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Title: Abbotsford
Author: Crockett, W. S. (William Shillinglaw)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Internet Archive)



                            ABBOTSFORD

  'O bear me back to all to Memory dear,
  'Twill to my faded brow be health restored
  To feel the breeze that waves the woods of Abbotsford.'

[Illustration: ABBOTSFORD FROM THE RIVER TWEED]

  'Within that pile _he_ dwelt whose ardent soul
  Filled with bright dreams, and aspirations high,
  And boundless knowledge, wonder-chained the whole
  Of human kind, but turned its glorious eye
  Of love on Caledon's bleak hills and cloudy sky.'



                            ABBOTSFORD


                            PAINTED BY
                        WILLIAM SMITH, JR.

                           DESCRIBED BY
                          W. S. CROCKETT
    MINISTER OF TWEEDSMUIR; AUTHOR OF 'THE SCOTT COUNTRY,' ETC.

                               WITH

                  TWENTY FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS
                             IN COLOUR

  [Illustration]

                              LONDON
                      ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK
                               1905


                                TO
                      SIR WALTER'S SUCCESSORS
                                AT
                            ABBOTSFORD,
                   THE HON. MRS. MAXWELL SCOTT,
                     HIS GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER,
                                AND
                       WALTER MAXWELL SCOTT,
                       GREAT-GREAT-GRANDSON,
                   THESE CHAPTERS ARE DEDICATED.



Preface


Abbotsford merits a volume in the present series will be readily
conceded. In preparing the letterpress I have found myself, not
unnaturally, playing to some extent the part of a biographer, and
in this I have generally followed Lockhart, always the ultimate
authority on Sir Walter. A number of fresh facts, however, will
be found here and there throughout the work. Mrs. Maxwell Scott
has kindly read the proof of 'The Later Abbotsford,' and for the
'Treasures' chapter I am indebted somewhat to her admirable little
'Catalogue,' which no visitor to Scott's home should miss.

  W. S. CROCKETT.

  THE MANSE,
      TWEEDSMUIR,
          _June 15, 1905_.



                             Contents


  CHAPTER I
                                                           PAGE
  INTRODUCTORY 1

  CHAPTER II
  FROM CARTLEYHOLE TO ABBOTSFORD 9

  CHAPTER III
  THE CREATION OF ABBOTSFORD 27

  CHAPTER IV
  SCOTT AT ABBOTSFORD 47

  CHAPTER V
  AN ABBOTSFORD BEAD-ROLL 75

  CHAPTER VI
  THE WIZARD'S FAREWELL TO ABBOTSFORD 103

  CHAPTER VII
  LOCKHART AND ABBOTSFORD 123

  CHAPTER VIII
  THE LATER ABBOTSFORD 149

  CHAPTER IX
  THE TREASURES OF ABBOTSFORD 165

  CHAPTER X
  AROUND ABBOTSFORD 207

  INDEX 220



                       List of Illustrations


  1. Abbotsford from the River Tweed _Frontispiece_
                                                    FACING PAGE
  2. The Cross, Melrose 8

  3. The Abbey, Melrose 24

  4. The Gateway, Abbotsford 38

  5. Darnick Tower 42

  6. Sandyknowe Tower 80

  7. Cauldshiels Loch 92

  8. The Rhymer's Glen 98

  9. Melrose Abbey from the Meadows 106

  10. Jedburgh Abbey 112

  11. Leaderfoot Bridge 122

  12. The Eildon Hills and River Tweed 134

  13. Chiefswood 140

  14. The Garden, Abbotsford 160

  15. Sir Walter's Dial, Abbotsford 172

  16. Sir Walter Scott's Desk and 'Elbow-chair' in the
  Study, Abbotsford 178

  17. The Entrance Hall, Abbotsford 200

  18. The Dining-room, Abbotsford 204

  19. Dryburgh Abbey 216

  20. Kelso Abbey and Bridge 218



INTRODUCTORY



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTORY


Last year (1904) no fewer than seven thousand persons from all
parts of the world visited Abbotsford.[1] There is no diminution in
the annual pilgrimage to this chief shrine of the Border Country,
nor is there likely to be. Scott's name, and that of Abbotsford,
are secure enough in the affections of men everywhere. Whilst many
would rejoice to see Sir Walter's home on a different footing
from a patriotic point of view--less of a shilling show-house
for one thing--there is no reason to quarrel with the present
arrangements, which, likely enough, are the best under existing
conditions. The order of viewing the various rooms, however, might
well be improved, the public permitted to linger over them a little
more leisurely, and also to see something of the exterior of the
building. That many ardent Scott worshippers who flock yearly
to Abbotsford would welcome a more ample opportunity for study
and reflection within its charmed enclosure goes without saying.
Of course, as being still a private residence, there are obvious
difficulties in the way of such easier access. But probably that
may come by-and-by.

