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quite unprepared for this abrupt escape ; but there was about Scott, in perfection, when he chose to exert it, the power of civil repulsion; he bowed the overwhelmed originals to his door, and on re-entering the parlour, found Mrs Scott complaining very indignantly that they had gone so far as to pull out their note-book, and beg an exact account, not only of his age-but of her own. Scott, already half relenting, laughed heartily at this misery. He observed, however, that, “if he were lo take in all the world, he had better put up a sign-post at once

Porter, ale, and British spirits,
Painted bright between twa trees;

and that no traveller of respectability could ever be at a loss for such an introduction as would ensure his best hospitality." Still he was not quite pleased with what had happened--and as we were about to pass, half an hour afterwards, from the drawing-room to the diningroom, he said to his wife, “ Hang the Yahoos, Charlotte--but we should have bid them stay dinner." "Devil a bit,” quoth Captain John Ferguson, who had again come over from Huntly Burn, and had been latterly assisting the lady to amuse her Americans—"Devil a bit, : my dear, they were quite in a mistake I could see. The one asked Madame whether she deigned to call her new house Tullyveolan or Tillytudlem-and the other, when Maida happened to lay his nose against the window, exclaimed pro-di-gi-ous! In short, they evidently meant all their humbug not for you, but for the culprit of Waverley, and the rest of that there rubbish.” “Well, well, Skipper," was the reply,—"'for a' that, the loons would hae been rane the waur o' their kail.”

From this banter it may be inferred that the younger Ferguson had not as yet been told the Waverley secret--which to any of that house could never have been any mystery. Probably this, or some similar occasion soon afterwards, led to his formal initiation; for during the many subsequent years that the veil was kept on, I used to admire the tact with which, when in their topmost high-jinks humour, both “Captain John" and "The Auld Captain" eschewed any the most distant allusion to the assair.

And this reminds me that, at the period of which I am writing, none of Scott's own family, except of course his wise, had the advantage in that matter of the Skipper. Some of them too, were apt, like him, so long as no regular confidence had been reposed in them, to avail themselves of the author's reserve for their own sport among friends. Thus one morning, just as Scott was opening the door of the parlour, the rest of the party being already at the breakfast table, the Dominie was in the act of helping himself to an egg, marked with a peculiar hieroglyphic by Mrs Thomas Purdie, upon which Anne Scolt, then a

lively rattling girl of sixteen, lisped out, “ That's a mysterious looking egg, Mr Thomson-what if it should have been meant for the Great Unknown ? Ere the Dominie could reply, her father advanced to the foot of the table, and having seated himself and deposited his stick on the carpet beside him, with a sort of whispered whistle-"What's that Lady Anne's* saying," quoth he; “I thought it had been well known that the keelavined egg must be a soft one for the Sherra ?” And so he took his egg, and while we all smiled in silence, poor Ame said gaily, in the midst of her blushes, “Upon my word, papa, I thought Mr John Ballantyne might have been expected.” This allusion to Johnny's glory in being considered as the accredited representative of Jedediah Cleishbotham, produced a laugh at which the Sheriff frowned and then laughed too. .

I remember nothing particular about our second day's dinner, except that it was then I first met my dearand honoured friend Willam Laidlaw. The evening passed rather more quietly than the preceding one.

Instead of the dance in the new dining-room, we had a succession of old ballads sung to the hatp and guitar by the young ladies of the house; and Scott, when they seemed to have done enough, found some reason for taking down a volume of Crabbe, and read us one of his favourite tales

“ Grave Jonas Kindred, Sybil Kindred's sire,

Was six feet high, and looked six inches higher,” &c.

But jollity revived in full vigour when the supper-tray was introduced ; and to cap. all-merriment, Captain Ferguson dismissed us with the Laird of Cóckpen. Lord and Lady Melville were to return to Melville Castle next morning, and Mr Wilson and I happened to mention, that we were engaged to dine and sleep at the seat of my friend and relation, Mr Pringle of Torwoodlee, on our way to Edinburgh. Scott immediately said that he would send word in the morning to the Laird, that he and Adam Ferguson meant to accompany us-such being the unceremonious style in which country neighbours in Scotland visit each other. Next day accordingly we all rode over together to Mr Pringle’s beautiful seal—the " distant Torwoodleeof the Lay of the Last Minstrel, but distant'not above five or six miles from Abbotsford-coursing hares as we proceeded, but inspecting the antiquities of the Catrail to the interruption of our sport. We had another joyous evening at Torwoodlee. Scott and Ferguson returned home at night, and the morning after, as Wilson and I mounted for Edinburgh, our kind old host,

* When playing, in childhood, with the young ladies of the Buccleuch family, she had been overheard saying to her namesake Lady Anne Scott, “Well, I do wish I were Lady Anne too—it is so much prettier than Miss ;" thenceforth she was commonly addressed in the family by the coveted title.

