature of his malady should be distinctly ascertained. The result was, that there appeared the traces of a very slight mollification in one part of the substance of the brain.
His funeral was conducted in an unostentatious manner, but the attendance was very great. Few of his old friends then in Scotland were absent,---and many, both friends and strangers, came from a great distance. His domestics and foresters made it their petition that no hireling hand might assist in carrying his remains. They themselves bore the coffin to the hearse, and from the hearse to the grave. The pall-bearers were his sons, his son-in-law, and his little grandson; his cousins, Charles Scott of Nesbitt, James Scott of Jedburgh (sons to his uncle Thomas), William Scott of Raeburn, Robert Rutherford, Clerk to the Signet, Colonel (now Lieut.-General Sir James) Russell of Ashestiel, William Keith (brother to Sir Alexander Keith of Ravelstone); and the chief of his family, Hugh Scott of Harden, afterwards Lord Polwarth.
When the company were assembled, according to the usual Scotch fashion, prayers were offered up by the Very Reverend Dr Baird, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, and by the Reverend Dr David Dickson, Minister of St Cuthbert's, who both expatiated in a very striking manner on the virtuous example of the deceased.
The court-yard and all the precincts of Abbotsford were crowded with uncovered spectators as the procession was arranged; and as it advanced through Darnick and Melrose, and the adjacent villages, the whole population appeared at their doors in like manner---almost all in black. The train of carriages extended, I understand, over more than a mile; the yeomanry followed in great numbers on horseback; and it was late in the day ere we reached Dryburgh. Some accident, it was observed, had caused the hearse to halt for several minutes on the summit of the hill at Bernerside---exactly where a prospect of remarkable richness opens, and where Sir Walter had always been accustomed to rein up his horse. The day was dark and lowering and the wind high.
The wide enclosure at the Abbey of Dryburgh was thronged with old and young; and when the coffin was taken from the hearse, and again laid on the shoulders of the afflicted serving-men, one deep sob burst from a thousand lips. Mr Archdeacon Williams read the Burial Service of the Church of England; and thus, about half-past five o'clock in the evening of Wednesday the 26th September 1832, the remains of =Sir Walter Scott= were laid by the side of his wife in the sepulchre of his ancestors ---``_in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself._''
We read in Solomon---``The heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy;''---and a wise poet of our own time thus beautifully expands the saying:---
``Why should we faint and fear to live alone, Since all alone, so Heaven has willed, we die; Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own, Knows half the reasons why we smile and sigh?''<*>
* Keble's _Christian Year,_ p. 261.
Such considerations have always induced me to regard with small respect any attempt to delineate fully and exactly any human being's character. I distrust, even in very humble cases, our capacity for judging our neighbour fairly; and I cannot but pity the presumption that must swell in the heart and brain of any ordinary brother of the race, when he dares to pronounce _ex cathedr<a^>_ on the whole structure and complexion of a great mind, from the comparatively narrow and scanty materials which can by possibility have been placed before him. Nor is the difficulty to my view lessened,---perhaps it is rather increased, when the great man is a great artist. It is true, that many of the feelings common to our nature can only be expressed adequately, and that some of the finest of them can only be expressed at all, in the language of art; and more especially in the language of poetry. But it is equally true, that high and sane art never attempts to express that for which the artist does not claim and expect general sympathy; and however much of what we had thought to be our own secrets he ventures to give shape to, it becomes us, I can never help believing to rest convinced that there remained a world of deeper mysteries to which the dignity of genius would refuse any utterance. I have therefore endeavoured to lay before the reader those parts of Sir Walter's character to which we have access, as they were indicated in his sayings and doings through the long series of his years;---but refrained from obtruding almost anything of comment. It was my wish to let the character develope itself: and now I am not going to ``peep and botanize'' upon his grave. But a few general observations will be forgiven---perhaps expected.
I believe that if the history of any one family in upper or middle life could be faithfully written, it might be as generally interesting, and as permanently useful, as that of any nation, however great and renowned. But literature has never produced any worthy book of this class, and probably it never will. The only lineages in which we can pretend to read personal character far back, with any distinctness, are those of kings and princes, and a few noble houses of the first eminence; and it hardly needed Swift's biting satire to satisfy the student of the past, that the very highest pedigrees are as uncertain as the very lowest. We flatter the reigning monarch, or his haughtier satellite, by tracing in their lineaments the conqueror or legislator of a former century. But call up the dead, according to the Dean's incantation, and we might have the real ancestor in some chamberlain, confessor, or musician. Scott himself delighted, perhaps above all other books, in such as approximate to the character of good family histories,--- as for example, Godscroft's House of Douglas and Angus, and the Memorie of the Somervilles,---which last is, as far as I know, the best of its class in any language; and his reprint of the trivial ``Memorials'' of the Haliburtons, to whose dust he is now gathered, was but one of a thousand indications of his anxiety to realize his own ancestory to his imagination. No testamentary deed, instrument of contract, or entry in a parish register seemed valueless to him, if it bore in any manner, however obscure or distant, on the personal history of any of his ascertainable predecessors. The chronicles of the race furnished the fire-side talk to which he listened in infancy at Smailholm, and his first rhymes where those of Satchels. His physical infirmity was reconciled to him, even dignified perhaps, by tracing it back to forefathers who acquired famousness in their own way, in spite of such disadvantages. These studies led by easy and inevitable links to those of the history of his province generally, and then of his native kingdom. The lamp of his zeal burnt on brighter and brighter amidst the dust of parchments; his love and pride vivified whatever he hung over in these dim records, and patient antiquarianism, long brooding and meditating, became gloriously transmuted into the winged spirit of national poetry.
Whatever he had in himself, he would fain have made out a hereditary claim for. He often spoke both seriously and sportively on the subject. He had assembled about him in his ``own great parlour,'' as he called it---the room in which he died---all the pictures of his ancestors that he could come by; and in his most genial evening mood he seemed never to weary of perusing them. The Cavalier of Killiecrankie---brave, faithful, learned, and romantic old ``Beardie,'' a determined but melancholy countenance ---was often surveyed with a repetition of the solitary Latin rhyme of his Vow. He had, of course, no portraits of the elder heroes of Harden to lecture upon; but a skilful hand had supplied the same wall with a fanciful delineation of the rough wooing of ``Meikle-mouthed Meg;'' and the only historical picture, properly so called, that he ever bespoke, was to be taken (for it was never executed) from the Raid o' the Redswire, when
``The Rutherfords with great renown, Convoyed the town o' Jedbrugh out.''
The ardent but sagacious ``goodman of Sandyknowe,'' hangs by the side of his father, Bearded Wat; and when moralizing in his latter day over the doubtful condition of his ultimate fortunes, Sir Walter would point to ``Honest Robin,'' and say, ``Blood will out:---my building and planting was but his buying the hunter before he stocked his sheep-walk over again.'' ``And yet,'' I once heard him say, glancing to the likeness of his own staid calculating father, ``it was a wonder, too---for I have a thread of the attorney in me.'' And so no doubt he had; for the ``elements'' were mingled in him curiously as well as ``gently.''