The best preparation for a visit to Abbotsford is a course of
Lockhart. There is no more faithful account of the place, from
its purchase to the high-water mark of Scott's happiness there
and the troubled years preceding the end. From at least 1820, and
irrespective of his London life, Lockhart was Scott's companion
and confidant at Abbotsford. Seldom has the fellowship of letters
shown a friendship so strong and true. It was sympathy other than
that of a son-in-law which Lockhart brought to the writing of his
great Biography, and which has made it one of the masterpieces of
literature. Never, surely, was a great man more fortunate in his
life-story than Scott at the hands of Lockhart, one of the most
maligned and misunderstood men of his day, indeed, but a kindly,
lovable soul withal. To understand Abbotsford, it is a necessity
that one should study the life of its originator and owner, with
whose name, notwithstanding any subsequent occupation, the
'romance in stone and lime' is indissolubly connected.

In Scott's earliest association with Abbotsford, or, rather, with
the site on which Abbotsford stands, is there not theme alike for
painter and poet? Lockhart tells how Scott used to relate that,
travelling in boyhood with his father from Selkirk to Melrose, the
old man desired the carriage to halt at the foot of an eminence,
and said: 'We must get out here, Walter, and see a thing quite in
your line.' His father then conducted him to a rude stone[2] on the
edge of an acclivity about half a mile from the Tweed, at which
spot the last great clan-battle of the Borders was fought between
Scotts and Kers for the possession of King James V., the young
Prince himself being a spectator of the contest. From a child Scott
had exhibited a marked precocity for Border history and Border lore
in general, and even then, as a boy, there were few to excel him
as a story-teller. The printed page was in the dim distance, but
already he could command an audience no less wonder-struck with
that fair silver tongue of his, which in the budding Edinburgh
days won him the heart of Mrs. Alison Cockburn and her coterie. We
may be sure that the elder Walter had a more than average pride
in the boy's tastes and promise for the future, nor would the
opportunity be lacking by which these were encouraged and enriched.
The road between Selkirk and Melrose has other memories, recalled,
doubtless, that day as they drove along, but to a boy whose mind
seemed ever bent on

  'Old, unhappy, far-off things,
  And battles long ago,'

the near neighbourhood of a Border battle-field was quite an event.
Hence the picture of Scott and his father surveying the spot where,
in the year 1526,

    'gallant Cessford's heart-blood dear
  Reeked on dark Elliot's Border spear,'

might well lend inspiration for some artist's canvas. For there
is more in the subject than the mere suggestion of a future great
author touching for the first time the land to be immortalized
by his genius. Were it that only, we should have an endless
succession of canvases; but it is the suggestiveness of strongest
personal association rather. Comparatively few recollect the
incident which appealed so to Scott, both in his boyhood and later
life. But everybody knows that practically all the arena of that
fateful struggle--most of the landscape on which his youthful
vision long and rapturously rested--by-and-by became his own
possession. We may suppose that at least a quarter of a century lay
between that day and the purchase of his first hundred acres as
Laird of Abbotsford, and the gradual growth, almost year by year,
of the lands of Abbotsford, still holds a big place in the popular
imagination. As a battle scene, it was significant of his own
career. What conquests were these fields not again to witness--and
what defeats! What heroism of the pen, no less noble than that of
the sword! What determination in the face of fearful odds to do his
best at Duty's call, no less honoured and no less magnificent in
achievement than the doughtiest deed of arms in ancient or modern
days! That Abbotsford should attract its tens of thousands from all
ends of the earth was to be expected after such a strenuous life as
Scott's. Human nature must always pay homage at the shrine of the
truly great, and if it be true that no writer has given pleasure
to vaster multitudes, and that never has the life of his country
been so well limned as by this master-hand, it will be equally true
of Abbotsford that it will never want those to whom everything
about it and its very dust is dear.

[Illustration: THE CROSS, MELROSE]

  'And thou hast stood--how strange the story!--
    In Melrose Square seven hundred years or more:
  Saw the gray Abbey in its pomp and glory--
    Looked round on hill and valley long before
  Men gave up being mosstroopers and reivers,
  And settled down as shopkeepers and weavers!



