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Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart.
Chapter XII

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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We read in Solomon, “The heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy;” and a wise poet of our own time thus beautifully expands the saying:
“Why should we faint and fear to live alone,
Since all alone, so Heaven has willed, we die,
Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own,
Knows half the reasons why we smile and sigh?”*
Such considerations have always induced me to regard with small respect, any attempt to delineate fully and exactly any human being’s character. I distrust, even in very humble cases, our capacity for judging our neighbour fairly; and I cannot but pity the presumption that must swell in the heart and brain of any ordinary brother of the race, when he dares to pronounce, ex Cathedrâ, on the whole structure and complexion of a great mind, from the comparatively narrow and scanty materials which can by possibility have been placed before him. Nor is the difficulty to my view lessened,—perhaps it is rather increased, when the great man is a great artist. It is true that many of the feelings common to our nature can only be expressed adequately, and that some of the finest of them can only be express-

* See Keble’s Christian Year, p. 261.

ed at all, in the language of art; and more especially in the language of poetry. But it is equally true, that high and sane art never attempts to express that for which the artist does not claim and expect general sympathy; and however much of what we had thought to be our own secrets he ventures to give shape to, it becomes, I can never help believing, modest understandings to rest convinced that there remained a world of deeper mysteries to which the dignity of genius would refuse any utterance.

I have therefore endeavoured to lay before the reader those parts of Sir Walter’s character to which we have access, as they were indicated in his sayings and doings through the long series of his years making use, whenever it was possible, of his own letters and diaries rather than of any other materials; but refrained from obtruding almost any thing of comment. It was my wish to let the character develope itself: and conscious that I have wilfully withheld nothing that might assist the mature reader to arrive at just conclusions, I am by no means desirous of drawing out a detailed statement of my own. I am not going to “peep and botanize” upon his grave. But a few general observations will be forgiven, perhaps expected.

I believe that if the history of any one family in upper or middle life could be faithfully written, it might be as generally interesting, and as permanently useful, as that of any nation, however great and renowned. But literature has never produced any worthy book of this class, and probably it never will. The only lineages in which we can pretend to read personal character far back, with any distinctness, are those of kings and princes, and a few noble houses of the first eminence; and it hardly needed Swift’s biting satire to satisfy the student of the past, that the very highest pedigrees are
as uncertain as the very lowest. We flatter the reigning monarch, or his haughtier satellite, by tracing in their lineaments the mighty conqueror or profound legislator of a former century. But call up the dead, according to the Dean’s incantation, and we might have the real ancestor in some chamberlain, confessor, or musician.

Scott himself delighted, perhaps above all other books, in such as approximate to the character of good family histories,—as for example, Godscroft’s House of Douglas and Angus, and the Memorie of the Somervilles,—which last is, as far as I know, the best of its class in any language; and his reprint of the trivial “Memorials of the Haliburtons,” to whose dust he is now gathered, was but one of a thousand indications of his anxiety to realize his own ancestry to his imagination. No testamentary deed, instrument of contract, or entry in a parish register seemed valueless to him, if it bore in any manner, however obscure or distant, on the personal history of any of his ascertainable predecessors. The chronicles of the race furnished the fire-side talk to which he listened in infancy at Smailholm, and his first rhymes were those of Satchels. His physical infirmity was reconciled to him, even dignified perhaps, by tracing it back to forefathers who acquired famousness in their own way, in spite of such disadvantages. These studies led by easy and inevitable links to those of the history of his province generally, and then of his native kingdom. The lamp of his zeal burnt on brighter and brighter amidst the dust of parchments; his love and pride vivified whatever he hung over in these dim records, and patient antiquarianism, long brooding and meditating, became gloriously transmuted into the winged spirit of national poetry.

Whatever he had in himself he would fain have made
out a hereditary claim for. He often spoke both seriously and sportively on the subject. He had assembled about him in his “own great parlour,” as he called it—the room in which he died—all the pictures of his ancestors that he could come by; and in his most genial evening mood he seemed never to weary of perusing them. The Cavalier of Killiecrankie, brave, faithful, learned, and romantic old “
Beardie,” a determined but melancholy countenance, was never surveyed without a repetition of the solitary Latin rhyme of his Vow. He had, of course, no portraits of the elder heroes of Harden to lecture upon; but a skilful hand had supplied the same wall with a fanciful delineation of the rough wooing of “Meikle-mouthed Meg;” and the only historical picture, properly so called, that he ever bespoke was to be taken (for it was never executed) from the Raid o’ the Redswire, when
“The Laird’s Wat, that worthy man,
Brought in that surname weel beseen;
The Rutherfords with great renown,
Convoyed the town o’ Jedbrugh out.”
The ardent but sagacious “
goodman of Sandyknowe” hangs by the side of his father, “Bearded Wat;” and often, when moralizing in his latter day over the doubtful condition of his ultimate fortunes, Sir Walter would point to “Honest Robin,” and say, “Blood will out:—my building and planting was but his buying the hunter before he stocked his sheep-walk over again.” “And yet,” I once heard him say, glancing to the likeness of his own staid calculating father, “It was a wonder, too for I have a thread of the attorney in me.” And so, no doubt, he had; for the “elements” were mingled in him curiously, as well as “gently.”


An imagination such as his, concentrating its daydreams on things of this order, soon shaped out a world of its own to which it would fain accommodate the real one. The love of his country became indeed a passion; no knight ever tilted for his mistress, more willingly than he would have bled and died, to preserve even the airiest surviving nothing of her antique pretensions for Scotland. But the Scotland of his affections had the clan Scott for her kernel. Next and almost equal to the throne was Buccleuch. Fancy rebuilt and most prodigally embellished the whole system of the social existence of the middle ages, in which the clansman (whereever there were clans) acknowledged practically no sovereign, but his chief. The author of “the Lay” would rather have seen his heir carry the Banner of Bellenden gallantly at a foot-ball match on Carterhaugh, than he would have heard that the boy had attained the highest honours of the first university in Europe. His original pride was to be an acknowledged member of one of the “honourable families” whose progenitors had been celebrated by Satchels for following this banner in blind obedience to the patriarchal leader; his first and last worldly ambition was to be himself the founder of a distinct branch; he desired to plant a lasting root, and dreamt not of personal fame, but of long distant generations rejoicing in the name of “Scott of Abbotsford.” By this idea all his reveries—all his aspirations—all his plans and efforts, were overshadowed and controlled. The great object and end only rose into clearer daylight, and swelled into more substantial dimensions, as public applause strengthened his confidence in his own powers and faculties; and when he had reached the summit of universal and unrivalled honour, he clung to his first love with the faith of a Paladin. It is easy enough to smile at all this; many will not understand it,
and some who do may pity it. But it was at least a different thing from the modern vulgar ambition of amassing a fortune and investing it in land. The lordliest vision of acres would have had little charm for him, unless they were situated on Ettrick or Yarrow, or in
—“Pleasant Tiviedale
Fast by the river Tweed”—
somewhere within the primeval territory of “the Rough Clan.”