An imagination such as his, concentrating its day-dreams on things of this order, soon shaped out a world of its own---to which it would fain accommodate the real one. The love of his country became indeed a passion; no knight ever tilted for his mistress more willingly than he would have bled and died to preserve even the airiest surviving nothing of her antique pretensions for Scotland. But the Scotland of his affections had the clan Scott for her kernal. Next, and almost equal to the throne, was Buccleuch. Fancy rebuilt and prodigally embellished the whole system of the social existence of the old time in which the clansman (wherever there were clans) acknowledged practically no sovereign but his chief. The author of ``the Lay'' would rather have seen his heir carry the Banner of Bellenden gallantly at a foot-ball match on Carterhaugh, than he would have heard that the boy had attained the highest honours of the first university in Europe. His original pride was to be an acknowledged member of one of the ``honourable families'' whose progenitors had been celebrated by Satchels for following this banner in blind obedience to the patriarchal leader; his first and last worldly ambition was to be himself the founder of a distinct branch; he desired to plant a lasting root, and dreamt not of personal fame, but of long distant generations rejoicing in the name of ``Scott of Abbotsford.'' By this idea all his reveries---all his aspirations--- all his plans and efforts, were overshadowed and controlled. The great object and end only rose into clearer day-light, and swelled into more substantial dimensions, as public applause strengthened his confidence in his own powers and faculties; and when he had reached the summit of universal and unrivalled honour, he clung to his first love with the faith of a Paladin. It is easy enough to smile at all this; many will not understand it, and some who do may pity it. But it was at least a different thing from the modern vulgar ambition of amassing a fortune and investing it in land. The lordliest vision of acres would have had little charm for him, unless they were situated on Ettrick or Yarrow, or in
------``Pleasant Tiviedale, Fast by the river Tweed''------
---somewhere within the primeval territory of ``the Rough Clan.''
His worldly ambition was thus grafted on that ardent feeling for blood and kindred which was the great redeeming element in the social life of what we call the middle ages; and---though no man estimated the solid advantages of modern existence more justly than he did, when, restraining his fancy, he exercised his graver faculties on the comparison---it was the natural effect of the studies he devoted himself to and rose by, to indispose him for dwelling on the sober results of judgment and reason in all such matters. What a striking passage that is in one of his letters, where he declines to write a biography of Queen Mary, ``because his opinion was contrary to his feeling!'' But he confesses the same of his Jacobitism and yet how eagerly does he seem to have grasped at the shadow, however false and futile, under which he chose to see the means of reconciling his Jacobitism with loyalty to the reigning monarch who befriended him? We find him, over and over again, alluding to George IV. as acquiring a title _de jure_ on the death of the poor Cardinal of York! Yet who could have known better that whatever rights the exiled males of the Stuart line ever possessed, must have remained entire with their female descendants?
The same resolution to give imagination her scope, and always in favour of antiquity, is the ruling principle and charm of all his best writings. So also with all the details of his building at Abbotsford, and of his hospitable existence, when he had fairly completed his ``romance in stone and lime;''---every outline copied from some old baronial edifice in Scotland---every roof and window blazoned with clan bearings, or the lion rampant gules, or the heads of the ancient Stuart kings. He wished to revive the interior life of the castles he had emulated ---their wide open joyous reception of all corners, but especially of kinsmen and neighbours---ballads and pibrochs to enliven flowing bowls and _quaighs_---jolly hunting fields in which yeoman and gentleman might ride side by side---and mirthful dances, where no Sir Piercy Shafton need blush to lead out the miller's daughter. In the brightest meridian of his genius and fame, this was his _beau ideal._ There was much kindness surely in such ambition: ---in spite of the apparent contradiction in terms, was there not really much humility about it?
To this ambition we owe the gigantic monuments of Scott's genius; and to the kindly feelings out of which his ambition grew, grew also his connexion with merchandise. I need not recur to that sad and complicated chapter. Nor, perhaps, need I offer any more speculations, by way of explaining, and reconciling to his previous and subsequent history and demeanour, either the mystery in which he had chosen to wrap his commercial connexions from his most intimate friends, or the carelessness with which he abandoned these matters to the direction of inefficient colleagues. And yet I ought, I rather think, to have suggested to certain classes of my readers, at a much earlier stage, that no man could in former times be called either to the English or the Scottish Bar, who was known to have any direct interest in any commercial undertaking of any sort; and that the body of feelings or prejudices in which this regulation originated---(for though there might be sound reason for it besides, such undoubtedly was the main source)---prevailed in Scotland in Sir Walter's youth, to an extent of which the present generation may not easily form an adequate notion. In the minds of the ``northern _noblesse de la robe,_'' as they are styled in Redgauntlet, such feelings had wide and potent authority; insomuch that I can understand perfectly how Scott, even after he ceased to practise at the Bar, being still a Sheriff, and a member of the Faculty of Advocates, should have shrunk sensitively from the idea of having his alliance with a trading firm revealed among his comrades of the gown. And, moreover, the practice of mystery is, perhaps, of all practices, the one most likely to grow into a habit: secret breeds secret; and I ascribe, after all, the long silence about Waverley to the matured influence of this habit, as much as to any of the motives which the author has thought fit to assign in his late confessions.
But was there not, in fact, something that lay far deeper than a mere professional prejudice? Among the many things in Scott's Diaries which cast strong light upon the previous part of his history, I must number the reluctance which he confesses himself to have felt towards the resumption of the day's proper appointed task---however willing, nay eager to labour sedulously on something else. We know how gallantly he combated it in the general---but these precious Diaries themselves are not the least pregnant proofs of the extent to which it very often prevailed ---for an hour, or two at least, if not for the day. I think this, if we were to go no farther, might help us somewhat in understanding the neglect about superintending ledgers and bill books; and, consequently, the rashness about buying land, building, and the like. But to what are we to ascribe the origin of this reluctance for accurate and minute investigation and transaction of business, so important to himself, in a man possessing such extraordinary sagacity, and exercising it every day with admirable regularity and precision, in the various capacities of the head of a family ---the friend---the magistrate the most distinguished citizen of Edinburgh---beyond all comparison the most distinguished member of society that figured in his time in his native kingdom?
The whole system of conceptions and aspirations, of which his early active life was the exponent, resolves itself into a romantic idealization of Scottish aristocracy. He desired to secure for his descendants (for himself he had very soon acquired something infinitely more flattering to self---love and vanity) a decent and honourable middle station--- in a scheme of life so constituted originally, and which his fancy pictured as capable of being so revived, as to admit of the kindliest personal contact between (almost) the peasant at the plough, and the magnate with revenues rivalling the monarch's. It was the patriarchal ---the clan system, that he thought of; one that never prevailed even in Scotland, within the historical period that is to say, except in the Highlands, and in his own dear Border-land. This system knew nothing of commerce as little certainly of literature beyond the raid-ballad of the wandering harper,---
``High placed in hall---a welcome guest.''
