Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume 4 (of 10)
Large Paper Edition
LIFE OF SCOTT
COPIOUSLY ANNOTATED AND ABUNDANTLY ILLUSTRATED
IN TEN VOLUMES
WALTER SCOTT IN 1817
From the water-color portrait by William Nicholson
MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE
SIR WALTER SCOTT
JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART
IN TEN VOLUMES
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
The Riverside Press, Cambridge
BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Six Hundred Copies Printed
XXV. The "Flitting" to Abbotsford. — Plantations. — George Thomson. — Rokeby and Triermain in Progress. — Excursion to Flodden. — Bishop-Auckland, and Rokeby Park. — Correspondence with Crabbe. — Life of Patrick Carey, etc. — Publication of Rokeby, — and of The Bridal of Triermain. 1812-18131
XXVI. Affairs of John Ballantyne and Co. — Causes of their Derangement. — Letters of Scott to his Partners. — Negotiation for Relief with Messrs. Constable. — New Purchase of Land at Abbotsford. — Embarrassments continued. — John Ballantyne's Expresses. — Drumlanrig, Penrith, etc. — Scott's Meeting with the Marquis of Abercorn at Longtown. — His Application to the Duke of Buccleuch. — Offer of the Poet-Laureateship, — considered, — and declined. — Address of the City of Edinburgh to the Prince Regent. — Its Reception. — Civic Honors conferred on Scott. — Question of Taxation on Literary Income. — Letters to Mr. Morritt, Mr. Southey, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Crabbe, Miss Baillie, and Lord Byron. 181350
XXVII. Insanity of Henry Weber. — Letters on the Abdication of Napoleon, etc. — Publication of Scott's Life and Edition of Swift. — Essays for the Supplement to the Encyclopśdia Britannica. — Completion and Publication of Waverley. 1814100
(p. vi) XXVIII. Voyage to the Shetland Isles, etc. — Scott's Diary kept on Board the Lighthouse Yacht. 1814124
XXIX. Diary on Board the Lighthouse Yacht continued. — The Orkneys. — Kirkwall. — Hoy. — The Standing Stones of Stennis, etc. 1814163
XXX. Diary continued. — Stromness. — Bessy Millie's Charm. — Cape Wrath. — Cave of Smowe. — The Hebrides. — Scalpa, etc. 1814178
XXXI. Diary continued. — Isle of Harris. — Monuments of the Chiefs of Macleod. — Isle of Skye. — Dunvegan Castle. — Loch Corriskin. — Macallister's Cave. 1814193
XXXII. Diary continued. — Cave of Egg. — Iona. — Staffa. — Dunstaffnage. — Dunluce Castle. — Giant's Causeway. — Isle of Arran, etc. — Diary concluded. 1814206
XXXIII. Letter in Verse from Zetland and Orkney. — Death of the Duchess of Buccleuch. — Correspondence with the Duke. — Altrive Lake. — Negotiation concerning The Lord of the Isles completed. — Success of Waverley. — Contemporaneous criticisms on the Novel. — Letters to Scott from Mr. Morritt, Mr. Lewis, and Miss Maclean Clephane. — Letter from James Ballantyne to Miss Edgeworth. 1814237
Walter Scott in 1817
From the water-color portrait by William Nicholson, R. S. A., in the possession of W. C. C. Erskine, Esq. Through the courtesy of David Douglas, Esq., Edinburgh.Frontispiece
Abbotsford in 18126
From the painting by Sir Henry Raeburn, R. A., at Braeburn, Currie, Mid-Lothian. By permission of William Patrick Bruce, Esq.50
J. B. S. Morritt
From the painting by Sir M. A. Shee, P. R. A., in the possession of R. A. Morritt, Esq., of Rokeby.100
William Erskine, Lord Kinnedder
From the water-color portrait by William Nicholson, R. S. A., in the possession of W. C. C. Erskine, Esq. Through the courtesy of David Douglas, Esq., Edinburgh.124
From the water-color portrait by Stephen Poyntz Denning, in the National Portrait Gallery.250
THE "FLITTING" TO ABBOTSFORD. — PLANTATIONS. — GEORGE THOMSON. — ROKEBY AND TRIERMAIN IN PROGRESS. — EXCURSION TO FLODDEN. — BISHOP-AUCKLAND, AND ROKEBY PARK. — CORRESPONDENCE WITH CRABBE. — LIFE OF PATRICK CAREY, ETC. — PUBLICATION OF ROKEBY, — AND OF THE BRIDAL OF TRIERMAIN
Towards the end of May, 1812, the Sheriff finally removed fromAshestiel to Abbotsford. The day when this occurred was a sad onefor many a poor neighbor—for they lost, both in him and his wife,very generous protectors. In such a place, among the few evils whichcounterbalance so many good things in the condition of thepeasantry, the most afflicting is the want of access to medicaladvice. As far as their means and skill would go, they had both donetheir utmost to supply this want; and Mrs. Scott, in particular, hadmade it so much her business to visit the sick in their scatteredcottages, and bestowed on them the contents of her medicine-chest aswell as of the larder and cellar, with such unwearied kindness, thather name is never mentioned there to this day without someexpression of tenderness. Scott's children remember the partingscene as one of unmixed affliction—but it had had, as we shall see,its lighter features.