His worldly ambition was thus grafted on that ardent feeling for blood and kindred, which was the great redeeming element in the social life of what we call the middle ages; and—though no man estimated the solid advantages of modern existence more justly than he did when, restraining his fancy, he exercised his graver faculties on the comparison—it was the natural effect of the studies he devoted himself to and rose by, to indispose him for dwelling on the sober results of judgment and reason in all such matters. What a striking passage that is in one of his letters now printed, where he declines to write a biography of Queen Mary, “because his opinion was contrary to his feeling!” But he confesses the same of his Jacobitism; and yet how eagerly does he seem to have grasped at the shadow, however false and futile, under which he chose to see the means of reconciling his Jacobitism with loyalty to the reigning monarch who befriended him? We find him, over and over again, alluding to George IV. as acquiring a title, de jure on the death of the poor Cardinal of York! Yet who could have known better, that whatever rights the exiled males of the Stuart line ever possessed, must have remained entire with their female descendants?

The same resolution to give imagination her scope, and always in favour of antiquity, is the ruling principle and charm of all his best writings; and he indulged
and embodied it so largely in his buildings at Abbotsford, that to have curtailed the exposition of his fond untiring enthusiasm on that score, would have been like omitting the Prince in a cast of
Hamlet. So also with all the details of his hospitable existence, when he had fairly completed his “romance in stone and lime;”—every outline copied from some old baronial edifice in Scotland—every ‘roof and window blazoned with clan bearings, or the lion rampant gules, or the heads of the ancient Stuart kings. He wished to revive the interior life of the castles he had emulated—their wide open joyous reception of all comers, but especially of kinsmen, allies, and neighbours—ballads and pibrochs to enliven flowing bowls and quaighs—jolly hunting fields in which yeoman and gentleman might ride side by side—and mirthful dances, where no Sir Piercy Shafton need blush to lead out the miller’s daughter. In the brightest meridian of his genius and fame, this was his beau ideal. All the rest, however agreeable and flattering, was but “leather and prunella” to this. There was much kindness surely in such ambition:—in spite of the apparent contradiction in terms, was there not really much humility about it?

To this ambition we owe the gigantic monuments of Scott’s genius; and to the kindly feelings out of which his ambition grew, grew also his fatal connexion with merchandise. The Ballantynes were his old schoolfellows;—and the reader has had means to judge whether, when once embarked in their concerns, he ever could have got out of them again, until rude calamity, at one blow, broke the meshes of his entanglement. I need not recur to that sad and complicated chapter. Nor, perhaps, need I offer any more speculations, by way of explaining, and reconciling to his previous and subsequent history and demeanour, either
the mystery in which he had chosen to wrap his commercial connexions from his most intimate friends, or the portentous carelessness with which he abandoned these matters to the direction of negligent and inefficient colleagues. And yet I ought, I rather think, to have suggested to certain classes of my readers, at a much earlier stage, that no man can be called either to the English or the Scottish Bar, who is known to have any direct interest in any commercial undertaking of any sort; and that the body of feelings or prejudices in which this regulation originated—(for though there might be sound reason for it besides, such undoubtedly was the main source)—prevailed in Scotland in Sir Walter’s youth, to an extent of which the present generation may not easily form an adequate notion. In the minds of the “northern noblesse de la robe,” as they are styled in
Redgauntlet, such feelings had wide and potent authority; insomuch that I can understand perfectly how Scott, even after he ceased to practise at the bar, being still a Sheriff, and a member of the Faculty of Advocates, should have shrunk very sensitively from the idea of having his alliance with a trading firm revealed among his comrades of the gown. And, moreover, the practice of mystery is, perhaps of all practices, the one most likely to grow into a habit; secret breeds secret; and I ascribe, after all, the long silence about Waverley to the matured influence of this habit, at least as much as to any of the motives which the author has thought fit to assign in his late confessions.

But was there not, in fact, something that lay far deeper than a mere professional prejudice?

Among many things in Scott’s Diaries, which cast strong light upon the previous part of his history, the reluctance which he confesses himself to have always
felt towards the resumption of the proper appointed task, however willing, nay eager, to labour sedulously on something else, can hardly have escaped the reader’s notice. We know how gallantly he combated it in the general—but these precious Diaries themselves are not the least pregnant proofs of the extent to which it very often prevailed—for an hour or two at least, if not for the day.

I think this, if we were to go no farther, might help us somewhat in understanding the neglect about superintending the Messrs Ballantynes’ ledgers and bill books; and, consequently, the rashness about buying land, building, and the like.

But to what are we to ascribe the origin of this reluctance towards accurate and minute investigation and transaction of business of various sorts, so important to himself, in a man possessing such extraordinary sagacity, and exercising it every day with such admirable regularity and precision, in the various capacities of the head of a family—the friend—the magistrate—the most distinguished citizen of Edinburgh—beyond all comparison the most distinguished member of society that figured in his time in his native kingdom?