His filial reverence of imagination shrunk from marring the antique, if barbarous, simplicity. I suspect that at the highest elevation of his literary renown---when princes bowed to his name, and nations thrilled at it---he would have considered losing all that at a change of the wind, as nothing, compared to parting with his place as the Cadet of Harden and Clansman of Buccleuch, who had, no matter by what means, reached such a position, that when a notion arose of embodying ``a Buccleuch legion,'' not a Scott in the Forest would have thought it otherwise than natural for _Abbotsford_ to be one of the field-officers. I can, therefore, understand that he may have, from the very first, exerted the dispensing power of imagination very liberally, in virtually absolving himself from dwelling on the wood of which his ladder was to be constructed. Enough was said in a preceding chapter of the obvious fact, that the author of such a series of romances as his, must have, to all intents and purposes, lived more than half his life in worlds purely fantastic. In one of the last obscure and faltering pages of his Diary he says, that if any one asked him how much of his thought was occupied by the novel then in hand, the answer would have been, that in one sense it never occupied him except when the amanuensis sat before him, but that in another it was never five minutes out of his head. Such, I have no doubt, the case had always been. But I must be excused from doubting whether, when the substantive fiction actually in process of manufacture was absent from his mind, the space was often or voluntarily occupied (no positive external duty interposing) upon the real practical worldly position and business of the Clerk of Session---of the Sheriff,---least of all of the printer or the bookseller. The sum is, if I read him aright, that he was always willing, in his ruminative moods, to veil, if possible, from his own optics the kind of machinery by which alone he had found the means of attaining his darling objects. Having acquired a perhaps unparalleled power over the direction of scarcely paralleled faculties, he chose to exert his power in this manner. On no other supposition can I find his history intelligible;---I mean, of course, the great obvious and marking facts of his history; for I hope I have sufficiently disclaimed all pretension to a thorough-going analysis. He appears to have studiously escaped from whatever could have interfered with his own enjoyment--- to have revelled in the fair results, and waved the wand of obliterating magic over all besides; and persisted so long, that (like the sorcerer he celebrates) he became the dupe of his own delusions. It is thus that (not forgetting the subsidiary influence of professional Edinburgh prejudices) I am inclined, on the whole, to account for his initiation in the practice of mystery---a thing, at first sight, so alien from the frank, open, generous nature of a man, than whom none ever had or deserved to have more real friends.
The indulgence cost him very dear. It ruined his fortunes--- but I can have no doubt that it did worse than that. I cannot suppose that a nature like his was fettered and shut up in this way without suffering very severely from the ``cold obstruction.'' There must have been a continual ``insurrection'' in his ``state of man;'' and, above all, I doubt not that what gave him the bitterest pain in the hour of his calamities, was the feeling of compunction with which he then found himself obliged to stand before those with whom he had, through life, cultivated brotherly friendship, convicted of having kept his heart closed to them on what they could not but suppose to have been the chief subjects of his thought and anxiety, in times when they withheld nothing from him. These, perhaps, were the ``written troubles'' that had been cut deepest into his brain. I think they were, and believe it the more, because it was never acknowledged.
If he had erred in the primary indulgence out of which this sprang, he at least made noble atonement. During the most energetic years of manhood he laboured with one prize in view; and he had just grasped it, as he fancied, securely, when all at once the vision was dissipated: he found himself naked and desolate as Job. How he nerved himself against the storm---how he felt and how he resisted it---how soberly, steadily, and resolvedly he contemplated the possibility of yet, by redoubled exertions, in so far retrieving his fortunes, as that no man should lose by having trusted those for whom he had been pledged--- how well he kept his vow, and what price it cost him to do so---all this the reader, I doubt not, appreciates fully. It seems to me that strength of character was never put to a severer test than when, for labours of love, such as his had hitherto almost always been---the pleasant exertion of genius for the attainment of ends that owed all their dignity and beauty to a poetical fancy---there came to be substituted the iron pertinacity of daily and nightly toil, in the discharge of a duty which there was nothing but the sense of chivalrous honour to make stringent. It is the fond indulgence of gay fancy in all the previous story that gives its true value and dignity to the voluntary agony of the sequel. when, indeed, he appears
------``Sapiens, sibique imperiosus; Quem neque pauperies, neque mors, neque vincula terrent; Responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores, Fortis; et in seipso totus, teres atque rotundus, Externi ne quid valeat per l<ae>ve morari In quent manca ruit semper Fortuna.''
The attentive reader will not deny that every syllable of this proud _ideal_ has been justified to the letter. But though he boasted of stoicism, his heroism was something far better than the stoic's; for it was not founded on a haughty trampling down of all delicate and tender thoughts and feelings. He lays his heart bare in his Diary; and we there read, in characters that will never die, how the sternest resolution of a philosopher may be at once quickened and adorned by the gentlest impulses of that spirit of love, which alone makes poetry the angel of life. This is the moment in which posterity will desire to fix his portraiture. But the noble exhibition was not a fleeting one; it was not that a robust mind elevated itself by a fierce effort for the crisis of an hour. The martyrdom lasted with his days; and if it shortened them, let us remember his own immortal words,---
``Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife, To all the sensual world proclaim--- One crowded hour of glorious life Is worth an age without a name.''
For the rest, I presume, it will be allowed that no human character, which we have the opportunity of studying with equal minuteness, had fewer faults mixed up in its texture. The grand virtue of fortitude, the basis of all others, was never displayed in higher perfection than in him; and it was, as perhaps true courage always is, combined with an equally admirable spirit of kindness and humanity. His pride, if we must call it so, undebased by the least tincture of mere vanity, was intertwined with a most exquisite charity, and was not inconsistent with true humility. If ever the principle of kindliness was incarnated in a mere man, it was in him; and real kindliness can never be but modest. In the social relations of life, where men are most effectually tried, no spot can be detected in him. He was a patient, dutiful, reverent son---; a generous, compassionate, tender husband; an honest, careful, and most affectionate father. Never was a more virtuous or a happier fireside than his. The influence of his mighty genius shadowed it imperceptibly; his calm good sense, and his angelic sweetness of heart and temper, regulated and softened a strict but paternal discipline. His children, as they grew up, understood by degrees the high privilege of their birth; but the profoundest sense of his greatness never disturbed their confidence in his goodness. The buoyant play of his spirits made him sit young among the young; parent and son seemed to live in brotherhood together; and the chivalry of his imagination threw a certain air of courteous gallantry into his relations with his daughters, which gave a very peculiar grace to the fondness of their intercourse. Though there could not be a gentler mother than Lady Scott, on those delicate occasions most interesting to young ladies, they always made their father the first confidant.
Perhaps the most touching evidence of the lasting tenderness of his early domestic feelings was exhibited to his executors, when they opened his repositories in search of his testament, the evening after his burial. On lifting up his desk, we found arranged in careful order a series of little objects, which had obviously been so placed there that his eye might rest on them every morning before he began his tasks. These were the old-fashioned boxes that had garnished his mother's toilet, when he, a sickly child, slept in her dressing-room---the silver taper-stand which the young advocate had bought for her with his first five-guinea fee---a row of small packets inscribed with her hand, and containing the hair of those of her offspring that had died before her---his father's snuff-box and etui-case---and more things of the like sort, recalling the ``old familiar faces.'' The same feeling was apparent in all the arrangement of his private apartment. Pictures of his father and mother were the only ones in his dressing-room. The clumsy antique cabinets that stood there, things of a very different class from the beautiful and costly productions in the public rooms below, had all belonged to the furniture of George's Square. Even his father's rickety washing-stand, with all its cramped appurtenances, though exceedingly unlike what a man of his very scrupulous habits would have selected in these days, kept its ground. The whole place seemed fitted up like a little chapel of the lares.
