LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Walter Scott to Lady Louisa Stuart, 19 January 1808

Vol I Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter I
Chapter II 1771-78
Chapter III 1778-83
Chapter IV 1783-86
Chapter V 1786-90
Chapter VI 1790-92
Chapter VII 1792-96
Chapter VIII 1796-97
Chapter IX 1798-99
Chapter X 1800-02
Chapter XI 1802-03
Chapter XII 1803-04
Vol. II Contents.
Chapter I 1804-05
Chapter II 1805
Chapter III 1806
Chapter IV 1806-08
Chapter V 1808
Chapter VI 1808-09
Chapter VII 1809-10
Chapter VIII 1810
Chapter IX 1810
Chapter X 1810-11
Chapter XI 1811
Chapter XII 1811-12
Vol. III Contents.
Chapter I 1812-13
Chapter II 1813
Chapter III 1814
Chapter IV 1814
Chapter V 1814
Chapter VI 1814
Chapter VII 1814
Chapter VIII 1814
Chapter IX 1814
Chapter X 1814-15
Chapter XI 1815
Chapter XII 1815
Vol III Appendix
Vol. IV Contents.
Chapter I 1816
Chapter II 1817
Chapter III 1817
Chapter IV 1818
Chapter V 1818
Chapter VI 1818
Chapter VII 1818-19
Chapter VIII 1819
Chapter IX 1819
Chapter X 1819
Chapter XI 1820
Chapter XII 1820
Vol. V Contents.
Chapter I 1820
Chapter II 1820-21
Chapter III 1821
Chapter IV 1821
Chapter V 1821
Chapter VI 1821
Chapter VII 1822
Chapter VIII 1822
Chapter IX 1822-23
Chapter X 1823
Chapter XI 1823
Chapter XII 1824
Chapter XIII 1824-25
Vol. VI Contents.
Chapter I 1825
Chapter II 1825
Chapter III 1825
Chapter IV 1825
Chapter V 1826
Chapter VI 1826
Chapter VII 1826
Chapter VIII 1826
Chapter IX 1826
Chapter X 1826
Chapter XI 1826
Vol. VII Contents.
Vol VII Preface
Chapter I 1826-27
Chapter II 1827
Chapter III 1828
Chapter IV 1828
Chapter V 1829
Chapter VI 1830
Chapter VII 1830-31
Chapter VIII 1831
Chapter IX 1831
Chapter X 1831-32
Chapter XI 1832
Chapter XII
Vol VII Appendix
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Edinburgh, 19th January, 1808.

“I am much flattered, dear Lady Louisa, by your kind and encouraging remembrance. Marmion is, at this instant, gasping upon Flodden field, and there I have been obliged to leave him for these few days in the death pangs. I hope I shall find time enough this morning to knock him on the head with two or three thumping stanzas. I thought I should have seen Lady Douglas while she was at Dalkeith, but all the Clerks of Session (excepting myself, who have at present no salary) are subject to the gout, and one of them was unluckily visited with a fit on the day I should have been at the Duke’s, so I had his duty and my own to discharge. Pray, Lady Louisa, don’t look for Marmion in Hawthornden or any where else, excepting in the too thick quarto which bears his name. As to the fair * * * * * * *, I beg her pardon with all my heart and spirit; but I rather think that the habit of writing novels or romances, whether in prose or verse, is unfavourable to rapid credulity; at least these sort of folks know that they can easily make fine stories themselves, and will be therefore as curious in examining those of other folks as a cunning vintner in detecting the sophistication of his neighbour’s claret by the help of his own experience.
Talking of fair ladies and fables reminds me of
Mr Sharpe’s ballads,* which I suppose Lady Douglas carried with her to Bothwell. They exhibit, I think, a very considerable portion of imagination, and occasionally, though not uniformly, great flow of versification. There is one verse, or rather the whole description of a musical ghost lady sitting among the ruins of her father’s tower, that pleased me very much. But his language is too flowery and even tawdry, and I quarrelled with a lady in the first poem who yielded up her affection upon her lover showing his white teeth. White teeth ought to be taken great care of and set great store by; but I cannot allow them to be an object of passionate admiration—it is too like subduing a lady’s heart by grinning. Grieved am I for Lady Douglas’s indisposition, which I hope will be short, and I am sure will be tolerable with such stores of amusement around her. Last night I saw all the Dalkeith family presiding in that happy scene of mixed company and Babylonian confusion, the Queen’s Assembly. I also saw Mr Alison there. I hope your ladyship has not renounced your intention, of coming to Edinburgh for a day or two, and that I shall have the honour to see you. We have here a very diverting lion and sundry wild beasts; but the most meritorious is Miss Lydia White, who is what Oxonians call a lioness of the first order, with stockings nineteen times nine dyed blue, very lively, very good-humoured, and extremely absurd. It is very diverting to see the sober Scotch ladies staring at this phenomenon. I am, with great respect, your ladyship’s honoured and obliged

Walter Scott.”