LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Scott Anecdote

Vol. I. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Introductory
Ch. 2: Childhood
Ch. 3: Boyhood
Ch. 4: London
Ch. 5: Companions
Ch. 6: The Cypher
Ch. 7: Edinburgh
Ch. 8: Edinburgh
Ch. 9: Excursion
Ch. 10: Naval Services
Ch. 11: Periodical Press
Ch. 12: Periodical Press
Ch. 13: Past Times
Ch. 14: Past Times
Ch. 15: Literary
Ch. 16: War & Jubilees
Ch. 17: The Criminal
Ch. 18: Mr. Perceval
Ch. 19: Poets
Ch. 20: The Sun
Ch. 21: Sun Anecdotes
Ch. 22: Paris in 1814
Ch. 23: Paris in 1814
Ch. 24: Byron
Vol. I. Appendices
‣ Scott Anecdote
Burns Anecdote
Life of Thomson
John Stuart Jerdan
Scottish Lawyers
Sleepless Woman
Canning Anecdote
Southey in The Sun
Hood’s Lamia
Murder of Perceval
Vol. II. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary
Ch. 2: Mr. Canning
Ch. 3: The Sun
Ch. 4: Amusements
Ch. 5: Misfortune
Ch. 6: Shreds & Patches
Ch. 7: A Character
Ch. 8: Varieties
Ch. 9: Ingratitude
Ch. 10: Robert Burns
Ch. 11: Canning
Ch. 12: Litigation
Ch. 13: The Sun
Ch. 14: Literary Gazette
Ch. 15: Literary Gazette
Ch. 16: John Trotter
Ch. 17: Contributors
Ch. 18: Poets
Ch 19: Peter Pindar
Ch 20: Lord Munster
Ch 21: My Writings
Vol. II. Appendices
The Satirist.
Authors and Artists.
The Treasury
Morning Chronicle
Chevalier Taylor
Foreign Journals
Vol. III. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary Pursuits
Ch. 2: Literary Labour
Ch. 3: Poetry
Ch. 4: Coleridge
Ch 5: Criticisms
Ch. 6: Wm Gifford
Ch. 7: W. H. Pyne
Ch. 8: Bernard Barton
Ch. 9: Insanity
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.
Ch. 11: The R.S.L.
Ch. 12: L.E.L.
Ch. 13: L.E.L.
Ch. 14: The Past
Ch. 15: Literati
Ch. 16: A. Conway
Ch. 17: Wellesleys
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette
Ch. 19: James Perry
Ch. 20: Personal Affairs
Vol. III. Appendices
Literary Poverty
Ismael Fitzadam
Mr. Tompkisson
Mrs. Hemans
A New Review
Debrett’s Peerage
Procter’s Poems
Poems by Others
Poems by Jerdan
Vol. IV. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Critical Glances
Ch. 2: Personal Notes
Ch. 3: Fresh Start
Ch. 4: Thomas Hunt
Ch. 5: On Life
Ch. 6: Periodical Press
Ch. 7: Quarterly Review
Ch. 8: My Own Life
Ch. 9: Mr. Canning
Ch. 10: Anecdotes
Ch. 11: Bulwer-Lytton
Ch. 12: G. P. R. James
Ch. 13: Finance
Ch. 14: Private Life
Ch. 15: Learned Societies
Ch. 16: British Association
Ch. 17: Literary Characters
Ch. 18: Literary List
Ch. 19: Club Law
Ch. 20: Conclusion
Vol. IV. Appendix
Gerald Griffin
W. H. Ainsworth
James Weddell
The Last Bottle
N. T. Carrington
The Literary Fund
Letter from L.E.L.
Geographical Society
Baby, a Memoir
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A, p. 12.

Aberrations of reason and weakness of intellect have always deeply excited the attention of thinking men. The curious condition of the Scottish “daft-folks,” especially of harmless imbeciles and idiots, of which class almost every town and village, as I have mentioned, enjoyed a representative, could not escape the eye of the great delineator of mankind, from the top to the bottom of the social scale. Respecting one of them near Abbotsford he used to tell, in his naive and matchless manner, a story; which, as far as I know, has not found its way into print. In strolling forth with his trusty crony, Sir Adam Ferguson, the question ran upon the happiness or the reverse in different stations in life, Ferguson maintaining that there were certain fortunate beings who were exempt from the common troubles to which others were exposed, and Scott holding the opposite argument. As they walked in the fine sunshiny day, they came up with the privileged “fool” of the place, whom Scott immediately addressed, and something like the following colloquy ensued:

Scott. We’el Andrew, how are you?

Andrew. Weel, very weel, thank ye sheriff, for speiring.

Scott. Naebody harms you, I hope, Andrew! are a’ the folks careful about ye, and kind to ye?

Andrew. ’Deed are they. A’ very kind. A’ the warld are kind to poor Andrew!

Scott. We’el fed, I hope; I see ye are we’el clad.


Andrew. Heh! ay! Plenty to eat, and a gude coat on my back! Isn’t it, sheriff?

Scott. Yes, Andrew, and I am glad to see it. But as everybody is so kind to you, and you are every way sae weel off, I suppose I must just conclude that you are one of the happiest of human creatures, and can have nothing to distress you.

Andrew (hastily). Na, na, had ye there, sheriff! It would be a’ very happy if it war na for that d—d Bubbly Jock (turkey cock). The bairns use me well enough, but they canna help roaring and shouting when they see that cursed brute chasing me about, with his neck a’ in fury, and his gobble, gobble, going enough to frighten the de’il. He’s after me every day, and maks me perfectly miserable.

Scott (turning to Sir Adam). Ah, Ferguson, in this life of ours, be assured that every man has his own Bubbly Jock!