Such a son and parent could hardly fail in any of the other social relations. No man was a firmer or more indefatigable friend. I knew not that he ever lost one; and a few, with whom, during the energetic middle stage of life, from political differences or other accidental circumstances, he lived less familiarly, had all gathered round him, and renewed the full warmth of early affection in his later days. There was enough to dignify the connexion in their eyes; but nothing to chill it on either side. The imagination that so completely mastered him when he chose to give her the rein, was kept under most determined control when any of the positive obligations of active life came into question. A high and pure sense of duty presided over whatever he had to do as a citizen and a magistrate; and as a landlord, he considered his estate as an extension of his hearth.
Of his political creed, the many who hold a different one will of course say that it was the natural fruit of his poetical devotion to the mere prejudice of antiquity; and I am quite willing to allow that this must have had a great share in the matter---and that he himself would have been as little ashamed of the word _prejudice_ as of the word _antiquity._ Whenever Scotland could be considered as standing separate on any question from the rest of the empire, he was not only apt, but eager to embrace the opportunity of again rehoisting, as it were, the old signal of national independence; and I really doubt if any circumstance in his literary career gave him more personal satisfaction than the success of Malachi Malagrowther's Epistles. He confesses, however, in his Diary, that he was aware how much it became him to summon calm reason to battle imaginative prepossessions on this score; and I am not aware that they ever led him into any serious practical error. He delighted in letting his fancy run wild about ghosts and witches and horoscopes---but I venture to say, had he sat on the judicial bench a hundred years before he was born, no man would have been more certain to give juries sound direction in estimating the pretended evidence of supernatural occurrences of any sort; and I believe, in like manner, that had any Anti-English faction, civil or religious, sprung up in his own time in Scotland, he would have done more than any other living man could have hoped to do, for putting it down. He was on all practical points a steady, conscientious Tory of the school of William Pitt; who, though an anti-revolutionist, was certainly anything but an anti-reformer. He rejected the innovations, in the midst of which he died, as a revival, under alarmingly authoritative auspices, of the doctrines which had endangered Britain in his youth, and desolated Europe throughout his prime of manhood. May the gloomy anticipations which hung over his closing years be unfulfilled! But should they be so, let posterity remember that the warnings, and the resistance of his and other powerful intellects, were probably in that event the appointed means for averting a catastrophe in which, had England fallen, the whole civilized world must have been involved.
Sir Walter received a strictly religious education under the eye of parents, whose virtuous conduct was in unison with the principles they desired to instil into their children. From the great doctrines thus recommended he appears never to have swerved; but he must be numbered among the many who have incurred considerable risk of doing so, in consequence of the rigidity with which Presbyterian heads of families were used to enforce compliance with various relies of the puritanical observance. He took up, early in life, a repugnance to the mode in which public worship is conducted in the Scottish Establishment; and adhered to the sister Church, whose system of government and discipline he believed to be the fairest copy of the primitive polity, and whose litanies and collects he reverenced as having been transmitted to us from the age immediately succeeding that of the Apostles. The few passages in his Diaries in which he alludes to his own religious feelings and practices, shew clearly the sober, serene, and elevated frame of mind in which, he habitually contemplated man's relations with his Maker; the modesty with which he shrunk from inducing either the presumption of reason, or the extravagance of imagination, in the province of Faith; his humble reliance on the wisdom and mercy of God; and his firm belief that we are placed in this state of existence, not to speculate about another, but to prepare ourselves for it by active exertion of our intellectual faculties, and the constant cultivation of kindness and benevolence towards our fellow men.
But his moral, political, and religious character has sufficiently impressed itself upon the great body of his writings. He is indeed one of the few great authors of modern Europe who stand acquitted of having written a line that ought to have embittered the bed of death. His works teach the practical lessons of morality and Christianity in the most captivating form---unobtrusively and unaffectedly. And I think it is not refining too far to say, that in these works, as well as his whole demeanour as a man of letters, we may trace the happy effects---(enough has already been said as to some less fortunate and agreeable ones)---of his having written throughout with a view to something beyond the acquisition of personal fame. Perhaps no great poet ever made his literature so completely ancillary to the objects and purposes of practical life. However his imagination might expatiate, it was sure to rest over his home. The sanctities of domestic love and social duty were never forgotten; and the same circumstance that most ennobles all his triumphs, affords also the best apology for his errors.
From the first, his possession of a strong and brilliant genius was acknowledged; and the extent of it seems to have been guessed by others, before he was able to persuade himself that he had claim to a place among the masters of literature. The ease with which he did everything, deceived him; and he probably would never have done himself any measure of justice, even as compared with those of his own time, but for the fact, which no modesty could long veil, that whatever he did became immediately ``_the fashion,_''---the object of all but universal imitation. Even as to this, he was often ready to surmise that the priority of his own movement might have been matter of accident; and certainly nothing can mark the humility of his mind more strikingly than the style in which he discusses, in his Diary, the pretensions of the pigmies that swarmed and fretted in the deep wake of his mighty vessel. To the really original writers among his contemporaries he did full justice; no differences of theory or taste had the least power to disturb his candour. In some cases he rejoiced in feeling and expressing a cordial admiration, where he was met by, at best, a cold and grudging reciprocity: and in others, his generosity was proof against not only the private belief but the public exposure of envious malignity. Lord Byron might well say that Scott could be jealous of no one; but the immeasurable distance did not prevent many from being jealous of him.
His propensity to think too well of other men's works Sprung, of course, mainly, from his modesty and good-nature; but the brilliancy of his imagination greatly sustained the delusion. It unconsciously gave precision to the trembling outline, and life and warmth to the vapid colours before him. This was especially the case as to romances and novels; the scenes and characters in them were invested with so much of the ``light within,'' that he would close with regret volumes which, perhaps, no other person, except the diseased glutton of the circulating library, ever could get half through. Where colder critics saw only a schoolboy's hollowed turnip with its inch of tallow, he looked through the dazzling spray of his own fancy, and sometimes the clumsy toy seems to have swelled almost into ``the majesty of buried Denmark.''
These servile imitators are already forgotten, or will soon be so; but it is to be hoped that the spirit which breathes through his works may continue to act on our literature, and consequently on the character and manners of men. The race that grew up under the influence of that intellect can hardly be expected to appreciate fully their own obligations to it: and yet if we consider what were the tendencies of the minds and works that, but for his, must have been unrivalled in the power and opportunity to mould young ideas, we may picture to ourselves in some measure the magnitude of the debt we owe to a perpetual succession, through thirty years, of publications unapproached in charm, and all instilling a high and healthy code; a bracing, invigorating spirit; a contempt of mean passions, whether vindictive or voluptuous; humane charity, as distinct from moral laxity as from unsympathizing austerity; sagacity too deep for cynicism, and tenderness never degenerating into sentimentality: animated throughout in thought, opinion, feeling and style, by one and the same pure energetic principle---a pith and savour of manhood; appealing to whatever is good and loyal in our natures, and rebuking whatever is low and selfish.
