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made such new ones as were likely mi sult you. I dare promise you would bave liked me well enough--for I have any properties of a Turk-never trouble myself about futurity-am as lazy as the day is long--delight in collecting silver-mountted pistols and atagbans, and go out of my own road for no one-all which I take to be attributes of your good Moslem. Moreover, I am somewhat an admirer of royalty, and in order to maintain this part of my creed, I shall take care never to be connected with a court, but stick to the ignotum pro mirabili.

" The author of the Queen's Wake will be delighted with your approbation. He is a wonderful creature for his opportunities, which were far inferior to those of the generality of Scottish peasants. Burns, for instance-(not that their extent of talents is to be compared for an instant)-had an education not much worse than the sons of many gentlemen in Scotland. But poor Hogg literally could neither read nor write till a very lale period of his life; and when he first distinguished himself by his poetical talent, could neither spell nor write grammar. When I first knew him he used to send me his poetry, and was both indignant and horrified when I pointed out to him parallel passages in authors whom he had never read, but whom all the world would have sworn he had copied. An evil fate has hitherto attended him, and baffled every attempt that has been made to place him in a road to independence. But I trust he may be more fortunate in future. " I have not yet seen Southey in the Gazette as Laureate.

He is a real poet, such as we read of in former times, with every atom of his soul and every moment of his time dedicated to literary pursuits, in which he differs from almost all those who have divided public attention with bim. Your Lordship’s habits of society, for example, and my own professional and official avocations, must necessarily connect us much more with our respective classes in the usual routine of pleasure or business, than if we had not any other employment than vacare musis. But Soulhey's ideas are all poetical, and his whole soul dedicated to the pursuit of literature. In this respect, as well as in many.others, he is a most striking and interesting character.

“I am very much interested in all that concerns your Giaour, which is universally approved of among our mountains. . I have heard no objection except by one or two geniuses, who run over poetry as a cat does over a harpischord, and they affect to complain of obscurity. On the contrary, I hold every real lover of the art is obliged to you for condensing the narrative, by giving us only those striking scenes which you have shown to be so susceptible of poetic ornament, and leaving to imagination the says I's and says he's, and all the minutiæ of detail which might be proper in giving evidence before a court of justice. The truth is, I think poetry is most striking when the mirror can be held up to thc reader, and the same kept constantly before his eyes; it requires most uncommon powers to support a direct and downright narration; nor can I remember many instances of its being successfully maintained even by our greatest bards.

" As to those who have done me the honour to take my rhapsodies for their model, I can only say they have exemplified the ancient adage, one fool makes many; ' nor do I think I have yet had much reason to suppose I have given rise to any thing of distinguished merit. The worst is, it draws on me letters and commendatory verses, to which my sad and sober thanks in humble prose are deemed a most unmeet and ungracious reply. Of this sort of plague your Lordship must ere now have had more than your share, but I think you can hardly have met with so original a request as concluded the letter of a bard I this morning received, who limited his demands to being placed in his due station on Parnassus--and invested with a post in the Edinburgh Custom House.

“What an awakening of dry bones seems to be taking place on the Continent ! I could as soon have believed in the resurrection of the Romans as in that of the Prussiansyet it seems a real and active renovation of national spirit. It will certainly be strange enough if that tremendous pitcher, which has travelled to so many fountains, should be at length broken on the banks of the Saale; but from the highest to the lowest we are the fools of fortune. Your Lordship will probably

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recolleci where the Oriental tale occurs, of a Sultan who consulted Solomon on the proper inscription for a signet-ring, requiring that the maxim which it conveyed should be at once proper for moderating the presumption of prosperity and tempering the pressure of adversity. The apophthegm supplied by the Jewish sage was, I think, admirably adapted for both purposes, being comprehended in the words. And this also shall pass away.'

" When your Lordship sees Rogers, will you remember me kindly to him? I hope to be in London next spring, and renew my acquaintance with my friends there. It will be an additional motive if I could flatter myself that your Lordship’s stay in the country will permit me the pleasure of waiting upon you. I am, with much respect and regard, you Lordship's truly honoured and obliged humble servant,

WALTER Scott. "I go to Edinburgh next week, multum gemens.

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" To Miss Joanna Baillie, Hampstead.

Edinburgh, 10th Dec. 1813. " Many thanks, my dear friend, for your kind token of remembrance, wbich I yesterday received. I ought to blush, if I had grace enough left, at my long and ungenerous silence : but what shall I say?. The habit of procrastination, which had always more or less a dominion over me, does not relax its sway as I grow older and less willing to take up the pen. I have not written to dear Ellis this age, -yet there is not a day tbat I do not think of you and him, and one or two other friends in your southern land. I am very glad the whisky came safe ; do not stint so laudable an admiration for the liquor of Caledonia, for I have plenty of right good and sound Highland Ferintosh, and I can always find an opportunity of sending you

up a bottle.