Among the many amiable English friends whom he (p. 2) owed to hisfrequent visits at Rokeby Park, there was, I believe, none that hada higher place in his regard than the late Anne, Lady Alvanley, thewidow of the celebrated Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas.He was fond of female society in general; but her ladyship was awoman after his heart; well born and highly bred, but without theslightest tinge of the frivolities of modern fashion; soundlyinformed, and a warm lover of literature and the arts, but holdingin as great horror as himself the imbecile chatter and affectedecstasies of the bluestocking generation. Her ladyship had writtento him early in May, by Miss Sarah Smith (now Mrs. Bartley), whom Ihave already mentioned as one of his theatrical favorites; and hisanswer contains, among other matters, a sketch of the "ForestFlitting."
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE LADY ALVANLEY.
Ashestiel, 25th May, 1812.
I was honored, my dear Lady Alvanley, by the kind letter which you sent me with our friend Miss Smith, whose talents are, I hope, receiving at Edinburgh the full meed of honorable applause which they so highly merit. It is very much against my will that I am forced to speak of them by report alone, for this being the term of removing, I am under the necessity of being at this farm to superintend the transference of my goods and chattels, a most miscellaneous collection, to a small property, about five miles down the Tweed, which I purchased last year. The neighbors have been much delighted with the procession of my furniture, in which old swords, bows, targets, and lances, made a very conspicuous show. A family of turkeys was accommodated within the helmet of some preux chevalier of ancient Border fame; and the very cows, for aught I know, were bearing banners and muskets. I assure your ladyship that this caravan, attended by a dozen of ragged rosy peasant children, carrying fishing-rods and spears, and leading ponies, greyhounds, and (p. 3) spaniels, would, as it crossed the Tweed, have furnished no bad subject for the pencil, and really reminded me of one of the gypsy groups of Callot upon their march.
Edinburgh, 28th May.
I have got here at length, and had the pleasure to hear Miss Smith speak the Ode on the Passions charmingly last night. It was her benefit, and the house was tolerable, though not so good as she deserves, being a very good girl, as well as an excellent performer.
I have read Lord Byron with great pleasure, though pleasure is not quite the appropriate word. I should say admiration—mixed with regret, that the author should have adopted such an unamiable misanthropical tone.—The reconciliation with Holland House is extremely edifying, and may teach young authors to be in no hurry to exercise their satirical vein. I remember an honest old Presbyterian, who thought it right to speak with respect even of the devil himself, since no one knew in what corner he might one day want a friend. But Lord Byron is young, and certainly has great genius, and has both time and capacity to make amends for his errors. I wonder if he will pardon the Edinburgh Reviewers, who have read their recantation of their former strictures.
Mrs. Scott begs to offer her kindest and most respectful compliments to your ladyship and the young ladies. I hope we shall get into Yorkshire this season to see Morritt: he and his lady are really delightful persons. Believe me, with great respect, dear Lady Alvanley, your much honored and obliged
A week later, in answer to a letter, mentioning the approach of thecelebrated sale of books in which the Roxburghe Club originated,Scott says to his trusty ally, Daniel Terry:—
My dear Terry,—I wish you joy of your success, which, although all reports state it as most highly flattering, does not exceed what I had hoped for you. I think I shall do you a sensible pleasure in requesting that you will take a walk over the fields to Hampstead one of these fine days, and deliver the enclosed to my friend Miss Baillie, with whom, I flatter myself, you will be much pleased, as she has all the simplicity of real genius. I mentioned to her some time ago that I wished to make you acquainted, so that the sooner you can call upon her, the compliment will be the more gracious. As I suppose you will sometimes look in at the Roxburghe sale, a memorandum respecting any remarkable articles will be a great favor.
Abbotsford was looking charming, when I was obliged to mount my wheel in this court, too fortunate that I have at length some share in the roast meat I am daily engaged in turning. Our flitting and removal from Ashestiel baffled all description; we