Had Sir Walter never taken a direct part in politics as a writer, the visible bias of his mind on such subjects must have had a great influence; nay, the mere fact that such a man belonged to a particular side would have been a very important weight in the balance. His services, direct and indirect, towards repressing the revolutionary propensities of his age, were vast---far beyond the comprehension of vulgar politicians.
On the whole, I have no doubt that, the more the details of his personal history are revealed and studied, the more powerfully will that be found to inculcate the same great lessons with his works. Where else shall we be taught better how prosperity may be extended by beneficence, and adversity confronted by exertion? Where can we see the ``follies of the wise'' more strikingly rebuked, and a character more beautifully purified and exalted in the passage through affliction to death? I have lingered so long over the details, that I have, perhaps, become, even from that circumstance alone, less qualified than more rapid surveyors may he to seize the effect in the mass. But who does not feel that there is something very invigorating as well as elevating in the contemplation? His character seems to belong to some elder and stronger period than ours; and, indeed, I cannot help likening it to the architectural fabrics of other ages, which he most delighted in, where there is such a congregation of imagery and tracery, such endless indulgence of whim and fancy, the sublime blending, here with the beautiful, and there contrasted with the grotesque---half, perhaps, seen in the clear daylight, and half by rays tinged with the blazoned forms of the past---that one may be apt to get bewildered among the variety of particular impressions, and not feel either the unity of the grand design, or the height and solidness of the structure, until the door has been closed upon the labyrinth of aisles and shrines, and you survey it from a distance, but still within its shadow.
And yet as with whatever admiration his friends could not but regard him constantly when among them, the prevailing feeling was still love and affection, so is it now, and so must ever it be, as to his memory. It is not the privilege of every reader to have partaken in the friendship of =a great and good man;= but those who have not, may be assured that the sentiment, which the near homely contemplation of such a being inspires, is a thing entirely by itself.
And now to conclude.---In the year 1832, France and Germany, as well as Britain, had to mourn over their brightest intellects. Goethe shortly preceded Scott, and Cuvier followed him: and with these mighty lights were extinguished many others of no common order---among the rest, Crabbe and Mackintosh.
Of the persons closely connected with Sir Walter Scott, and often named accordingly in these pages, few remain. James Ballantyne was on his deathbed when he heard of his great friend and patron's death. The Ettrick Shepherd died in 1835; George Thomson, the happy ``Dominie Thompson,'' of the happy days of Abbotsford, in 1838; William Laidlaw, after 1832, had the care first of the Seaforth, and then of the Balnagowan estates, in Ross-shire, as factor: but being struck with paralysis in August 1844, retired to the farm-house of his excellent brother James at Contin, and died there in May 1845. Mr Morritt, to whom the larger Memoirs of his friend were inscribed, died at Rokeby on the 12th of July 1843: loved, venerated, never to be forgotten. William Clerk of Eldin, admired through life for talents and learning, of which he has left no monument, died at Edinburgh in January 1847.
But why extend this catalogue? Sixteen years have passed---the generation to which Scott belonged have been gathered to their fathers. Of his own children none now survive. Miss Anne Scott received at Christmas 1832 a grant of <L>200 per annum from the privy purse of King William IV. But her name did not long burden the pension list. Her constitution had been miserably shattered in the course of her long and painful attendance, first on her mother's illness, and then on her father's; and perhaps reverse of fortune, and disappointments of various sorts connected with that, had also heavy effect. From the day of Sir Walter's death, the strong stimulus of duty being lost, she too often looked and spoke like one
``Taking the measure of an unmade grave.''
After a brief interval of disordered health, she contracted a brain fever, which carried her off abruptly. She died in my house in the Regent's Park on the 25th June 1833, and her remains are placed in the New Cemetery in the Harrow Road.
The adjoining grave holds those of her nephew John Hugh Lockhart, who died 15th Dec. 1831; and also those of my wife Sophia, who expired after a long illness, which she bore with all possible meekness and fortitude, on the 17th of May 1837. Of all the race she most resembled<! p801> her father in countenance, in temper, and in manners.
Charles Scott, whose spotless worth had tenderly endeared him to the few who knew him intimately, and whose industry and accuracy were warmly acknowledged by his professional superiors, on Lord Berwick's recall from the Neapolitan Embassy resumed his duties as a clerk in the Foreign Office, and continued in that situation until the summer of 1841. Sir John M`Neill, G.C.B., being then entrusted with a special mission to the Court of Persia, carried Charles with him as attach<e'> and private secretary; but the journey on horseback through Asia Minor was trying for his never robust frame; and he contracted an inflammatory disorder, which cut him off at Teheran, almost immediately on his arrival there---October 28, 1841. He had reached his 36th year. His last hours had every help that kindness and skill could yield: for the Ambassador had for him the affection of an elder brother, and the physician, Dr George Joseph Bell (now also gone), had been his schoolfellow, and through life his friend. His funeral in that remote place was so attended as to mark the world-wide reputation of his father. By Sir John M`Neill's care, a small monument with a suitable inscription was erected over his untimely grave.
Walter, who succeeded to the baronetcy, proceeded to Madras in 1839, as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 15th Hussars; and subsequently commanded that regiment. He was beloved and esteemed in it by officers and men as much, I believe, as any gentleman ever was in any corps of the British army; and there was no officer of his rank who stood higher in the opinion of the heads of his profession. He had begun life with many advantages---a very handsome person, and great muscular strength---a sweet and even temper, and talents which in the son of any father but his would have been considered brilliant. His answers, when examined as a witness before a celebrated Court-Martial in Ireland in 1834, were indeed universally admired:---whoever had known his father, recognized the head and the heart: and in his letters from India, especially his descriptions of scenery and sport, there occur many passages which, for picturesque elect and easy playful humour, would have done no discredit even to his father's pen. Though neglectful of extra-professional studies in his earlier days, he had in after-life read extensively, and made himself, in every sense of the term, an accomplished man. The library for the soldiers of his corps was founded by him: the care of it was a principal occupation of his later years. His only legacy out of his family was one of <L>100 to this library; and his widow, well understanding what he felt towards it, directed that a similar sum should be added in her own name. Sir Walter having unwisely exposed himself in a tiger-hunt in August 1846, was on his return to his quarters at Bangalore, smitten with fever, which ended in liver disease, He was ordered to proceed to England, and died near the Cape of Good Hope, on board the ship Wellesley, February the 8th, 1847. Lady Scott conveyed his remains to this country, and they were interred in the paternal aisle at Dryburgh on the 4th of May following, in the presence of the few survivors of his father's friends and many of his own. Three officers who had served under him, and were accidentally in Britain, arrived from great distances to pay him the last homage of their respect. He had never had any child; and with him the baronetcy expired.