" We are here almost mad with the redemption of Holland, which has an instant and gratifying affect on the trade of Leith, and indeed all along the east coast of Scotland. About L. 100,000 worth of various commodities, which had been dormant in cellars and warehouses, was sold the first day the news arrived, and Orange ribbons and Orange Boven was the order of the day among all ranks.

It is a most miraculous revivification which it has been our fate to witness. Though of a tolerably sanguine temper, I had fairly adjourned all hopes and expectations of the kind till another generation : the same power, however, that opened the windows of heaven and the fountains of the great deep, has been pleased to close them, and to cause his wind to blow upon the face of the waters, so that we may look out from the ark of our preservation and behold the reappearance of the mountain crests, and old, beloved and well-known landmarks, which we had deemed swallowed up for ever in the abyss : the dove with the olive branch would complete the simile, but of that I see little bope. Buonaparte is that desperate gambler, who will not rise while he has a stake left; and, indeed, to be King of France would be a poor pettifogging enterprise, after having been almost Emperor of the World. I think he will drive things on, till the fickle and impatient people over whom he rules get tired of him and shake him out of the saddle. Some circumstances seem to intimate bis having become jealous of the Senate; and indeed any thing like a representative body, however imperfectly constructed, becomes dangerous to a tottering tyranny. The sword displayed on both frontiers may, like that brandished across the road of Balaam, terrify even dumb and irrational subjection into otterance : but enough of politics, though now a more cheerful subject than they bave been for many years past.

I have had a strong temptation to go to the Continent this Christmas; and should certainly have done so, bad I been sure of getting from Amsterdam to Frankfort, where, as I know Lord Aberdeen and Lord Cathcart, I might expect a welcome. But notwithstanding my earnest desire to see the allied armies cross the Rhine, which I suppose must be one of the grandest military spectacles in the

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world, I should like to know that the roads were tolerably secure, and the means of getting forward attainable. In Spring, however, if no unfortunate change takes place, I trust to visit the camp of the allies, and see all the pomp and power and circumstance of war, which I have so often imagined, and sometimes atlempted to embody in verse. Johnnie Richardson is a good, honourable, kindhearted little fellow as lives in the world, with a pretty taste for poetry, which he has wisely kept under subjection to the occupation of drawing briefs and revising conveyances. It is a great good fortune to him to be in your neighbourhood, as ke is an idolator of genius, and where could he offer up his worship so justly? And I am sure you will like him, for be is really 'officious, innocent, sincere.' Terry, I hope, will get on well; he is industrious, and zealous for the honour of his art. Ventidius must have been an excellent part for him, bovering between tragedy and comedy, which is precisely what will suit him. We have a woful want of him here, both in public and private, for he was one of the most easy and quiet chimney-corner companions that I have bad for these two or three years past.

“I am very glad if any thing I have written to you could give pleasure to Miss Edgeworth, though I am sure it will fall very short of the respect which I have for ber brilliant talents. I always write to you à la volée, and trust implicitly to your kindness and judgment upon all occasions where you' may choose to communicate any part of my lellers. f As to the taxing men, I must battle them as į can : they are worse than the great Emathian conqueror, who

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Your pinasters are coming up gallantly in the nursery-bed at Abbotsford. I trust to pay the whole establishment a Christmas visit, which will be, as Robinson Crusoc says of his glass of rum, “lo mine exceeding refreshment.' All Edinburgh have been on liploe to see Madame de Staël, but she is now ot likely to honour us with a visit, at which I cannot prevail on myself to be very sorry; for as 1 tired of some of her works, I am afraid I should disgrace my taste by liring of the auihoress too. All my little people are very well, learning, with great pain and diligence, much which they will have forgotten altogether, or nearly so, in the course of twelve years hence ; but the habit of learning is something in itself, even when the lessons are forgotten.

“I must not omit to tell you that a friend of mine, with whom that metal is more plenty than with me, has given me some gold mohurs to be converted into a ring for enchasing King Charles' hair ; but this is not to be done until I get to London, and get a very handsome pattern. Ever, most truly and sincerely, yours,

"W. Scott.” The last sentence of this letter refers to a lock of the hair of Charles. I., which, at Dr Baillie's request, Sir Henry Halford had transmitted to Scott when the royal martyr's remains were discovered at Windsor, in April, 1813. Sir John Malcolm had given him some Indian coins to supply virgin gold for the setting of this relic; and for some years he constantly wore the ring, which is a massive and beautiful one, with the word REMEMBER surrounding it in highly relieved blackletter.

*

Scott's old friend, Mr John Richardson, had shortly before this time taken a house in Miss Baillie's neighbourhood, on Hampstead Heath.

† Miss Baillie had apologized to him for having sent an extract of one of his letters to her friend at Edgeworthstown.