The whole system of conceptions and aspirations, of which his early active life was the exponent, resolves itself into a romantic idealization of Scottish aristocracy. He desired to secure for his descendants (for himself he had very soon acquired something infinitely more flattering to self-love and vanity) a decent and honourable middle station—in a scheme of life so constituted originally, and which his fancy pictured as capable of being so revived, as to admit of the kindliest personal contact between (almost) the peasant at the plough, and the magnate with revenues rivalling the monarch’s. It was the patriarchal—the clan system
that he thought of; one that never prevailed even in Scotland, within the historical period that is to say, except in the Highlands, and in his own dear Borderland. This system knew nothing of commerce—as little certainly of literature beyond the raid-ballad of the wandering harper,—
“High placed in hall—a welcome guest.”
His filial reverence of imagination shrunk from marring the antique, if barbarous, simplicity. I suspect that at the highest elevation of his literary renown—when princes bowed to his name, and nations thrilled at it—he would have considered losing all that at a change of the wind as nothing, compared to parting with his place as the Cadet of Harden and Clansman of Buccleuch, who had, no matter by what means, reached such a position, that when a notion arose of embodying ‘a Buccleuch legion,’ not a Scott in the Forest would have thought it otherwise than natural for Abbotsford to be one of the field-officers. I can, therefore, understand that he may have, from the very first, exerted the dispensing power of imagination very liberally, in virtually absolving himself from dwelling on the wood of which his ladder was to be constructed. Enough was said in a preceding chapter of the obvious fact, that the author of such a series of romances as his must have, to all intents and purposes, lived more than half his life in worlds purely fantastic. In one of the last obscure and faltering pages of his Diary he says, that if any one asked him how much of his thought was occupied by the novel then in hand, the answer would have been, that in one sense it never occupied him except when the amanuensis sat before him, but that in another it was never five minutes out of his head. Such, I have no doubt, the case had always been.
But I must be excused from doubting whether, when the substantive fiction actually in process of manufacture was absent from his mind, the space was often or voluntarily occupied (no positive external duty interposing) upon the real practical worldly position and business of the Clerk of Session, of the Sheriff,—least of all of the printer or the bookseller.

The sum is, if I read him aright, that he was always willing, in his ruminative moods, to veil, if possible, from his own optics the kind of machinery by which alone he had found the means of attaining his darling objects. Having acquired a perhaps unparalleled power over the direction of scarcely paralleled faculties, he chose to exert his power in this manner. On no other supposition can I find his history intelligible;—I mean, of course, the great obvious and marking facts of his history; for I hope I have sufficiently disclaimed all pretension to a thorough-going analysis. He appears to have studiously escaped from whatever could have interfered with his own enjoyment—to have revelled in the fair results, and waved the wand of obliterating magic over all besides; and persisted so long, that (like the sorcerer he celebrates) he became the dupe of his own delusions.

It is thus that (not forgetting the subsidiary influence of professional Edinburgh prejudices) I am inclined, on the whole, to account for his initiation in the practice of mystery—a thing, at first sight, so alien from the frank, open, generous nature of a man, than whom none ever had or deserved to have more real friends.

The indulgence cost him very dear. It ruined his fortunes—but I can have no doubt that it did worse than that. I cannot suppose that a nature like his was fettered and shut up in this way without suffering very severely from the “cold obstruction.” There must
have been a continual “insurrection” in his “state of man;” and, above all, I doubt not that what gave him the bitterest pain in the hour of his calamities, was the feeling of compunction with which he then found himself obliged to stand before those with whom he had, through life, cultivated brotherlike friendship, convicted of having kept his heart closed to them on what they could not but suppose to have been the chief subjects of his thought and anxiety, in times when they withheld nothing from him. These, perhaps, were the “written troubles” that had been cut deepest into his brain. I think they were, and believe it the more, because it was never acknowledged.

If he had erred in the primary indulgence out of which this sprang, he at least made noble atonement.

During the most energetic years of manhood he laboured with one prize in view; and he had just grasped it, as he fancied, securely, when all at once the vision was dissipated: he found himself naked and desolate as Job. How he nerved himself against the storm—how he felt and how he resisted it—how soberly, steadily, and resolvedly he contemplated the possibility of yet, by redoubled exertions, in so far retrieving his fortunes, as that no man should lose by having trusted those for whom he had been pledged—how well he kept his vow, and what price it cost him to do so, all this the reader, I doubt not, appreciates fully. It seems to me that strength of character was never put to a severer test than when, for labours of love, such as his had hitherto almost always been—the pleasant exertion of genius for the attainment of ends that owed all their dignity and beauty to a poetical fancy—there came to be substituted the iron pertinacity of daily and nightly toil in the discharge of a duty, which there was nothing but the sense of chivalrous honour to make stringent.


It is the fond indulgence of gay fancy in all the previous story that gives its true value and dignity to the voluntary agony of the sequel, when, indeed, he appears
—“Sapiens, sibique imperiosus;
Quem neque pauperies, neque mors, neque vincula terrent;
Responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores,
Fortis; et in seipso totus, teres atque rotundus,
Externi ne quid valeat per læve morari;
In quem manca ruit semper Fortuna.”
The attentive reader will not deny that every syllable of this proud ideal has been justified to the letter. But though he boasted of stoicism, his heroism was something far better than the stoic’s; for it was not founded on a haughty trampling down of all delicate and tender thoughts and feelings. He lays his heart bare in his Diary; and we there read in characters that will never die, how the sternest resolution of a philosopher may be at once quickened and adorned by the gentlest impulses of that spirit of love, which alone makes poetry the angel of life. This is the moment in which posterity will desire to fix his portraiture. It is then, truly, that
“He sits, ’mongst men, like a descended god;
He hath a kind of honour sets him off
More than a mortal seeming.”
But the noble exhibition was not a fleeting one; it was not that a robust mind elevated itself by a fierce effort for the crisis of an hour. The martyrdom lasted with his days; and if it shortened them, let us remember his own immortal words,—
“Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife,
To all the sensual world proclaim—
One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name.”