The children of illustrious men begin the world with great advantages, if they know how to use them: but this is hard and rare. There is risk that in the flush of youth, favourable to all illusions, the filial pride may be twisted to personal vanity. When experience checks this misgrowth, it is apt to do so with a severity that shall reach the best sources of moral and intellectual development. The great sons of great fathers have been few. It is usual to see their progeny smiled at through life for stilted pretension, or despised, at best pitied, for an inactive inglorious humility. The shadow of the oak is broad, but noble plants seldom rise within that circle. It was fortunate for the sons of Scott that his day darkened in the morning of theirs. The sudden calamity anticipated the natural effect of observation and the collisions of society and business. All weak unmanly folly was nipt in the bud, and soon withered to the root. They were both remarkably modest men, but in neither had the better stimulus of the blood been arrested. In aspect and manners they were unlike each other: the elder tall and athletic, the model of a cavalier, with a generous frankness: the other slender and delicate of frame, in bearing, of a womanly gentleness and reserve; but in heart and mind none more akin. The affection of all the family, but especially perhaps of the brothers, for each other, kept to the end all the warmth of undivided childhood. When Charles died, and Walter knew that he was left alone of all his father's house, he evidently began to droop in spirit. It appeared to me from his letters that he thenceforth dreaded rather than desired a return to Scotland and Abbotsford. His only anxiety was that his regiment might be marched towards the Punjaub.
The only descendants of the Poet now alive are my son, Walter Scott Lockhart, (a lieutenant in the army,) who, as his uncle's heir of entail, has lately received permission to assume the additional surname of Scott;---and his sister, Charlotte Harriet Jane, married in August 1847 to James Robert Hope, Barrister, second son of the late General the Honourable Sir Alexander Hope, G.C.B.<*>
* <! p804>Walter Scott Lockhart Scott died at Versailles, on the 10th of
* January 1853, and was buried in the cemetery of Notre Dame there.
* John Gibson Lockhart, his father, and the author of this
* Biography, died at Abbotsford on the 25th of November 1854,
* and was buried in Dryburgh Abbey, at the feet of Walter Scott.
* Mrs Hope, on the death of her brother, succeeded to the estate
* of Abbotsford, and, with her husband, assumed the name of Scott,
* in addition to that of Hope. She died at Edinburgh on the 26th
* of October 1858, leaving three children, viz.:---
* ``Mary Monica,'' born on the 2d of October 1852.
* ``Walter Michael,'' born on the 2d of June 1857.
* ``Margaret Anne,'' born on the 17th of September 1858.
* Of these, Margaret died on the 3d, and Walter on the 11th of
* December 1858, and their remains are laid, beside those of their
* mother, in the vaults of St Margaret's Convent, near Edinburgh.
* ``Mary Monica'' thus became the only surviving descendant of
* Walter Scott.---1871.
In the winter succeeding the Poet's death, his sons and myself, as his executors, endeavoured to make such arrangements as were within our power for completing the great object of his own wishes and fatal exertions. We found the remaining principal sum of commercial debt to be nearly <L>54,000. <L>22,000 had been insured upon his life; there were some monies in the hands of the Trustees, and Mr Cadell very handsomely offered to advance to us the balance, about <L>30,000, that we might without further delay settle with the body of creditors.
This was effected accordingly on the 2d of February 1833; Mr Cadell accepting, as his only security, the right to the profits accruing from Sir Walter's copyright property and literary remains, until such time as this new and consolidated obligation should be discharged. Besides his commercial debt, Sir Walter left also one of <L>10,000, contracted by himself as an individual, when struggling to support Constable in December 1825, and secured by mortgage on the lands of Abbotsford. And, lastly, the library and museum, presented to him in free gift by his creditors in December 1830, were bequeathed to his eldest son, with a burden to the extent of <L>5000, which sum he designed to be divided between his younger children, as already explained in an extract from his diary. His will provided that the produce of his literary property, in case of its proving sufficient to wipe out the remaining debt of the firm, should then be applied to the extinction of these mortgages; and thereafter, should this also be accomplished, divided equally among his surviving family.
Various meetings were held soon after his death with a view to the erection of Monuments to his memory; and the records of these meetings, and their results, are adorned by many of the noblest and most distinguished names both of England and of Scotland. In London, the Lord Bishop of Exeter, Sir Robert Peel, and Sir John Malcolm, took a prominent part as speakers: and the result was a subscription amounting to about <L>10,000; but a part of this was embezzled by a young person rashly appointed to the post of secretary, who carried it with him to America, where he soon afterwards died. The noblemen and gentlemen who subscribed to this fund adopted a suggestion--- (which originated, I believe, with Lord Francis Egerton, now Earl of Ellesmere, and the Honourable John Stuart Wortley, now Lord Wharnecliffe)---that, in place of erecting a cenotaph in Westminster Abbey, or a statue or pillar elsewhere, the most suitable and respectful tribute that could be paid to Sir Walter's memory would be to discharge all the encumbrances upon Abbotsford, and entail the House, with its library and other articles of curiosity collected by him, together with the lands which he had planted and embellished, upon the heirs of his name for ever. The sum produced by the subscription, however, proved inadequate to the realization of such a scheme; and after much consultation, it was at length settled that the money in the hands of the committee (between <L>7000 and <L>8000), should be employed to liquidate the debt upon the library and museum, and whatever might be over, towards the mortgage on the lands. This arrangement enabled the Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Walter Scott to secure, in the shape originally desired, the permanent preservation at least of the house and its immediate appurtenances, as a memorial of the tastes and habits of the founder.
Such was the state of matters when the Lieutenant-Colonel embarked for India: and in his absence no further steps could well be taken. Upon his death, it was found that, notwithstanding the very extensive demand for his father's writings, there still remained a considerable debt to Mr Cadell, and also the greater part of the old debt secured on the lands. Mr Cadell then offered to relieve the guardians of the young inheritor of that great name from much anxiety and embarrassment, by accepting, in full payment of the sum due to himself, and also in recompense for his taking on himself the final obliteration of the heritable bond, a transference to him of the remaining claims of the family over Sir Walter's writings, together with the result of some literary exertions of the only surviving executor. This arrangement was completed in May 1847; and the estate, as well as the house and its appendages, became at last unfettered. The rental is small; but I hope and trust, that as long as any of the blood remains, reverent care will attend over the guardianship of a possession associated with so many high and noble recollections. On that subject the gallant soldier who executed the entail expressed also in his testament feelings of the devoutest anxiety: and it was, I am well assured, in order that no extraneous obstacle might thwart the fulfilment of his pious wishes, that Mr Cadell crowned a long series of kind services to the cause and the memory of Sir Walter Scott, by the very handsome proposition of 1847.
Abbotsford, after his own immortal works, is the best monument of its founder. But at Edinburgh also, soon after his death, a meeting was held with a view to the erection of some visible memorial in his native city; the prominent speakers were the late Marquess of Lothian, the late Earl of Dalhousie, the Earl of Rosebery, Lord Jeffrey, and Professor Wilson; and the subscription then begun realized a sum of <L>8000, which by subsequent exertions reached no less than <L>15,000. The result may now be seen in a truly magnificent monument, conspicuous to every visitor of Scott's ``own romantic town''---a lofty Gothic cross, enclosing and surmounting a marble statue of the Poet, which, as well as many happy relievos on the exterior, does great honour to the chisel of Mr Steele.