The poet's allusion to “taxing men" may require another word of explanation. To add to his troubles during this autumn of 1813, a demand was made on him by the commissioners of the income-tax, to return in one of their schedules an account of the profits of his literary exertions during the three last years. He demurred to this, and took the opinion of high authorities in Scotland, who confirmed him in his impression that the claim was beyond the statute. The grounds of his resistance are thus briefly stated in one of his letters to his legal friend in London.

To John Richardson, Esq., Fludyer-Street, Westminster. “MY DEAR RICHARDSON, I have owed you a letter this long time, but perhaps my debt might not yet be discharged, bad I not a little matter of business to trouble you with. I wish you to lay before either the King's counsel, or Sir Samuel Romilly and any other you may approve, the point whether a copyright, being sold for the term during which Queen Anne's act warranled the property to the author, the price is liable in payment of the property tax. I contend it is not so liable, for the following reasons :- 1st, It is a patent right, expected to produce an annual, or at least an incidental profit, during the currency of many years ; and surely it was never contended that if a man sold a theatrical patent, or a patent for machinery, property tax should be levied in the first place on the full price as paid to the seller, and then on the profits as purchased by the buyer. I am not very expert at figures, but I think it clear that a double taxation takes place. 2d, It should be considered that a book may be the work not of one year, but of a man's whole life; and as it has been found, in a late case of the Duke of Gordon, that a fall of timber was not subject to property tax because it comprehended the produce of thirty years, it seems at least equally fair that mental exertions should not be subjected to a barder principle of measurement. 3d, The demand is, so far as I can learn, totally new and unheard of. 4th, Supposing that I died and left my manuscripts to be sold publicly along with the rest of my library, is there any ground for taxing what might be received for the written book, any more than any rare printed book which a speculative bookseller might purchase with a view to re-publication? You will know whether any of these things ought to be suggested in the brief. David Hume, and every lawyer here whom I bave spoken to, consider the demand as illegal. Believe me truly yours,

WALTER SCOTT."

Mr Richardson having prepared a case, obtained upon it the opinions of Mr Alexander (afterwards Sir William Alexander and Chief Baron of the Exchequer), and of the late Sir Samuel Romilly. These eminent Jawyers agreed in the view of their Scotch brethren; and after a tedious correspondence, the Lords of the Treasury at last decided that the Income-Tax Commissioners should abandon their claim upon the produce of literary labour. I have thought it worth while to preserve some record of this decision, and of the authorities on which it rested, in caso such a demand should ever be renewed hereafter.

In the beginning of December, the Town-Council of Edinburgh resolved to send a deputation to congratulate the Prince Regent on the prosperous course of public events, and they invited Scott to draw up their address, which, on its being transmitted for previous inspection to Mr William Dundas, then member for the city, and through him shown privately to the Regent, was acknowledged to the penman, by his Royal Highness's command, as “ the most elegant congralulation a sovereign ever received, or a subject offered."* The Lord Provost of Edinburgh presented it accordingly at the levce of the 10th, and it was received most graciously. On returning to the north, the Magistrates expressed their sense of Scott's services on this occasion by presenting him with the freedom of hiş native city, and also with a piece of plate,

- which the reader will find alluded to, among other matters of more consequence, in a leller to be quoted presently.

At this timne Scout further expressed his patriotic exultation in the rescue of Europe, by two songs for the anniversary of the death of Pilt; one of which has ever since, I believe, been chaunted at that celebration ;-

« O dread was the time and more dreadful the omen,

When the brave on Marengo lay slaughter'd in vain,” † &c.

CHAPTER III.

Insanity of Henry Weber-Letters on the Abdication of Napoleon, &c.—Publication

of Scott's Life and Edition of Swift-Essays for the Supplement to the Encyclopædia Britannica-Completion and Publication of Waverley—-1814.

I have to open the year 1814 with a melancholy story. Mention has been made, more than once, of Henry Weber, a poor German scholar, who escaping to this country in 1804, from misfortunes in his own, excited Scott's compassion, and was thenceforth furnished, through his means, with literary employment of various sorts. Weber was a man of considerable learning; but Scott, as was his custom, appears to have formed an exaggerated notion of his capacity, and certainly countenanced him, to his own severe cost, in several most unfortunate undertakings. When not engaged on things of a more ambitious character, he had acted for ten years as his protector's amanuensis, and when the family were in Edinburgh, he very often dined with them. There was something very interesting in his appearance and manners; he had a fair, open countenance, in which the honesty and the enthusiasm of his nation were alike visible; his demeanour was gentle and modest; and he had not only a stock of curious antiquarian knowledge, but the reminiscences, which he detailed with amusing simplicity, of an early life chequered with many strange enough adventures. He was, in

* Letter from the Right Hon. W. Dundas, dated 6th December, 1813.
+ See Scott's Poetical Works.

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