FROM CARTLEYHOLE TO ABBOTSFORD



CHAPTER II

FROM CARTLEYHOLE TO ABBOTSFORD


It is scarcely necessary to recall that Scott on both sides of his
house was connected with the Border Country--the 'bold bad Border'
of a day happily long dead. He would have been a reiver himself,
more than likely, and one of its nameless bards to boot, had he
lived before the Border felt the subdued spirit of modern times.
In the many-sided story of the Border, however, with its rare
wealth of romanticism, Scott found his life-work. So that it was
the Border which made him the force he is in the world of letters.
No Borderer--no Scotsman, indeed, has taken truer and firmer hold
of his countrymen. A descendant of Wat of Harden, linked to the
best blood of the Border, and with every phase of his life redolent
of the Border feeling, history has had no difficulty in claiming
Sir Walter Scott as the most representative Border man the world
has seen. He was not born in the Border Country, but practically
all his life was spent there. His environment throughout was
that of a Borderer. He belongs, to be sure, to every country.
Like Shakespeare and Burns, Scott is one of the cosmopolitan
heroes of literature, whose works are as widely cherished abroad
as at home. Not a summer in the Border Country--the true 'Scott
Country'--but is evidence of his universality. Scott gloried in the
heritage that came to him from generations of Border ancestors,
their cattle-lifting propensities notwithstanding. To belong to
the Border--to Tweedside, to use his pet phrase--was never a
superficial boast. It was because his most personal interests were
bound up therein, and because he clung with a whole-hearted passion
to the Border and to the Tweed, that these are to-day the most
familiar of Scottish names. 'It is part of my creed,' he writes in
an early letter to Patrick Murray, 'that the Tweed and Teviot yield
to none in the world; nor do I fear that even in your eyes, which
have been feasted on classic ground, they will greatly sink in
comparison with the Tiber or Po!' Calais was not more indelible on
Mary's heart than the Tweed was on Scott's. All the joyful strength
of his life, says Ruskin, was spent in the Tweed valley. He came to
the Border a sickly, delicate child, between his third and fourth
year, and for threescore years and one he seldom left it for any
lengthened interval. Edinburgh was his school, and his office, and
the arena of much of his professional career. At a later period it
was crowded with many painful memories. But he was happiest, even
amid the most crushing sorrows of his life, when within earshot of
the Tweed. There was not a blither or sunnier boyhood than Scott's
at Rosebank, where even then he was 'making' himself, and dreaming
of the days that were to be. At Ashestiel, the birthplace of the
most popular poetry of the century before Byron blazed upon the
literary horizon, his life was singularly untrammelled. Ashestiel,
from being off the beaten track perhaps, seems to have lost favour
somewhat with the Scott student. At any rate, it is not the shrine
it should be, although in several respects it is more interesting
to lovers of Scott than even Abbotsford itself. As for Abbotsford,
may we not say that it is at once the proudest, and the most
stimulating, and the saddest memorial ever associated with a man
of letters? All these, comprising the three periods of Scott's
life--Rosebank, Ashestiel, Abbotsford--lie as close to the Tweed as
can be--none of them more than a few hundred paces from it at the
outset. And when the great Borderer's task was accomplished, where
more fitly could he have rested than with the river of his love and
of his dreams singing ceaseless requiem around his last low bed?

It will be interesting to have a glimpse of Tweedside just as
Scott appeared upon the scene. Since his day the valley in many of
its aspects has not been without change. Even the remote uplands,
long untouched by outside influences, have not escaped the modern
spirit. The river must needs remain _in statu quo_, but the
contrast between Sir Walter's Tweedside and ours is considerable.
A century of commerce and agriculture has wrought marvels on the
once bare and featureless and uncultivated banks of the Tweed. And
none would have rejoiced at its present picturesque and prosperous
condition more than Scott himself. Of the valley as it was a
hundred years since, some early travellers give their impressions.
There is the following from a Londoner's point of view, for
instance--a somewhat sombre picture, true enough, however, of _the
upper reaches_ at the time: 'About four in the afternoon we were
obliged to proceed on our journey to Moffat, a market town, where
we were informed we should meet with good lodging, which made us
ride on the more briskly, but notwithstanding all our speed,
we had such terrible stony ways and tedious miles, that when we
thought we had been near the place, we met a Scotchman, who told
us we were not got half way; this put us almost into the spleen,
for we could see nothing about us but barren mountains on the right
and the River Tweed on the left, which, running thro' the stones
and rocks with a terrible noise, seemed to us like the croaking of
a Raven, or the tone of a Screitch Owle to a dying man, so we were
forced to ride on by guesse, knowing not a step of the way, and
meeting none to direct us, till at last, coming up a hill, we spyed
some waggons going over another mountain before us, and resolving
to press somebody into our service, we rode on as fast as we could
to overtake them, and then we were told we had still twelve long
miles to Moffat.'