In Glasgow, also, there was a meeting in 1832: the subscriptions there reached <L>1200: and in the chief square of that city, already graced with statues of two illustrious natives, James Watt and Sir John Moore, there is now a lofty pillar, surmounted with a statue of Sir Walter Scott.
Finally, in the market-place of Selkirk there has been set up, at the cost of local friends and neighbours, a statue in freestone, by Mr Alexander Ritchie of Musselburgh, with this inscription :---
``ERECTED IN AUGUST 1839,
IN PROUD AND AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE
SIR WALTER SCOTT, BARONET,
SHERIFF OF THIS COUNTY FROM 1800 TO 1832.
By Yarrow's stream still let me stray, Though none should guide my feeble way; Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break, Although it chill my withered cheek.''
In what manner to cover the grave itself at Dryburgh required some consideration, in consequence of the state of the surrounding and overhanging ruins. Sir F. Chantrey recommended a block of Aberdeen granite, so solid as to resist even the fall of the ivied roof of the aisle, and kindly sketched the shape; in which he followed the stone coffin of the monastic ages---especially the ``marble stone'' on which Deloraine awaits the opening of the wizard's vault in the Lay. This drawing had just been given to Allan Cunningham, when our great sculptor was smitten with a fatal apoplexy. As soon as pressing business allowed, ``honest Allan'' took up the instructions of his dying friend; the model was executed under his eye: and the letter in which he reported its completion was, I am informed, the very last that he penned. He also had within a few hours a paralytic seizure, from which he never rose. The inscriptions on this simple but graceful tomb are merely of name and date.
The authentic likenesses of Sir Walter Scott, as far as I have been enabled to trace them, are as follows:---
1. A very good miniature, done at Bath, when he was in the fifth or sixth year of his age, was given by him to his daughter Sophia, and is now in my possession---the artist's name unknown. The child appears with long flowing hair, the colour a light chestnut; a deep open collar, and scarlet dress. It is nearly a profile; the outline wonderfully like what it was to the last; the expression of the eyes and mouth very striking---grave and pensive.
2. A miniature sent by Scott to Miss Carpenter, shortly before their marriage in 1797---at Abbotsford. It is not a good work of art, and I know not who executed it. The hair is slightly powdered.
3. The first oil painting, done for Lady Scott in 1805, by Saxon, was, in consequence of repeated applications for the purpose of being engraved, transferred by her to Messrs Longman & Co., and is now in their house in Paternoster Row. This is a very fine picture, representing, I have no doubt, most faithfully, the author of the Lay of the Last Minstrel. Length, three-quarters---dress black---hair nut-brown---the favourite bull-terrier Camp leaning his head on the knee of his master.
4. The first picture by Raeburn was done in 1808 for Constable, and passed, at the sale of his effects, into the hands of the Duke of Buccleuch. Scott is represented at full length, sitting by a ruined wall, with Camp at his feet ---Hermitage Castle and the mountains of Liddesdale in the background. This noble portrait has been repeatedly engraved. Dress black---Hessian boots---5. The second full-length by Raeburn (done a year later) is nearly a repetition; but the painter had some new sittings. Two greyhounds (Douglas and Percy) appear in addition to Camp, and the background gives the valley of the Yarrow, marking the period of Ashestiel and Marmion. This piece is at Abbotsford.
6. A head in oil by Thomas Phillips, R. A., done in 1818 for Mr Murray, and now in Albemarle Street. The costume was, I think, unfortunately selected---a tartan plaid and open collar. This gives a theatrical air to what would otherwise have been a very graceful representation of Scott in the 47th year of his age Mr Phillips (for whom Scott had a warm regard, and who often visited him at Abbotsford) has caught a true expression not hit upon by any of his brethren---a smile of gentle enthusiasm. The head has a vivid resemblance to Sir Walter's eldest daughter, and also to his grandson John Hugh Lockhart. A duplicate was added by the late Earl Whitworth to the collection at Knowle.
7. A head sketched in oil by Geddes---being one of his studies for a picture of the finding of the Scottish Regalia in 1818---is in the possession of Sir James Steuart of Allanbank, Baronet. It is nearly a profile---boldly drawn.
8. The unrivalled portrait (three quarters) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, painted for King George IV. in 1820, and now in the Corridor at Windsor Castle. The engraving by Robinson is masterly.
9. A head by Sir Henry Raeburn---the last work of his hand---was done in 1822 for Lord Montagu, and is at Ditton Park: a massive strong likeness, heavy at first sight, but which grows into favour upon better acquaintance--- the eyes very deep and fine. This picture has been well engraved in mezzotints.
10. A small three-quarters, in oil, done at Chiefswood, in August 1824, by Gilbert Stewart Newton, R. A., and presented by him to Mrs Lockhart. This pleasing picture gives Sir Walter in his usual country dress---a green jacket and black neckcloth, with a leathern belt for carrying the forester's axe round the shoulders. It is the best domestic portrait ever done. A duplicate, in Mr Murray's possession, was engraved for Finden's ``Illustrations of Byron.''
11. A half-length, painted by C. R. Leslie, R. A., in 1824, for Mr Ticknor of Boston, New England, is now in that gentleman's possession. I never saw this picture in its finished state, but the beginning promised well, and I am assured it is worthy of the artist's high reputation. It has not been engraved---in this country I mean---but a reduced copy of it furnished an indifferent print for one of the Annuals.
12. A small head was painted in 1826 by Mr Knight, a young artist, patronised by Terry. This juvenile production, ill-drawn and feeble in expression, was engraved for Mr Lodge's great work!
13. A half-length by Mr Colvin Smith of Edinburgh, done in January 1828, for the artist's uncle, Lord Gillies. I never admired this picture; but it pleased many, perhaps better judges. Mr Smith executed no less than fifteen copies for friends of Sir Walter;---among others, the Bishop of Llandaff (Copleston), the Chief-Commissioner Adam, and John Hope, now Lord Justice-Clerk of Scotland.
14. A half-length done by Mr Graham Gilbert in 1829, for the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
15. An excellent half-length portrait, by John Watson Gordon, R.A., done in March 1830, for Mr Cadell. Scott is represented sitting, with both hands resting on his staff---the stag-hound Bran on his left.
16. A cabinet picture done at Abbotsford in 1831 by Francis Grant, R.A.,---who had the advantage of a familiar knowledge of the subject, being an attached friend of the family. This interesting piece, which has armour and stag-hounds, was done for Lady Ruthven.
17. I am sorry to say that I cannot express much approbation of the representation of Sir Walter introduced by Sir David Wilkie in his ``Abbotsford Family;'' nor indeed are any of the likenesses in this graceful composition (1817) at all satisfactory to me, except only that of Sir Adam Fergusson, which is perfect. This is in Sir A.'s possession---18, 19, 20. Nor can I speak more favourably either of the head of Scott in Wilkie's ``Arrival of George IV. at Holyrood'' (1822), or of that in Sir William Allan's picture of the ``Ettrick Shepherd's Househeating'' (1819.) Allan has succeeded better in his picture of ``The Author of Waverley in his Study;'' this was done shortly before Sir Walter's death.
21. Mr Edwin Landseer, R.A., has painted a full-length portrait, with the scenery of the Rhymer's Glen; and his familiarity with Scott renders this almost as valuable as if he had sat for it. This beautiful picture is in the gallery of Mr Wells at Redleaf, Kent.
