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retained their own dress and manners entire, and were treated with considerable austerity by their Christian neighbours, being still locked up at night in their own quarter by great gates; and Mr Skene, partly in seriousness, but partly from the mere wish to turn his mind at the moment upon something that might occupy and divert it, suggested that a group of Jews would be an interesting feature if he could contrive to bring them into his next novel." Upon the appearance of Ivanhoe, he reminded Mr Skene of this conversation, and said, “You will find this book owes not a little to your German reminiscences.” Mrs Skene adds : “ Dining with us one day, not long before Ivanhoe was begun, something that was mentioned led him to describe the sudden death of an advocate of his acquaintance, a Mr Elphinstone, which occurred in the Outer-house soon after he was called to the bar. It was, he said, no wonder, that it had left a vivid impression on his mind, for it was the first sudden death he ever witnessed ; and he now related it so as to make us all feel as if we had the scene passing before our eyes. In the death of the Templar in Ivanhoe, I recognised the very picture-I believe I may safely say the very words.

By the way, before Ivanhoe made its appearance, I had myself been formally admitted to the author's secret; but had he favoured me with no such confidence, it would have been impossible for me to doubt that I had been present some months before at the conversation which suggested, and indeed supplied all the materials of, one of its most amusing chapters. I allude to that in which our Saxon terms for animals in the field, and our Norman equivalents for them as they appear on the table, and so on, are explained and commented on. All this Scott owed to the after-dinner talk one day in Castle Street of his old friend Mr William Clerk, --who, among other elegant pursuits, has cultivated the science of philology very deeply.

I cannot conclude this chapter without observing that the publication of Ivanhoe marks the most brilliant epoch in Scott's history as the literary favourite of his contemporaries. With the novel which he next put forth, the immediate sale of these works began gradually to decline; and though even when that had reached its lowest declension, it was still far above the most ambitious dreams of any other - novelist, yet the publishers were afraid the announcement of any thing like a falling-off might cast a damp over the spirits of the author. He was allowed to remain, for several years, under the impression that whatever novel he threw off commanded at once the old triumphant sale of ten or twelve thousand, and was afterwards, when included in the collective edition, to be circulated in that shape also as widely as Waverley or Ivanhoe. In my opinion, it would have been very unwise in the booksellers to give Scott any unfavourable tidings upon such subjects after the commencement of the malady which proved fatal to him,- for that from the first shook his mind; but I think they took a false measure of the man when they hesitated lo tell him exactly how the matter stood, throughout 1820 and the three or four following years, when his intellect was as vigorous as it ever had been, and his heart as courageous; and I regret their scruples (among other reasons), because the years now mentioned were the most costly ones in his life; and for every twelvemonths in which any man allows himself, or is encouraged by others, to proceed in a course of unwise expenditure, it betomes proportionably more dillicult, as well as painful, for him to pull up, when the mistake is at length detected or recognised.

CHAPTER XXIII.

The Visionary-The Peel of Darnick-Scott's Saturday Excursions to Abbotsford

-A Sunday there in February-Constable-John Ballantyne Thomas Purdie, &c. - Prince Gustavus Vasa Proclamation of King George IV.-Publication of the Monastery-1820.

In the course of December, 1819, and January, 1820, Scott drew up three essays, under the title of “The Visionary,” upon