For the rest, I presume, it will be allowed that no human character, which we have the opportunity of
studying with equal minuteness, had fewer faults mixed up in its texture. The grand virtue of fortitude, the basis of all others, was never displayed in higher perfection than in him; and it was, as perhaps true courage always is, combined with an equally admirable spirit of kindness and humanity. His pride, if we must call it so, undebased by the least tincture of mere vanity, was intertwined with a most exquisite charity, and was not inconsistent with true humility. If ever the principle of kindliness was incarnated in a mere man, it was in him; and real kindliness can never be but modest. In the social relations of life, where men are most effectually tried, no spot can be detected in him. He was a patient, dutiful, reverent son; a generous, compassionate, tender husband; an honest, careful, and most affectionate father. Never was a more virtuous or a happier fireside than his. The influence of his mighty genius shadowed it imperceptibly; his calm good sense, and his angelic sweetness of heart and temper, regulated and softened a strict but paternal discipline. His children, as they grew up, understood by degrees the high privilege of their birth; but the profoundest sense of his greatness never disturbed their confidence in his goodness. The buoyant play of his spirits made him sit young among the young; parent and son seemed to live in brotherhood together; and the chivalry of his imagination threw a certain air of courteous gallantry into his relations with his daughters, which gave a very peculiar grace to the fondness of their intercourse. Though there could not be a gentler mother than
Lady Scott, on those delicate occasions most interesting to young ladies, they always made their father the first confidant.

To the depth of his fraternal affection I ascribe, mainly, the only example of departure from the decorum of polished manners which a keen observer of him through
life ever witnessed in him, or my own experience and information afford any trace of. Injuries done to himself no man forgave more easily—more willingly repaid by benefits. But it was not so when he first and unexpectedly saw before him the
noble person who, as he considered things at the time, had availed himself of his parliamentary privilege to cast a shade of insult upon the character of his next and best-loved brother.

But perhaps the most touching evidence of the lasting tenderness of his early domestic feelings was exhibited to his executors, when they opened his repositories in search of his testament, the evening after his burial. On lifting up his desk, we found arranged in careful order a series of little objects, which had obviously been so placed there that his eye might rest on them every morning before he began his tasks, These were the old-fashioned boxes that had garnished his mother’s toilette, when he, a sickly child, slept in her dressing-room—the silver taper-stand which the young advocate had bought for her with his first five-guinea fee—a row of small packets inscribed with her hand, and containing the hair of those of her offspring that had died before her—his father’s snuff-box and etui-case—and more things of the like sort, recalling
“The old familiar faces.”
The same feeling was apparent in all the arrangement of his private apartment. Pictures of his father and mother were the only ones in his dressing-room. The clumsy antique cabinets that stood there, things of a very different class from the beautiful and costly productions in the public rooms below, had all belonged to the furniture of George’s Square. Even his father’s rickety washing-stand, with all its cramped appurtenances, though exceedingly unlike what a man of his very scrupulous habits would have selected in these days, kept its ground.
The whole place seemed fitted up like a little chapel of the lares.

Such a son and parent could hardly fail in any of the other social relations. No man was a firmer or more indefatigable friend. I know not that he ever lost one; and a few, with whom, during the energetic middle stage of life, from political differences or other accidental circumstances, he lived less familiarly, had all gathered round him, and renewed the full warmth of early affection in his later days. There was enough to dignify the connexion in their eyes; but nothing to chill it on either side. The imagination that so completely mastered him when he chose to give her the rein, was kept under most determined control when any of the positive obligations of active life came into question. A high and pure sense of duty presided over whatever he had to do as a citizen and a magistrate; and as a landlord, he considered his estate as an extension of his hearth.

Of his political creed, the many who hold a different one will of course say that it was the natural fruit of his poetical devotion to the mere prejudice of antiquity; and I am quite willing to allow that this must have had a great share in the matter—nd that he himself would have been as little ashamed of the word prejudice as of the word antiquity. Whenever Scotland could be considered as standing separate on any question from the rest of the empire, he was not only apt, but eager to embrace the opportunity of again rehoisting, as it were, the old signal of national independence; and I sincerely believe that no circumstance in his literary career gave him so much personal satisfaction as the success of Malachi Malagrowther’s Epistles. He confesses, however, in his Diary, that he was aware how much it became him to summon calm
reason to battle imaginative prepossessions on this score; and I am not aware that they ever led him into any serious practical error. He delighted in letting his fancy run wild about ghosts and witches and horoscopes—but I venture to say, had he sat on the judicial bench a hundred years before he was born, no man would have been more certain to give juries sound direction in estimating the pretended evidence of supernatural occurrences of any sort; and I believe, in like manner, that had any Anti-English faction, civil or religious, sprung up in his own time in Scotland, he would have done more than any other living man could have hoped to do, for putting it down. He was on all practical points a steady, conscientious Tory of the school of
William Pitt; who, though an anti-revolutionist, was certainly any thing but an anti-reformer. He rejected the innovations, in the midst of which he died, as a revival, under alarmingly authoritative auspices, of the doctrines which had endangered Britain in his youth, and desolated Europe throughout his prime of manhood. May the gloomy anticipations which hung over his closing years be unfulfilled! But should they be so, let posterity remember that the warnings, and the resistance of his and other powerful intellects, were probably in that event the appointed means for averting a catastrophe in which, had England fallen, the whole civilized world must have been involved.

Sir Walter received a strictly religious education under the eye of parents, whose virtuous conduct was in unison with the principles they desired to instil into their children. From the great doctrines thus recommended he appears never to have swerved; but he must be numbered among the many who have incurred considerable risk of doing so, in consequence of the rigidity
with which Presbyterian heads of families, in Scotland, were used to enforce compliance with various relics of the puritanical observance. He took up, early in life, a repugnance to the mode in which public worship is conducted in the Scottish Establishment; and adhered to the sister Church, whose system of government and discipline he believed to be the fairest copy of the primitive polity, and whose litanies and collects he reverenced as having been transmitted to us from the age immediately succeeding that of the Apostles. The few passages in his Diaries, in which he alludes to his own religious feelings and practices, show clearly the sober, serene, and elevated frame of mind in which he habitually contemplated man’s relations with his Maker; the modesty with which he shrunk from indulging either the presumption of reason, or the extravagance of imagination, in the province of Faith; his humble reliance on the wisdom and mercy of God; and his firm belief that we are placed in this state of existence, not to speculate about another, but to prepare ourselves for it by active exertion of our intellectual faculties, and the constant cultivation of kindness and benevolence towards our fellow-men.