I have given better evidence than my own as to the inimitable Bust done by Sir Francis Chantrey in 1820, and now in the library at Abbotsford. Previous to Sir Walter's death, the niche which this now occupies held a cast of the monumental effigy of Shakspeare, presented to him by George Bullock, with an elegant stand, having the letters W. S. in large relievo on its front. Anxiety to place the precious marble in the safest station induced the poet's son to make the existing arrangement on the day after his father's funeral. The propriety of the position is obvious; but in case of misrepresentation hereafter, it is proper to mention that it was not chosen by Sir Walter for an image of himself. As already stated, Chantrey sculptured, in 1828, for Sir Robert Peel, a bust possessing the character of a second original. Sir Walter's good nature induced him to sit, at various periods of his life, to other sculptors of inferior standing and reputation. I am not aware, however, that any of their performances but two ever reached the dignity of marble. One of these, a very tolerable work was done by Mr Joseph about 1822, and is in the gallery of Mr Burn Callender, at Prestonhall, near Edinburgh. The other was modelled by Mr Lawrence Macdonald, in the unhappy winter of 1830. The period of the artist's observation would alone have been sufficient to render his efforts fruitless.
The only statue executed during Sir Walter's lifetime, is that by John Greenshields in freestone. On first seeing this, an early companion of the Poet, Mr Thomas Thomson, D. C. S., exclaimed, ``A petrifaction of Scott!'' It is certainly a most meritorious work; and I am well pleased that it has its station in Mr Cadell's premises in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.<*> The proprietor has adopted the inscription
* This statue was presented by the trustees of Mr Cadell (who
* died in 1849) to the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, and is now
* placed in their Library.---1852.
for Bacon's effigy at St Alban's, and carved on the pedestal ``=Sic Sedebat.=''---Mr Steele's noble marble statue for the Edinburgh Monument was erected in 1847.
This machine-readable edition of J. G. Lockhart's `The Life od Scott' is based on the two-volume edition published as part of the Centenary Edition, published by Adam & Charles Black, Edinburgh in 1872.
The Index of the printed edition has not been incorporated in the present edition.
Changes to the text ===================
Page-breaks have been removed, along with page numbers and column titles.
End-of-line hyphenations have been removed, and the de-hyphenated word has been brought up to the first of the two lines. The text itself has been the main guide for keeping or removing hyphens.
Small capitals in names or in the first few words of each chapter have been replaced by lower-case letters. In those cases small caps were used to denote extra emphasis, they have been marked up accordingly.
Page references have been marked up accordingly; page references to other literary works have been kept.
The original text uses 'L.' in many places instead of the pound stirling symbol -- it is probable that the printers ran out of the latter type whilst setting the text. The transcription does not try to preserve this usage, but consistently uses <L>.
The footnotes to the text sometimes are indicated with an asterisk, sometimes with a superscript. It is not clear from the context if this is intentional. The transcription does not try to preserve this usage.
It is probably worth noting that the di<ae>resis is placed over either the first or the second of the two vowels throughout the original text. This error, if such it is, has been retained.
The following textual changes have been made. The page numbers refer to the printed edition:
page: changed text: why:
p. vii, l. 12: proposed the work,||combined (was: missing comma)
From a close examination of the page, it seems as if there is a comma or thin space placed after 'work', but as nothing is printed, I assume a comma is wanting.
p. 6, l. 18: of Sandy-Knowe married, in 1728 (was Sandy-Knowe,) p. 46, l. 13: to visit Pennycuick-House (was: Pennycuik) p. 138, l.-14: of mature art,||of which (was: art.) p. 186, l.-12: admirers;||his bearing (was: admirers.) p. 198, l. 18: 1807,'' he says, ``I had (was: he says,'') p. 253, l. -1: delicious contrast. (was: missing .) p. 363, l. 3: Huntley Burn ... (was: Huntley-Burn)
The name is written without hyphen in the text, but since it is written without in the rest of the text, the hyphen is assumed to be an error.
p. 393, l. -3: evening assemblies,||which (was: .) p. 452, l. -1: Huntly Burn, his dapper (was: Hunlty) p. 505, l.-13: counterpoised by still (was: counthrpoised) p. 601, l.-14: ... of that hare-brained (was: hair-brained) p. 635, l. 5: ``May 11.---Charlotte (was: missing dash) p. 688, l.-2: ... I don't remember them.'' He (was: them.') p. 696, l.-1: See _ante,_ ... (was: _Ante_) p. 727, l.-13: attempts ineffectual. He, (was: ineffectual,) 9. 752, l. -1: Hon. Henry Duncan (was: Henrv) p. 793, l. 6: virtuous or a happier fireside (was: happer) p. 808, l. 17: a light chestnut; a deep (was: chesnut)
Further oddities ================
p. 143, l. 7: the wind-sweep Orcades
Wind-swept? No changes attempted
p. 331, l. -10: `divinity, which hedges
A quote within a quote within a quote. I would have expected double quotes here, but single quotes may be correct.
p. 403, l. 11: Frith of Forth
`Firth of Forth'? Unchanged, since `Solway Frith' appears in the text.
p. 531, l. 16: Proheme
Unclear why Proheme is emphasized by special type.
p. 542, l. -17: ``No one ...
Quote within a quote -- single quotes would have been expected here. It is not clear where the quotation ends.
Markup conventions ==================
The title page, the prefatory letter, preface, the table of contents and the body the text have been indicated by special markup: <titlepage>, <prefatory letter>, <preface> <table of contents> and <text>
First line in each paragraph is indented two spaces.
_ _ placed around italicized text
= = placed around extra emphasized text - small caps in the printed edition.
[= =] placed around further emphasized text -- black-letter in the printed edition.
<! xxx> is used to indicate an 'anchor' for page references. The `xxx' is used as identification
<? xxx> is used to indicate a page references to a specified anchor.
<ae> ae ligature <AE> AE ligature <a`> a grave <a^> a cirumflex <a:> a dieresis <c,> c cedilla <e'> e acute <e`> e grave <e^> e circumflex <e:> e dieresis <i:> i dieresis <L> pound sterling <oe> oe ligature <o^> o circumflex <r.> superscripted r <u:> u dieresis
<Nu> Greek capital letters <Upsilon> <Xi> <Gamma> <Alpha> <Rho> <Epsilon> <Chi> <Tau> <Alpha>
Footnotes in the text were placed at the foot of the page; in this edition they have been placed immediately after the line in which they are referenced. The footnote callout is always an asterisk,<*> and the text of the footnote
* Like this
has been placed, slightly indented, between two empty lines, with an asterisk in the left margin as illustrated above. If the footnote comes at the end of a paragraph, the first line of the following paragraph is indented two spaces, as usual.
Revision History ================
version 1.0: 1996-02-10 Initial version
The transcription and proofreading was done by Anders Thulin, Rydsvagen 288, S-582 50 Linkoping, Sweden. Email address: email@example.com
As far as I am concerned, this edition is entirey free, and may be used for any purpose whatever.
I'd be glad to learn of any errors that you may find in the text.
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