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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Jonathan Christie to John Gibson Lockhart, 20 February 1821

Vol. I. Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter 1: 1794-1808
Chapter 2: 1808-13
Chapter 3: 1813-15
Chapter 4: 1815-17
Chapter 5: 1817-18
Chapter 6: 1817-19
Chapter 7: 1818-20
Chapter 8: 1819-20
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Chapter 10: 1821-24
Chapter 11: 1817-24
Chapter 12: 1821-25
Chapter 13: 1826
Vol. II Contents
Chapter 14: 1826-32
Chapter 15: 1828-32
Chapter 16: 1832-36
Chapter 17: 1837-39
Chapter 18: 1837-43
Chapter 19: 1828-48
Chapter 20: 1826-52
Chapter 21: 1842-50
Chapter 22: 1850-53
Chapter 23: 1853-54
Chapter 24: Conclusion
Vol. II Index
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On Saturday, February 20, 1821 (Postmark), Lockhart received a letter from Christie, which,
his friend says, “will surprise and distress you. I have been forced to give
Scott a meeting, and he now lies (if I had written an hour ago I should have said mortally, and I must still say most dangerously) wounded. This has been the most heartrending transaction that has happened in my life: a few hours ago I would most willingly have changed places with the man I believed to lie mortally wounded.

“The circumstances were simply these. I sent a copy of your second statement and of that which I wrote, to Mr. P. (Patmore) on Saturday night. Yesterday he called upon me from Mr. Scott, with a letter demanding an explanation of the last sentence in the narrative which was signed by me, such explanation to express that I meant nothing disrespectful to Mr. Scott; this to be made public. This appeared to me to be such a complete trick to obtain something like éclat at the conclusion of his affair with you, that I instantly refused to do anything of the sort. Mr. Patmore then produced a challenge from Mr. Scott, which he was to deliver to me in case of a refusal. I entered a protest, in the first instance, that I could only meet Mr. Scott on the ground that I would meet any man who thought himself aggrieved by me, and to whom I refused other satisfaction, and then consented to meet him.

“We met last night, at nine o’clock, at Chalk Farm. I arranged with my second (Traill) that I would not
fire at
Scott except in self-defence. Accordingly, I fired my first shot in the air. Before we fired again, Traill protested that, as Mr. Scott had taken the usual aim at me, I should not forego that advantage again.1 I felt bound to follow his advice for self-preservation, and my second shot took effect. . . . The surgeon left him on some pretext, and did not return, I presume thinking his case desperate. I cannot and shall not attempt to describe the horror I felt. I instantly ran to the Chalk Farm Inn, and procured a shutter to carry him upon. We carried him there, and put him to bed, and then I made my escape,—as I did afterwards (sic), but not till his family had arrived.”

Christie then gives the latest, and less distressing news of the wounded man, and ends—“Pity me, I am most wretched, though I stand acquitted in my own mind of doing more than what, under the circumstances, was inevitable. . . .”