But his moral, political, and religious character has sufficiently impressed itself upon the great body of his writings. He is indeed one of the few great authors of modern Europe who stand acquitted of having written a line that ought to have embittered the bed of death. His works teach the practical lessons of morality and Christianity in the most captivating form—unobtrusively and unaffectedly. And I think it is not refining too far to say, that in these works, as well as his whole demeanour as a man of letters, we may trace the happy effects—(enough has already been said as to some less fortunate and agreeable ones)—of his having written
throughout with a view to something beyond the acquisition of personal fame. Perhaps no great poet ever made his literature so completely ancillary to the objects and purposes of practical life. However his imagination might expatiate, it was sure to rest over his home. The sanctities of domestic love and social duty were never forgotten; and the same circumstance that most ennobles all his triumphs, affords also the best apology for his errors.

I have interwoven in these pages some record of whatever struck myself as pre-eminently acute in the critical essays bestowed on Scott’s works by his contemporaries; but I have little doubt that the best of these essays will in due time be collected together, and accompany, in extenso, a general edition of his writings. From the first, his possession of a strong and brilliant genius was acknowledged; and the extent of it seems to have been guessed by others, before he was able to persuade himself that he had claim to a place among the masters of literature. The ease with which he did every thing deceived him; and he probably would never have done himself any measure of justice, even as compared with those of his own time, but for the fact, which no modesty could long veil, that whatever he did became immediately “the fashion”—the object of all but universal imitation. Even as to this, he was often ready to surmise that the priority of his own movement might have been matter of accident; and certainly nothing can mark the humility of his mind more strikingly than the style in which he discusses, in his Diary, the pretensions of the pigmies that swarmed and fretted in the deep wake of his mighty vessel. To the really original writers among his contemporaries he did full justice; no differences of theory or taste had the least power to
disturb his candour. In some cases he rejoiced in feeling and expressing a cordial admiration, where he was met by, at best, a cold and grudging reciprocity: and in others, his generosity was proof against not only the private belief, but the public exposure of envious malignity.
Lord Byron might well say that Scott could be jealous of no one; but the immeasurable distance did not prevent many from being jealous of him.

His propensity to think too well of other men’s works sprung, of course, mainly from his modesty and good-nature; but the brilliancy of his imagination greatly sustained the delusion. It unconsciously gave precision to the trembling outline, and life and warmth to the vapid colours before him. This was especially the case as to romances and novels; the scenes and characters in them were invested with so much of the “light within,” that he would close with regret volumes which, perhaps, no other person, except the diseased glutton of the circulating library, ever could get half through. Where colder critics saw only a schoolboy’s hollowed turnip with its inch of tallow, he looked through the dazzling spray of his own fancy, and sometimes the clumsy toy seems to have swelled almost into “the majesty of buried Denmark.”

These servile imitators are already forgotten, or will soon be so; but it is to be hoped that the spirit which breathes through his works may continue to act on our literature, and consequently on the character and manners of men. The race that grew up under the influence of that intellect can hardly be expected to appreciate fully their own obligations to it: and yet if we consider what were the tendencies of the minds and works that, but for his, must have been unrivalled in the power and opportunity to mould young ideas, we may picture to ourselves in some measure the magnitude of the debt we
owe to a perpetual succession, through thirty years, of publications unapproached in charm, and all instilling a high and healthy code; a bracing, invigorating spirit; a contempt of mean passions, whether vindictive or voluptuous; humane charity, as distinct from moral laxity as from unsympathizing austerity; sagacity too deep for cynicism, and tenderness never degenerating into sentimentality: animated throughout in thought, opinion, feeling, and style, by one and the same pure energetic principle—a pith and savour of manhood; appealing to whatever is good and loyal in our natures, and rebuking whatever is low and selfish.

Had Sir Walter never taken a direct part in politics as a writer, the visible bias of his mind on such subjects must have had a great influence; nay, the mere fact that such a man belonged to a particular side would have been a very important weight in the balance. His services, direct and indirect, towards repressing the revolutionary propensities of his age were vast—far beyond the comprehension of vulgar politicians.

On the whole I have no doubt that, the more the details of his personal history are revealed and studied, the more powerfully will that be found to inculcate the same great lessons with his works. Where else shall we be taught better how prosperity may be extended by beneficence, and adversity confronted by exertion? Where can we see the “follies of the wise” more strikingly rebuked, and a character more beautifully purified and exalted in the passage through affliction to death? I have lingered so long over the details that I have, perhaps, become, even from that circumstance alone, less qualified than more rapid surveyors may be to seize the effect in the mass. But who does not feel that there is something very invigorating as well as elevating in the contemplation? His character seems to belong to some
elder and stronger period than ours; and, indeed, I cannot help likening it to the architectural fabrics of other ages, which he most delighted in, where there is such a congregation of imagery and tracery, such endless indulgence of whim and fancy, the sublime blending here with the beautiful, and there contrasted with the grotesque,—half, perhaps, seen in the clear daylight, and half by rays tinged with the blazoned forms of the past—that one may be apt to get bewildered among the variety of particular impressions, and not feel either the unity of the grand design, or the height and solidness of the structure, until the door has been closed upon the labyrinth of aisles and shrines, and you survey it from a distance, but still within its shadow.

And yet as, with whatever admiration his friends could not but regard him constantly when among them, the prevailing feeling was still love and affection, so is it now, and so must ever it be, as to his memory. It is not the privilege of every reader to have partaken in the friendship of a great and good man; but those who have not may be assured, that the sentiment, which the near homely contemplation of such a being inspires, is a thing entirely by itself,
—“Not another comfort like to this
Succeeds in unknown fate.”

And now to conclude.—In the year 1832, France and Germany, as well as Britain, had to mourn over their brightest intellects. Goethe shortly preceded Scott, and Cuvier followed him: and with these mighty lights were extinguished many others of no common order—among the rest Crabbe and Mackintosh.

Many of those who had been intimately connected with Scott in various ways soon also followed him. James Ballantyne was already on his deathbed when he heard of his great friend and patron’s death. The
foreman of the printing-house, a decent and faithful man, who had known all their secrets, and done his best for their service, both in prosperous and adverse times, by name
M’Corkindale, began to droop and pine, and died too in a few months. James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, must also be mentioned. He died on the 21st of November, 1835; but it had been better for his fame had his end been of earlier date, for he did not follow his best benefactor until he had insulted his dust. Lastly, I observe, as this sheet is passing through the press: the death of the Rev. George Thomson—the happy “Dominie Thomson” of the happy days of Abbotsford. He died at Edinburgh on the 8th of January, 1838.

