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Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Walter Scott to the Duke of Buccleuch, 11 January 1817

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
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“Abbotsford, January 11, 1817.
“My dear Lord Duke,

“I have been thinking anxiously about the disagreeable affair of Tom Hudson, and the impudent ingratitude of the Selkirk rising generation, and I will take the usual liberty your friendship permits me, of saying what occurs to me on each subject. Respecting the shooting, the crime is highly punishable, and we will omit no enquiries to discover the individuals guilty. Charles Erskine, who is a good police officer, will be sufficiently active. I know my friend and kinsman, Mr Scott of Harden, feels very anxious to oblige your Grace, and I have little doubt that if you will have the goodness to mention to him this unpleasant circumstance, he would be anxious to put his game under such regula-
tions as should be agreeable to you. But I believe the pride and pleasure he would feel in obliging your Grace, as heading one of the most ancient and most respectable branches of your name (if I may be pardoned for saying so much in our favour), would be certainly much more gratified by a compliance with your personal request, than if it came through any other channel. Your Grace knows there are many instances in life in which the most effectual way of conferring a favour is condescending to accept one. I have known Harden long and most intimately—a more respectable man either for feeling, or talent, or knowledge of human life, is rarely to be met with. But he is rather indecisive—requiring some instant stimulus in order to make him resolve to do, not only what he knows to be right, but what he really wishes to do, and means to do one time or other. He is exactly
Prior’s Earl of Oxford:—
‘Let that be done which Mat doth say’
‘Yea,’ quoth the Earl, ‘but not to-day.
And so exit Harden and enter Selkirk.

“I know hardly any thing more exasperating than the conduct of the little blackguards, and it will be easy to discover and make an example of the biggest and most insolent. In the mean while, my dear Lord, pardon my requesting you will take no general or sweeping resolution as to the Selkirk folks. Your Grace lives near them—your residence, both from your direct beneficence, and the indirect advantages which they derive from that residence, is of the utmost consequence; and they must be made sensible that all these advantages are endangered by the very violent and brutal conduct of their children. But I think your Grace will be inclined to follow this up only for the purpose of correction, not for that of requital. They are so much beneath you, and so much in your power, that this would be unworthy of you—especially
as all the inhabitants of the little country town must necessarily be included in the punishment. Were your Grace really angry with them, and acting accordingly, you might ultimately feel the regret of my old schoolmaster, who, when he had knocked me down, apologized by saying he did not know his own strength. After all, those who look for any thing better than ingratitude from the uneducated and unreflecting mass of a corrupted population, must always be deceived; and the better the heart is that has been expanded towards them, their wants, and their wishes, the deeper is the natural feeling of disappointment. But it is our duty to fight on, doing what good we can (and surely the disposition and the means were never more happily united than in your Grace), and trusting to God Almighty, whose grace ripens the seeds we commit to the earth, that our benefactions shall bear fruit. And now, my Lord, asking your pardon for this discharge of my conscience, and assuring your Grace I have no wish to exchange my worsted gown, or the remote Pisgah exchange of a silk one, for the cloak of a presbyterian parson, even with the certainty of succeeding to the first of your numerous Kirk-presentations, I take the liberty to add my own opinion. The elder boys must be looked out and punished, and the parents severely reprimanded, and the whole respectable part of the town made sensible of the loss they must necessarily sustain by the discontinuance of your patronage. And at, or about the same time, I should think it proper if your Grace were to distinguish by any little notice such Selkirk people working with you as have their families under good order.

“I am taking leave of Abbotsford multum gemens, and have been just giving directions for planting upon Turnagain, When shall we eat a cold luncheon there, and look at the view, and root up the monster in his abyss?
I assure you, none of your numerous vassals can show a finer succession of distant prospects. For the homeview—ahem!—We must wait till the trees grow. Ever your Grace’s truly faithful

W. Scott.”