Dorothy Wordsworth's diary (1803) of a day by the Tweed below
Peebles--_the middle portion_ of the stream--is a pleasanter
memory: 'We had a day's journey before us along the banks of the
Tweed, a name which has been sweet to my ears almost as far back
as I can remember. After the first mile or two our road was seldom
far from the river, which flowed in gentleness, though perhaps
never silent; the hills on either side high, and sometimes stony,
but excellent pasture for sheep.... In one very sweet part of the
vale a gate crossed the road, which was opened by an old woman
who lived in a cottage close to it. I said to her, "You live in a
very pretty place!" "Yes," she replied, "the water of Tweed is a
bonny water." The lines of the hills are flowing and beautiful,
the reaches of the vale long; in some places appear the remains
of a forest, in others you will see as lovely a combination of
forms as any traveller who goes in search of the picturesque need
desire, and yet perhaps without a single tree; or, at least, if
trees there are, they shall be very few.' And writing about the
same time the Rev. Richard Warner--afterwards the author of a work
on the Waverley Novels--describes _the lower half_ of the river
between Berwick and Kelso: 'The country around Berwick, though
swelling into hills and sinking into vales, has neither beauty nor
variety, the one being uniform and lumpish, the other wide and
unwooded. A naked surface everywhere presents itself, unadorned
with those indispensable features in agreeable landscape, lofty
trees and spreading shrubs. The river Tweed, also, disappointed our
expectations of picturesque beauty. Associated as the name of this
river had hitherto been in our minds with poetical and pastoral
ideas, we were prepared to admire its fringed banks and sacred
shades, the haunt of many a water-nymph and sylvan deity; but alas!
no solemn woods lifted their lofty heads over these celebrated
waters. All was original nakedness.... The scenery is more animated
and cheerful in the neighbourhood of Kelso, where wood is more
frequent. Tweed's velvet banks were here and there spotted with
little clumps of trees, presenting a fairer subject for tender and
elegiac poetry than it had before done.'

At Scott's day the Tweed valley, in what are now its most luxuriant
reaches, exhibited a markedly naked and treeless character. From
Abbotsford to Norham Castle the scenery was of the openest. Here
and there 'ancestral oaks' still clumped themselves about the
great houses, with perhaps some further attempt at decorating the
landscape. But that was rare enough. Landlords had not learned
the art, not to speak of the wisdom, of tree-planting. It is only
within the past hundred years that planting has become frequent,
and the modern beauty of Tweedside emerged into being. It is said
that Scott was one of the first to popularize the planting spirit.
His operations at Abbotsford certainly induced the neighbouring
proprietors to follow suit. Scott of Gala, and the lairds of
Ravenswood, Drygrange, Cowdenknowes, Gladswood, Bemersyde, Mertoun,
Eildon Hall, and Floors, all took their lead, more or less, from
Abbotsford. Arboriculture was Scott's most passionate hobby. At
least two long articles were penned by him on the subject, and
he practised the art with extraordinary diligence and foresight.
Of botany he knew little, but of trees everything. As we shall
see, not the least important part of Abbotsford's creation was
planning and perfecting that wondrous wealth of woodland--a very
network about the place, on whose full growth his eyes, alas! were
not destined to feast. 'Somebody,' he said, 'will look at them,
however, though I question that they will have the same pleasure
in gazing on the full-grown oaks that I have had in nursing the
saplings.'

A fourth impression of Tweedside comes to us from the pages of
Lockhart. We are dealing now with _the site of Abbotsford_ as it
was about the year 1811. Scott was tenant of Ashestiel. Here he had
spent eight of the pleasantest years of his life. But his lease
was out, and the laird himself--his cousin, General Russell--was
returning from India.