Miss Anne Scott received at Christmas, 1832, a grant of L.200 per annum from the privy purse of King William IV. But her name did not long burden the pension list. Her constitution had been miserably shattered in the course of her long and painful attendance, first on her mother’s illness, and then on her father’s; and perhaps reverse of fortune, and disappointments of various sorts connected with that, had also heavy effect. From the day of Sir Walter’s death, the strong stimulus of duty being lost, she too often looked and spoke like one
“Taking the measure of an unmade grave.”
After a brief interval of disordered health, she contracted a brain fever which carried her off abruptly. She died in my house in the Regent’s Park on the 25th June, 1833, and her remains are placed in the New Cemetery in the Harrow Road.

The adjoining grave holds those of her nephew John Hugh Lockhart, who died 15th Dec. 1831; and also those of my wife Sophia, who expired after a long illness, which she bore with all possible meekness and fortitude,
on the 17th of May, 1837. The clergyman who read the funeral service over her was her father’s friend, and hers, and mine, the
Rev. Henry Hart Milman, one of the Prebendaries of Westminster; and a little incident which he happened to observe during the prayers suggested to him some verses, which he transmitted to me the morning after, and which the reader will not, I believe, consider altogether misplaced in the last page of these memoirs of her father.

StanzasMay 22, 1837.
“Over that solemn pageant mute and dark,
Where in the grave we laid to rest
Heaven’s latest, not least welcome guest,
What didst thou on the wing, thou jocund lark!
Hovering in unrebuked glee,
And carolling above that mournful company?
“O thou light-loving and melodious bird,
At every sad and solemn fall
Of mine own voice, each interval
In the soul-elevating prayer, I heard
Thy quivering descant full and clear—
Discord not inharmonious to the ear!
“We laid her there, the Minstrel’s darling child.
Seem’d it then meet that, borne away
From the close city’s dubious day,
Her dirge should be thy native woodnote wild;
Nursed upon nature’s lap, her sleep
Should be where birds may sing, and dewy flowerets weep?
“Ascendedst thou, air-wandering messenger!
Above us slowly lingering yet,
To bear our deep, our mute regret;
To waft upon thy faithful wing to her
The husband’s fondest last farewell,
Love’s final parting pang, the unspoke, the unspeakable?
“Or didst thou rather chide with thy blithe voice
Our selfish grief that would delay
Her passage to a brighter day;
Bidding us mourn no longer, but rejoice
That it hath heavenward flown like thee,
That spirit from this cold world of sin and sorrow free?
“I watched thee, lessening, lessening to the sight,
Still faint and fainter winnowing
The sunshine with thy dwindling wing,
A speck, a movement in the ruffled light,
Till thou wert melted in the sky,
An undistinguished part of the bright infinity.
“Meet emblem of that lightsome spirit thou!
That still wherever it might come,
Shed sunshine o’er that happy home.
Her task of kindliness and gladness now
Absolved, with the element above
Hath mingled, and become pure light, pure joy, pure love.”

There remain, therefore, of Sir Walter’s race only his two sons, Walter, his successor in the baronetcy, Major in the 15th Regiment of Hussars—and Charles, a clerk in the office of her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; with two children left by their sister Sophia, a boy and a girl.

Shortly after Sir Walter’s death, his sons and myself, as his executors, endeavoured to make such arrangements as were within our power for completing the great object of his own wishes and fatal exertions. We found the remaining principal sum of the Ballantyne debt to be about L.54,000. L.22,000 had been insured upon his life; there were some monies in the hands of the Trustees, and Mr Cadell very handsomely offered to advance to us the balance, about L.30,000, that we might without further delay settle with the body of creditors.
This was effected accordingly on the 2d of February, 1833; Mr Cadell accepting as his only security the right to the profits accruing from Sir Walter’s copyright property and literary remains, until such time as this new and consolidated obligation should be discharged. I am afraid, however, notwithstanding the undiminished sale of his works, especially of his Novels, his executors can hardly hope to witness that consummation, unless, indeed, it should please the Legislature to give some extension to the period for which literary property has hitherto been protected; a bill for which purpose has recently been laid on the table of the House of Commons by
Mr Sergeant Talfourd.

Besides his commercial debt, Sir Walter left also one of L.10,000, contracted by himself as an individual, when struggling to support Constable in December, 1825, and secured by mortgage on the lands of Abbotsford. And, lastly, the library and museum, presented to him in free gift by his creditors in December, 1830, were bequeathed to his eldest son, with a burden to the extent of L.5000, which sum he designed to be divided between his younger children, as already explained in an extract from his Diary. His will provided that the produce of his literary property, in case of its proving sufficient to wipe out the remaining debt of Messrs Ballantyne, should then be applied to the extinction of these mortgages; and thereafter, should this also be accomplished, divided equally among his surviving family.

Various meetings were held soon after his death with a view to the erection of monuments to his memory, and the records of these meetings, and their results, are adorned by many of the noblest and most distinguished names both of England and of Scotland. In London, the Lord Bishop of Exeter, Sir Robert Peel, and Sir John Malcolm took a prominent part as
speakers: in Edinburgh, the
Duke of Buccleuch, the Marquis of Lothian, the Earl of Dalhousie, the Earl of Roseberry, Lord Jeffrey (then Lord-Advocate for Scotland), and Professor Wilson.

In Glasgow the subscription amounted to about L.1200 and a pillar is now rising in the chief square of that city, which had been previously adorned with statues of its own most illustrious citizens, Sir John Moore, and James Watt.

The subscription for a monument at Edinburgh, reached the sum of L.6000; but the committee have not as yet made their selection from the plans submitted to them.

The English subscription amounted to somewhere about L.10,000; but a considerable part of this was embezzled by a young person rashly appointed to the post of secretary, who carried it with him to America, where he soon afterwards died.