certain

popular doctrines or delusions, the spread of which at this time filled with alarm, not only Tories like him, but many persons who had been distinguished through life for their adherence to political liberalism. These papers appeared successively in James Ballantyne's Edinburgh Weekly Journal, and their parentage being obvious, they excited much attention in Scotland. Scott collected them into a pamphlet, which had also a large circulation; and I remember his showing very particular satisfaction when he observed a mason reading it to his comrades, as they sal at their luncheon, by a new house on Leith Walk. During January, however, his thoughts continued to be chielly occupied with the details of the proposed corps of Foresters; of which, I believe, it was at last settled, as far as depended on the other gentlemen concerned in it, that he should be the Major. He wrote and spoke on this subject ; with undiminished zeal, until the whole fell to the ground in consequence of the Government's ultimateJy declining to take on itself any part of the expense; a refusal which must bave been fatal to any such project when the Duke of Buccleuch was a minor. He felt the disappointment keenly; but, in the mean time, the hearty alacrity with which his neighbours of all classes gave in their adhesion, had afforded him much pleasure, and, as regarded his own immediate dependants, served to rivet the bonds of affection and confidence, which were to the end maintained between him and them. Darnick had been especially ardent in the cause, and he thenceforth considered its volunteers as persons whose individual fortunes closely concerned him. I could fill many à page with the letters which he wrote at subsequent periods, with the view of promoting the success of these spirited young fellows in their various departments of industry : they were proud of their patron, as may be supposed, and he was highly gratified, as well as amused, when he learned that,—while the rest of the world were talking of "The Great Unknown,"-his usual sobriquet among these villagers was "the Duke of Darnick.” Already his possessions almost encircled this picturesque and thriving hamlet; and there were few things on which he had more strongly fixed his fancy than acquiring a sort of symbol of seigniory there, by becoming the purchaser of a certain then ruinous lower that predominaled, with a few coeval trees, over the farm-houses and cottages of his ducal vassals. A lelter, previously quoted, contains an allusion to this Peelhouse of Darnick; which is moreover exactly described in the novel which he bad now in hand-The Monastery. The interest Scolt seemed to take in the Peel awakened, however, the pride of its hereditary proprietor : and when that worthy person, who had made some money by trade in Edinburgh, resolved on filling it up for the evening retreat of his own lise, his Grace of Darnick was too happy to wave his prelensions.

This was a winter of uncommon severity in Scotland; and the snow lay so deep and so long as to interrupt very seriously all Scott's country operations. I find, in his letters to Laidlaw, various paragraphs expressing the concern he took in the hardships which his

poor neighbours must be suffering. Thus, on the 19th of January,

he says,

“DEAR WILLIE ,- I write by the post that you may receive the enclosed, or rather subjoined, cheque for L.60, in perfect safety. This dreadful morning will probably stop Mercer.* It makes me shiver in the midst of superfluous comforts, to think of the distress of others. L. 10 of the L.60 I wish you to distribule among our poorer neighbours, so as may best aid them. I mean not only the actually indigent, but those who are, in our phrase, ill aff. I am sure Dr Scott t will assist you with his advice in this labour of love. I think part of the wood-money, $ too, should be given among the Abbotstown folks if the storms keeps them off work, as is like. Yours truly,

WALTER SCOTT. “ Deep, deep snow lying here. How do the good-wife and bairns ? The little bodies will be half buried in snow drift."

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* The weekly Darnick carrier.'

+ Dr Scott of Darnlee. -See ante, p. 340. I regret to observe in the newspapers, as this page is passing through the press, the death of this very amiable, modest, and intelligent friend of Sir Walter Scott's.

# Some money expected from the sale of arches.

And again, on the 25th, he writes thus :

· DEAR WILLIE,-I have yours with the news of the inundation, which, it seems, has done no damage. I hope Mai will be taken care of. He should have a bed in the kitchen, and always be called in doors after it is dark, for all the kind are savage at night. Please cause Swanston to knock him up a box, and fill it with straw from time to time. I enclose a cheque for L.50 to pay accounts, etc. Do not let the poor bodies want for a L.5, or even a L. 10, more or less.

'We'll get a blessing wi’ the lave,
And never miss't,'*
« Yours,

W. S.” In the course of this month, through the kindness of Mr Croker, Scott received from the late Earl Bathurst, then Colonial Secretary of State, the offer of an appointment in the civil service of the East India Company for his second son : and this seemed at the time too good a thing not to be gratefully accepted; though the apparently increasing prosperity of his fortunes induced him, a few years afterwards, to indulge his parental feelings by. throwing it up. He thus alludes to this matter in a letter to his good old friend at Jedburgh.

To Robert Shortreed, Esq., Sheriff Substitute of Roxburghshire, Jedburgh.