In casting about for a new abode, Scott seems at first to have
thought of Broadmeadows, on the Yarrow, then in the market, a
compact little domain which would have suited him well. Lockhart's
one regret was that Scott did not purchase Broadmeadows. Here,
surrounded by large landed proprietors, instead of a few
bonnet-lairds, he would certainly have escaped the Abbotsford
'yerd-hunger,' and changed, possibly, the whole of his career.
But the Broadmeadows Scott might have been very different from
_our Sir Walter_. Of Newark, also, close by, the scene of the
'Lay,' he had some fancy, and would fain have fitted it up as a
residence. The ancestral home of Harden itself was proposed to
him, and indeed offered, and he would have removed thither but
for its inconvenience for shrieval duties. After all, however,
there was uppermost in Scott's mind the wish to have a house and
land of his own--to be 'laird of the cairn and the scaur,' as in
the case of Broadmeadows, or 'a Tweedside laird' at best, and
later on, perhaps, to 'play the grand old feudal lord again.'
Lockhart assures us that Scott was really aiming at higher game.
His ambition was to found a new Border family, and to become head
of a new branch of the Scotts, already so dominant. And did he
not succeed? It is not strictly true to say that he failed. He
realized his ambition, and he died in that belief. He built his
'castle,' as he playfully calls it, with more grandeur about it
than he had, mayhap, dreamed of. Honours of the highest were heaped
upon him. And at his death, at any rate, there was a prospect of
his line being continued. Only one ugly shadow stood between--his
monetary troubles. It is easy to say at this time of day that
Scott was defeated in his most cherished hopes. He was defeated,
as hundreds are, through the accidents of history. But in himself
he was surely a noble success, and at his passing most of his
plans had prospered. Scott towered so much above his fellows in
intellectual strength, and he had such perfect faith in himself
and the power of his own transcendent capabilities, that it is
scarcely fair to pass censure on the ambitions and ideals which
governed him, and the steady purpose that made him one of the
truest and best of men--one of the world's greatest men. There is
no occasion to bemoan Scott's career, no need to reflect on its
'might-have-beens.' His course he had mapped out for himself, and
it was the only course destined to give us Scott as he wished to
be, and as the generations should best remember him.

About to quit Ashestiel, therefore, his attention was directed to a
small farm-holding not far distant, on the south bank of the Tweed,
some two miles from Galashiels, and about three from Melrose. Scott
knew the spot well. It had 'long been one of peculiar interest
for him,' from the incident mentioned in the foregoing chapter.
By name Newarthaugh--a name almost forgotten in the story of
Abbotsford--it was also known as Cartleyhole, or Cartlawhole, and
Cartlihole, according to the Melrose Session Records, in which
parish it was situated. The place was tenanted for a time by
Taits and Dicksons. Then it seems to have passed into the family
of Walter Turnbull, schoolmaster of Melrose, who disposed of it,
in the year 1797, to Dr. Robert Douglas, the enterprising and
philanthropic minister of Galashiels. Why Dr. Douglas purchased
this property nobody has been able to understand. It lay outside
his parish, and was never regarded as a desirable or dignified
possession. A shrewd man of business, however, he may, like Scott,
have judged it capable of results, speculating accordingly. He
had never lived at Cartleyhole. The place was laid out in parks,
and the house, of which, curiously, Scott speaks in a recently
recovered letter as 'new and substantial,' was in occupation. The
surroundings were certainly in a deplorably neglected condition.
The sole attempt at embellishment had been limited to a strip
of firs so long and so narrow that Scott likened it to a black
hair-comb. 'The farm,' according to Lockhart, 'consisted of a
rich meadow or haugh along the banks of the river, and about a
hundred acres of undulated ground behind, all in a neglected state,
undrained, wretchedly enclosed, much of it covered with nothing
better than the native heath. The farm-house itself was small
and poor, with a common kailyard on one flank and a staring barn
on the other; while in front appeared a filthy pond covered with
ducks and duckweed, from which the whole tenement had derived the
unharmonious designation of Clarty Hole.'[3] A local reminiscence
emphasizes Lockhart's description: 'The first time I saw Cartley
Hole, or, as it is more appropriately called, Clarty Hole, which
you are probably aware is the Scotch term for dirty, was in 1807 or
1808. I was on my first holiday visit to an uncle in Darnick. It
was a low-built, one-story house, standing in what was literally
a _hole_, and it had anything but a prepossessing appearance.
It may have had attics, but of this I am not quite sure. It had
nothing to recommend it as a site for a stately mansion, save its
proximity to the Tweed. The scenery around was bare, and did not
boast of a single natural beauty.' But to Scott's far-seeing eye
matters were not so hopeless. There were, he felt, possibilities
in the place. Moreover, it was his wish to _create_, as far as he
could, the home that was to be his own. Cartleyhole offered in
many respects an ideal site for the purpose he had in prospect. It
lay at almost the centre of the Border district. All around were
the grand historic and romantic associations of the Border, the
subjects in which Scott revelled. Melrose Abbey, the most graceful
and picturesque ruin in Scotland, already so celebrated in his
verse, was visible from many points in the neighbourhood. Dryburgh
was not far distant. Yonder Eildon's triple height, sacred to so
much of the supernatural in Border lore, reared his grey crown
to the skies. There, the Tweed, 'a beautiful river even here,'
flowed in front, broad and bright over a bed of milk-white pebbles.
Selkirk, his Sheriff's headquarters, was within easy reach. He was
interested in the Catrail, or Picts' Work Ditch, on the opposite
hillside, so often alluded to in his letters to Ellis; and on his
own ground were fields, and mounds, and standing-stones, whose
placenames recalled the struggle of 1526. A Roman road running down
from the Eildons to a ford on the Tweed, long used by the Abbots,
the erstwhile lords of the locality, furnished a new designation
for the acres of hungry haugh-land--'as poor and bare as Sir John
Falstaff's regiment'--upon which was destined to be reared the most
venerated, and probably the most visited shrine in the kingdom.