The noblemen and gentlemen who subscribed to this English fund had adopted a suggestion—(which originated, I believe, with Lord Francis Egerton and the Honourable John Stuart Wortley)—that, in place of erecting a cenotaph in Westminster Abbey, or a statue or pillar elsewhere, the most suitable and respectful tribute that could be paid to Sir Walter’s memory would be to discharge all the incumbrances upon Abbotsford, and entail the House, with its library and other articles of curiosity collected by him, together with the lands which he had planted and embellished, upon the heirs of his name for ever. The sum produced by the subscription, however, proved inadequate to the realization of such a scheme; nor has it as yet been definitely fixed in what manner the actual fund shall be applied.

I understand, however, the most probable arrangement will be, that the money in the hands of the committee (between £7000 and £8000) shall be employed to
liquidate the debt upon the library and museum, and whatever is over, towards the mortgage on the lands: which would enable the present
Sir Walter Scott to secure, in the shape originally desired, the permanent preservation at least of the house and its immediate appurtenances, as a memorial of the tastes and habits of the founder. The poet’s ambition to endow a family sleeps with him. But I still hope his successors may be, as long as any of his blood remains, the honoured guardians of that monument. The result of what was at least a generous and graceful design forsi altro cantera.

The most successful portraitures of Sir Walter Scott have been mentioned incidentally in the course of these Memoirs. It has been suggested, since the closing chapter went to press, that a complete list of the authentic likenesses ought to have been given; but the Editor regrets to say, that this is not in his power. He has reason to believe that several exist which he has never seen. The following catalogue, however, includes some not previously spoken of.

I. A very good miniature of Sir Walter, done at Bath, when he was in the fifth or sixth year of his age, was given by him to his daughter Sophia, and is now in my possession—the artist’s name unknown. The child appears with long flowing hair, the colour a light chestnut—a deep open collar, and scarlet dress. It is nearly a profile; the outline wonderfully like what it was to the last; the expression of the eyes and mouth very striking—grave and pensive.


II. The miniature sent by Scott to Miss Carpenter, shortly before their marriage in 1797 (see vol. I. p. 279), is in the possession of the present Sir Walter. It is not a good work of art, and I know not who executed it. The hair is slightly powdered.

III. The first oil painting, done for Lady Scott in 1805, by Saxon, was, in consequence of repeated applications for the purpose of being engraved, transferred by her to Messrs Longman & Co., and is now in their house in Paternoster Row. This is a very fine picture, representing, I have no doubt, most faithfully, the author of the Lay of the Last Minstrel. Length, three quarters—dress, black—hair, nut-brown—the favourite bull-terrier Camp leaning his head on the knee of his master. The companion portrait of Lady Scott is at Abbotsford.

IV. The first picture by Raeburn was done in 1808 for Constable, and passed, at the sale of his effects, into the hands of the Duke of Buccleuch. Scott is represented at full length sitting by a ruined wall, with Camp at his feet—Hermitage Castle and the mountains of Liddesdale in the background. This noble portrait has been repeatedly engraved: it forms the frontispiece to the first of these volumes. Dress, black—Hessian boots.

V. The second full length by Raeburn (done a year later) is nearly a repetition of the former; but the painter had some new sittings for it. Two greyhounds (Douglas and Percy) appear in addition to Camp, and the background gives the valley of the Yarrow, marking the period of Ashestiel and Marmion. This piece is at Abbotsford.

VI. A head in oils by Thomas Phillips, R.A., done
in 1818 for
Mr Murray, and now in Albemarle Street. The costume was, I think, unfortunately selected—a tartan plaid and open collar. This gives a theatrical air to what would otherwise have been a very graceful representation of Scott in the 47th year of his age. Mr Phillips (for whom Scott had a warm regard, and who often visited him at Abbotsford) has caught a true expression not hit upon by any of his brethren: a smile of gentle enthusiasm. The head has a vivid resemblance to Sir Walter’s eldest daughter, and also to his grandson, John Hugh Lockhart. A copy of this picture was added by the late Earl Whitworth to the collection at Knowle.

VII. A head sketched in oil by Geddes—being one of his studies for a picture of the finding of the Scottish Regalia in 1818—is in the possession of Sir James Stewart of Allanbank, Baronet. It is nearly a profile—boldly drawn.

VIII. The unrivalled portrait (three-quarters) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, painted for King George IV., in 1820, and now in the Corridor at Windsor Castle. See vol. IV., p. 360. The engraving, by Robinson, is masterly.

IX. A head by Sir Henry Raeburn—the last work of his hand—was done in 1822 for Lord Montagu, and is at Ditton Park: a massive, strong likeness, heavy at first sight, but which grows into favour upon better acquaintance—the eyes very deep and fine. This picture has been well engraved in mezzotinto.

X. A small three-quarters, in oil, done at Chiefswood, in August 1824, by the late Gilbert Stewart New-
ton, R. A., and presented by him to
Mrs Lockhart. This pleasing picture gives Sir Walter in his usual country dress—a green jacket and black neckcloth, with a leathern belt for carrying the forester’s axe round the shoulders. It is the best domestic portrait ever done. A copy of it, in Mr Murray’s possession, was engraved for Finden’sIllustrations of Byron.”

XI. A half-length, painted by C. R. Leslie, R. A. in 1824, for Mr Ticknor of Boston, New England, is now in that gentleman’s possession. I never saw this picture in its finished state, but the beginning promised well, and I am assured it is worthy of the artist’s high reputation. It has not been engraved—in this country I mean—but a reduced copy of it furnished an indifferent print for one of the Annuals.

XII. A small head was painted in 1826 by Mr Knight, a young artist, patronised by Terry. See vol. VI., p. 186. This juvenile production, ill-drawn and feeble in expression, was engraved for Mr Lodge’s great work!

XIII. A half-length by Mr Colvin Smith, of Edinburgh, done in January 1828, for the artist’s uncle, Lord Gillies. I never admired this picture; but it pleased many, perhaps better judges. Mr Smith executed no less than fifteen copies for friends of Sir Walter; among others, the Lord Bishop of Llandaff, the Lord Chief-Commissioner Adam, and John Hope, Esq., Dean of the Faculty of Advocates.