“ Edinburgh, 19th Jan. 1820. 35" “My Dear Sir, I heartily congratulate you on getting the appointment for your son William in a manner'so very pleasant to your feelings, and which is, like all Whylbank does, considerate, friendly, and generous. f I am not aware that I have any friends at Calcutta, but if you think letters to Sir Jobn Malcolm and Lieut.-Colonel Russell would serve my young friend, he shall have my best commendations to them.

“It is very odd that almost the same thing has happened to me; for about a week ago, I was surprised by a letter, saying, that an unknown friend (who since proves to be Lord Bathurst, whom I never saw or spoke with ) would give my second son a writer's situation for India. Charles is two years too young for this appointment; but I do not think I am at liberty to decline an offer so advantageous, if it can be so arranged that, by exchange or otherwise, it can be kept open for him. Ever yours faithfully,

WALTER Scott." About the middle of February—it having been ere that time arranged that I should marry his eldest daughter in the course of the spring, -I accompanied him and part of his family on one of those flying visits to Abbotsford, with which he often indulged himself on a Saturday during term. Upon such occasions, Scolt appeared at the usual hour in Court, but wearing, instead of the official suit of black, his country morning dress, green jacket and so forth, under the clerk's gown; a license of which many gentlemen of the long robe had been accustomed to avail themselves in the days of his youth—it being then

* Burns-Lines to a Mouse. † “ An India appointment, with the name blank, which the late Mr Pringle of Whytbank sent unsolicited, believing it might be found useful to a family wher here were seven sons to provide for.". Note, by Mr A, Shortreed.

considered as the authentic badge that they were lairds as well as lawyers-hut which, to use the dialect of the place, had fallen into désuétude before I knew the Parliament House. He was, I think, one of the two or three, or, at most, the half dozen, who still adhered to this privilege of their order; and it has now, in all likelihood, become quite obsolete, like the ancient custom, a part of the same sys– tem, for all Scotch barristers to appear without gowns or wigs, and in coloured clothes, when upon circuit: At noon, when the Court broke up, Peter Mathieson was sure to be in attendance in the Parliament Close, and five minutes after, the gown had been tossed off, and Scott, rubbing his hands for glee, was under weigh for Tweedside. On this occasion, he was, of course, in mourning; but I have thought it worth while to preserve the circumstance of his usual Saturday's costume. As we proceeded, he talked without reserve of the novel of the Monastery, of which he had the first volume with him : and mentioned, what he had probably forgotten when he wrote the Introduction of 1830, that a good deal of that volume had been composed before he concluded Ivanhoe. "It was a relief,” he said, “ to interlay the scenery most familiar to me with the strange world for which I had to draw so much on imagination."

Next morning there appeared at breakfast John Ballantyne, who had at this time a shooting or hunting-box a few miles off in the vale of the Leader, and with him Mr Constable, his guest; and it being a fine clear day, as soon as Scott had read the Church service and one of Jeremy Taylor's sermons, we all sallied out, before noon, on a perambulation of his upland territories; Maida and the rest of the favourites accompanying our march. At starting we were joined by the constant henchman, Tom Purdie—and I may save myself the trouble of any attempt to describe his appearance, for his master has given us an inimitably true one in introducing a certain personage of his Redgauntlet : --"He was, perhaps, sixty years old; yet his brow was not much furrowed, and his jet black hair was only grizzled, not whitened, by the advance of age. All his motions spoke strength unabated; and, though rather undersized, he had very broad shoulders, was square made, thin-flanked, and apparently combined in his frame muscular strength and activity; the last somewhat impaired, perhaps, by years, but the first remaining in full vigour. A hard and harsh countenance; eyes far sunk under projecting eyebrows, which were grizzled like his hair; a wide mouth, furnished from ear to ear with a range of unimpaired teeth of uncommon whiteness, and a size and breadth which might have become the jaws of an ogre, completed this delightful portrait.” Equip this figure in Scott's cast-off green jacket, white hat, and drab trousers; and imagine that years of kind treatment, comfort, and the honest consequence of a confidential grieve, had sostened away

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