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Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Sir Walter Scott to Maria Edgeworth, 22 September 1823

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, 22d Sept. 1823.
“My dear Miss Edgeworth,

Miss Harriet had the goodness to give me an account of your safe arrival in the Green Isle, of which I was, sooth to say, extremely glad; for I had my own private apprehensions that your very disagreeable disorder might return while you were among strangers, and in our rugged climate. I now conclude you are settled quietly at home, and looking back on recollections of mountains, and valleys, and pipes, and clans, and cousins, and masons, and carpenters, and puppy-dogs, and all the confusion of Abbotsford, as one does on the recollections of a dream. We shall not easily forget the vision of having seen you and our two young friends, and your kind indulgence for all our humours, sober and fantastic, rough or smooth. Mamma writes to make her own acknowledgments for your very kind attention about the cobweb stockings, which reached us under the omnipotent frank of Croker, who, like a true Irish heart, never scruples stretching his powers a little to serve a friend.

“We are all here much as you left us, only in possession of our drawing-room, and glorious with our gas-lights, which as yet have only involved us once in total darkness—once in a temporary eclipse. In both cases the remedy was easy and the cause obvious; and if the
gas has no greater objections than I have yet seen or can anticipate, it is soon like to put wax and mutton-suet entirely out of fashion. I have recovered, by great accident, another verse or two of
Miss Sophia’s beautiful Irish air; it is only curious as hinting at the cause of the poor damsel of the red petticoat’s deep dolour:—

‘I went to the mill, but the miller was gone,
I sate me down and cried ochone,
To think on the days that are past and gone,
Of Dickie Macphalion that’s slain.
Shool, shool, &c.
‘I sold my rock, I sold my reel,
And sae hae I my spinning-wheel,
And all to buy a cap of steel,
For Dickie Macphalion that’s slain.
Shool, shool,’ &c. &c.

“But who was Dickie Macphalion for whom this lament was composed? Who was the Pharaoh for whom the Pyramid was raised? The questions are equally dubious and equally important, but as the one, we may reasonably suppose, was a King of Egypt, so I think we may guess the other to have been a Captain of Rapparees, since the ladies, God bless them, honour with the deepest of their lamentation gallants who live wildly, die bravely, and scorn to survive until they become old and not worth weeping for. So much for Dickie Macphalion, who, I dare say, was in his day “a proper young man.”*

* As clever Tom Clinch, while the rabble was bawling,
Rode stately through Holborn to die in his calling,
He stopt at the George for a bottle of sack,
And promised to pay for it when he came back.
His waistcoat, and stockings, and breeches were white;
His cap had a new cherry ribbon to tie’t.
The maids to the doors and the balconies ran,
And said, ‘Lack-a-day! he’s a proper young man!’”

“We have had Sir Humphrey Davy here for a day or two—very pleasant and instructive, and Will Rose for a month—that is, coming and going. Lockhart has been pleading at the circuit for a clansman of mine, who, having sustained an affront from two men on the road home from Earlstown fair, nobly waylaid and murdered them both single-handed. He also cut off their noses, which was carrying the matter rather too far, and so the jury thought—so my namesake must strap for it, as many of The Rough Clan have done before him. After this Lockhart and I went to Sir Henry Stewart’s, to examine his process of transplanting trees. He exercises wonderful power certainly over the vegetable world, and has made his trees dance about as merrily as ever did Orpheus; but he has put me out of conceit with my profession of a landscape-gardener, now I see so few drains are necessary for a stock in trade. I wish Miss Harriet would dream no more ominous visions about Spicie.* The poor thing has been very ill of that fatal disorder proper to the canine race, called, par excellence, the Distemper. I have prescribed for her, as who should say thus you would doctor a dog, and I hope to bring her through, as she is a very affectionate little creature, and of a fine race. She has still an odd wheezing, however, which makes me rather doubtful of success. The Lockharts are both well, and at present our lodgers, together with John Hugh, or, as he calls himself, Donichue, which sounds like one of your old Irish kings. They all join in every thing kind and affectionate to you and the young ladies, and best compliments to your brother.

* Spice, one of the Pepper and Mustard terriers. Scott varied the names, unlike his Dandie Dinmont, but still, as he phrased it, “stuck to the cruets.” At one time he had a Pepper, a Mustard, a Spice, a Ginger, a Catchup, and a Soy—all descendants of the real Charlie’s-hope patriarchs.

Believe me ever, dear
Miss Edgeworth, yours, with the greatest truth and respect,

Walter Scott.”