XIV. A half-length done by Mr John Graham in 1829, for the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in whose chambers it now is: Not destitute of merit; but much
inferior to that of
Miss Anne Scott, by the same hand, in the drawing-room at Abbotsford.

XV. An excellent half-length portrait, by John Watson Gordon, of Edinburgh, done in March, 1830, for Mr Cadell. See this volume, p. 276. Scott is represented sitting, with both hands resting on his staff—the stag-hound Bran on his left. The engraving in vol. 33 of the Waverley novels does no justice to this picture.

XVI. The cabinet picture, with armour and staghounds, done by Francis Grant, for Lady Ruthven, in 1831. See this volume, p. 268. This interesting piece has never been engraved.

XVII. I am sorry to say that I cannot express much approbation of the representation of Sir Walter, introduced by Sir David Wilkie in his picture of “The Abbotsford Family;” nor indeed are any of the likenesses in that beautiful piece (1817) at all satisfactory to me, except only that of Sir Adam Ferguson, which is perfect. This is at Huntly Burn.

XVIII. XIX. XX. Nor can I speak more favourably either of the head of Scott, in Wilkie’s “Arrival of George IV. at Holyrood,” (1822) or of that in William Allan’s picture of “The Ettrick Shepherd’s House-heating,” (1819.) Allan has succeeded better in his figure of “The Author of Waverley in his Study;” this was done shortly before Sir Walter’s death.

XXI. Mr Edwin Landseer, R.A., has recently painted a full-length portrait, with the scenery of the Rhymer’s Glen; and his familiarity with Scott renders this almost as valuable as if he had sat for it. This beautiful picture is in the gallery of Mr Wells.


Two or three drawings were done at Naples; but the friends who requested Sir Walter to sit, when labouring under paralysis, were surely forgetful of what was due to him and to themselves; and, judging by the lithographed prints, the results were in every point of view utterly worthless.

I have already (Vol. II., p. 183) given better evidence than my own as to the inimitable bust done by Sir Francis Chantrey in 1820, and now in the library at Abbotsford. Previous to Sir Walter’s death, the niche which this now occupies held a cast of the monumental effigy of Shakspeare, presented to him by George Bullock, with an elegant stand,, having the letters W. S. in large relievo on its front. Anxiety to place the precious marble in the safest station induced the poet’s son to make the existing arrangement the day after his father’s funeral. The propriety of the position is obvious: but in case of misrepresentation hereafter, it is proper to mention that it was not chosen by Sir Walter for an image of himself.

I am sorry to find that in my account of this work (vol.; IV. p. 362), I had fallen into sundry mistakes, from adopting, rashly, statements previously printed by other biographers. I also regret having omitted to mention that Sir Francis sculptured, in 1828, a bust possessing the character of a second original. This is now, I am rejoiced to say, in the gallery of Sir Robert Peel at Drayton; and the following letter, besides correcting my other errors, supplies the most authentic history of its execution:

To the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel, Bart. Whitehall.
“Belgrave Place, 26th January, 1838.
“Dear Sir Robert,

“I have much pleasure in complying with your
request to note down such facts as remain on my memory concerning the bust of
Sir Walter Scott which you have done me the honour to place in your collection at Drayton Manor.

“My admiration of Scott, as a poet and a man, induced me, in the year 1820, to ask him to sit to me for his bust—the only time I ever recollect having asked a similar favour from any one. He agreed; and I stipulated that he should breakfast with me always before his sittings and never come alone, nor bring more than three friends at once, and that they should all be good talkers. That he fulfilled the latter condition you may guess, when I tell you, that on one occasion, he came with Mr Croker, Mr Heber, and the late Lord Lyttleton. The marble bust produced from these sittings was moulded; and about forty-five casts were disposed of among the poet’s most ardent admirers. This was all I had to do with plaster casts. The Bust was pirated by Italians; and England and Scotland, and even the Colonies, were supplied with unpermitted and bad casts to the extent of thousands—in spite of the terror of an act of Parliament.

“I made a copy in marble from this Bust for the Duke of Wellington; it was sent to Apsley House in 1827, and it is the only duplicate of my Bust of Sir Walter that I ever executed in marble.

“I now come to your Bust of Scott. In the year 1828 I proposed to the poet to present the original marble as an Heir-Loom to Abbotsford, on condition that he would allow me sittings sufficient to finish another marble from the life for my own studio. To this proposal he acceded; and the Bust was sent to Abbotsford accordingly, with the following words inscribed on the back:—‘This Bust of Sir Walter Scott was made in 1820 by Francis Chantrey, and presented
by the sculptor to the poet, as a token of esteem, in 1828.’

“In the months of May and June in the same year, 1828, Sir Walter fulfilled his promise; and I finished, from his face, the marble bust now at Drayton Manor—a better sanctuary than my studio—else I had not parted with it. The expression is more serious than in the two former Busts, and the marks of age more than eight years deeper.

“I have now, I think, stated all that is worthy of remembering about the Bust, except that there need be no fear of piracy, for it has never been moulded. I have the honour to be, dear sir, your very sincere and faithful servant,

F. Chantrey.”

Sir Walter’s good nature induced him to sit, at various periods of his life, to other sculptors of inferior standing and reputation. I am not aware, however, that any of their performances but two ever reached the dignity of marble. The one of these, a very tolerable work, was done by Mr Joseph about 1822, and is in the gallery of Mr Burn Callander, at Prestonhall, near Edinburgh. The other was modelled by Mr Laurence Macdonald in the unhappy winter of 1830. The period of the artist’s observation would alone have been sufficient to render his efforts fruitless. His Bust may be, in point of execution, good; but he does not seem to me to have produced what any friend of Sir Walter’s will recognise as a likeness.

The only statue as yet done, is that by John Greenshields, in freestone. This, considering all the circumstances (see this volume, p. 167), is certainly a most meritorious work; and I am well pleased to find that it has its station in Mr Cadell’s premises in St Andrew’s
Square, Edinburgh, under the same roof with the greater part of the original MSS. of Sir Walter’s Poems and Romances. The proprietor might adopt the inscription for
Bacon’s effigy at St Alban’s, and carve on the pedestal Sic Sedebat.