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his sides still sore with laughter, remarked that the Sheriff and the Captain together were too much for any company."

There was much talk between the Sheriff and Mr Pringle about the Selkirkshire Yeomanry Cavalry, of which the latter had been the original commandant. Young Walter Scott had been for a year or more Cornet in the corps, and his father was consulting Torwoodlee about an entertainment which he meant to give them on his son's approaching birthday. It was then that the new dining-room was to be first heated in good earnest; and Scott very kindly pressed Wilson and myself, at parting, to return for the occasion-which, however, we found it impossible to do. The reader must therefore be satisfied with what is said about it in one of the following letters :

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* To J. B. S. Morritt, Esq., M.P. Rokeby.

Abbotsford, 5th Nov. 1818. MY DEAR MORRITT,—Many thanks for your kind letter of 29th October. The matter of the colls being as you state, I shall let it lie over until next year, and then avail myself of your being in the neighbourhood to get a good pair of fouryear-olds, since it would be unnecessary to buy them a year younger, and incur all the risks of disease and accident, unless they could have been had at a proportional under value.

leaves us this morning after a visit of about a week. He improves on acquaintance, and especially seems so pleased with every thing, that it would be very hard to quarrel with him. Certainly, as the Frenchmap said, il a un grand talent pour le silence. I take the opportunity of his servant going direct to Rokeby to charge him with this letter, and a plaid which my daughters entreat you to accept of as a token of their warm good wishes. Seriously, you will find it a good bosom friend in an easterly wind, a black frost, or when your country avocations lead you to face a dry wap of snow.. I find it by far the lightest and - most comfortable integument which I can use upon such occasions.

We had a grand jollification here last week : the whole troop of Forest Yoemanry dining with us. I assure you the scene was gay and even grand, with glittering sabres, waving standards, and screaming bagpipes; and that it might not lack spectators of taste, who should arrive in the midst of the hurricane, bûl Lord and Lady Compton, whose presence gave a great zęst to the whole affair. Every thing went off very well, and as cavalry have the great advantage over infantry that their legs never get drunk, they retired in decent disorder about ten o'clock. I was glad to see Lord and Lady Compton so very comfortable, and surrounded with so fine a family, the natyral bond of mutual regard and affection. She bas got very jolly, but otherwise has improved on her travels. I had a long chat with her, and was happy to find her quite contented and pleased with the lot she has drawn in life. It is a brilliant one in many respects, to be sure; but still I have, seen the story of the poor woman, who, after all rațional subjects of distress had been successively remedied, tormented herself about the screaming of a neighbour's peacock-I say, I have seen this so often realized in actual life, thai I am more “afraid of my friends making themselves uncomfortable, who bave only imaginary evils to indulge, than I am for the peace of those who, ,battling magnanimously with real inconvenience and danger, find a remedy in the very force of the exertions to wbich their lot compels them.

“ I sympathize with you for the dole which you are dreeing under the inflictions of your honest proser. Of all the boring machines ever devised, your regular and determined storyteller is the most peremptory and powerful in his operations, This is a rainy day, and my present infliction is an idle cousin, a great amateur of the pipes, who is performing incessantly in the next room for the benefit of a probationary minstrel, whose pipes scream à la distance, as the young họarse cockchicken imitates the gallant and triumphant screech of a veteran Sir Chanticleer, Yours affectionately,

W. Scott."

CHAPTER XIX.

Declining Health of Charles Duke of Buccleuch Letter on the Death of Queen

Charlotte-Provincial Antiquities, &c.—Extensive Sale of Copyrights to Constable and Co.-Death of Mr Charles Carpenter-Scott receives and accepts the Offer of a Baronetoy-He declines to renew his Application for a Seat on the Exchequer Bench-Letters to Morritt-Richardson-Miss Baillie The Duke of Buccleuch -Lord Montagu-Capt. Adam Ferguson-Rob Roy played at Edinburgh-Letters from Jedediah Cleishbotham, to Mr Charles Mackay—181€-1819.

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I HAVE now to introduce a melancholy subject-one of the greatest afflictions that ever Scott encountered. The health of Charles Duke of Buccleuchi was by this time beginning to give way, and Scott thought it his duty to intimate his very serious apprehensions to his noble friend's brother. To the Right Hon. Lord Montagu, Ditton Park, Windsor.

,“ Edinburgh, 12th Nov., 1818. " MY DEAR LORD,-I am about to write to you with feelings of the deepest anxiety. I have hesitated for two or three days whether I should communicate lo your Lordship the sincere alarm which I entertain on account of the Duke's present state of health, but I have come to persuade myself, that it will be discharging a part of the duly which I owe to bim to mention my own most distressing apprehensions. I was at the callle-show on the 6th, and executed the delegated task of toastmaster, and so forth. I was toid by that the Duke is under the influence of the muriatic bath, which occasions a good deal of uneasiness when The medicine is in possession of the system. The Duke observed the strictest diet, and remained only a short time at table, leaving me to do the honours, which I did with a sorrowful heart, endeavouring, however, to persuade myself that account, and the natural depression of spirils incidental to his finding himself unable for the time to discharge the duty to his guests; which no man could do with so much grace and kindness, were sufficient to account for the alteration of his manner and appearance. I spent Monday with him quietly and alone, and I must say that all I saw and beard' was calculated to give me the greatest pain. His strength is much less, bis spirits lower, 'and his general appearance far more unfavourable than when I left him at Drumlanrig a few weeks before. , What

and, indeed, what the Duke himself says of the medicine, may be truc

is very sanguine, and, like all the personal physicians allached to a person of such consequence, he is too much addicted to the placebo-at least I think so-loo apt to fear to give offence by contradiction, or by telling that sort of truth which may contravert the wishes or habits of his patient. I feel I am communicating much pain to your Lordship, but I am sure that, excepting yourself, there is not a man in the world whese sorrow and apprehension could esceed

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but

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mine in having such a task to discharge; for, as your Lordship well knows, the ties which bind me to your excellent brother are of a much stronger kind than usually connect persons so different in rank. But the alteration in voice and person, in seatures, and in spirits, all argue the decay of natural strength, and the increase of some internal disorder, which is gradually triumphing over the system. Much has been done in these cases by change of climate. I hinted this to the Duke at Drumlanrig, but I found his mind totally averse to it. But he made some enquiries at Harden (just returned from Italy), which seemed to imply that at least the idea of a winter in Italy or the south of France was not altogether out of his consideration. Your Lordship will consider whether he can or ought to be pressed upon this point. He is partial to Scotland, and feels the many high duties which bind him to it. But the air of this country, with its alternations of moisture and dry frost, although excellent for a healthy person, is very trying to a valetudinarian.

“I should not have thought of volunteering to communicate such unpleasant , news, but that the family do not seem alarmed. I am not surprişed at this, because, where the decay of health is very gradual, it is more easily traced by a friend who sees the patient from interval to interval, than by the affectionate eyes which are daily beholding him.

“Adieu, my dear Lord. God knows you will scarce read this letter with more pain than I feel in writing it. But it seems indispensable to me to communicate my sentiments of the. Duke's present situation to his nearest relation and dearest friend. His life is invaluable to his country and to his family, and how dear it is to his friends can only be estimated by those who know the soundness of his understanding, the uprightness and truth of his judgment, and the generosity and warmih of his feelings. I am always, my dear Lord, most truly yours,

(6. WALTER SCOTT." Scott's letters of this and the two following months are very much occupied with the painful subject of the Duke of Buccleuch's health; but those addressed to his Grace himself are, in general, in a more jocose strain than usual.' His friend's spirits were sinking, and he exerted himself in this way, in the hope of amusing the hours of languor at Bowhill. These letters are headed “Edinburgh Gazette Extraordinary," No. 1, No. 2, and so on; but they deal so much in laughable gossip about persons still living, that I find it difficult to make any extracts from them. The following paragraphs, however, from the Gazette of November the 20th, give a little information as to his own minor literary labours :

“ The article on Gourgaud's Narraliye" is by a certain Vieua Routier of your Grace's acquaintance, who would willingly have some military bints from you for the continuation of the article, if at any time you should feel disposed to amuse yourself with looking at the General's most marvellous performance. His lies are certainly like the father who begot them. Do not think that at any time the little trumpery intelligence this place affords can interrupt my labours, while it amuses your Grace. I can scribble as fast in the Court of Session as any where else, without the least loss of lime or, hinderance of business. As the same time, I cannot help laughing at the miscellaneous trash I have been putting out of my hand and the various motives wbich made me undertake the jobs. An article for the Edinburgh

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Article on General Gourgaud's Memoirs in Blackwood's Magazine for November, 1818.

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