[Illustration: THE ABBEY, MELROSE]

  'If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
  Go visit it by the pale moonlight;
  For the gay beams of lightsome day
  Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray.
  When the broken arches are black in night,
  And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
  When the cold light's uncertain shower
  Streams on the ruined central tower;
  When buttress and buttress alternately
  Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
  When silver edges the imagery
  And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
  When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
  And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave,
  Then go--but go alone the while--
  Then view St. David's ruined pile;
  And, home returning, soothly swear
  Was never scene so sad and fair!'

On May 12, 1811, we find Scott writing to James Ballantyne: 'I have
resolved to purchase a piece of ground sufficient for a cottage
and a few fields. There are two pieces, either of which would suit
me, but both would make a very desirable property indeed, and
could be had for between £7,000 and £8,000--or either separate
for about half the sum. I have serious thoughts of one or both,
and must have recourse to my pen to make the matter easy.' By the
end of June one of the pieces passed into his hands for the sum
mentioned--£4,000, half of which, according to Scott's bad and
sanguine habit, he borrowed from his brother John, raising the
remainder on the security of 'Rokeby,' as yet unwritten. The letter
to Dr. Douglas acknowledging his receipt for the last instalment of
the purchase-money has been preserved: 'I received the discharged
bill safe, which puts an end to our relation of debtor and creditor:

  'Now the gowd's thine,
  And the land's mine.

I am glad you have been satisfied with my manner of transacting
business, and have equal reason at least to thank you for your
kindly accommodation as to time and manner of payment. In short,
I hope our temporary connection forms a happy contradiction to
the proverb, "I lent my money to my friend; I lost my money and
my friend." A figure of note in his day, Dr. Douglas was born at
the manse of Kenmore, in 1747, and in his twenty-third year was
presented to the parish of Galashiels, where he laboured till his
death in 1820. He has been styled the Father of Galashiels. Much
of his money--he inherited a fortune from his brother, a Captain
in the Indian Army--was lent without stint to the manufacturers of
that period, who were struggling out of their old-time condition as
country weavers, and endeavouring to establish the woollen trade
as a staple industry in the town. Galashiels, when Abbotsford came
into being, was a mere thatched hamlet. Then it could boast of
not more than a dozen slated houses. To-day there is a population
of over 13,000. Dr. Douglas's friendship with Scott continued for
many years. He was the 'reverend and unbigoted' clergyman to whom
Scott addressed 'Paul's Letter' on Religion in France, and was
himself the author of a carefully compiled essay on 'Agriculture
in the Counties of Roxburgh and Selkirk.' Perhaps most interesting
to recall, it was to Dr. Douglas that Mrs. Cockburn of Fairnalee
penned her epistle wherein mention is made of Scott in his seventh
year as 'the most extraordinary genius of a boy I ever saw.'
Four-and-thirty years lay between that evening and the purchase
of Cartleyhole--'a poor thing, but mine own.' Scott had taken a
further, and as yet the most important, step up the ladder of his
ambition. Things were going well with him, and it was a joy to
send such welcome news to his brother-in-law on the other side
of the world:[4] 'This is the greatest incident which has lately
taken place in our domestic concerns, and I assure you we are not a
little proud of being greeted as Laird and Lady of Abbotsford.'



THE CREATION OF ABBOTSFORD



CHAPTER III

THE CREATION OF ABBOTSFORD


The first purchase of land was close on a hundred and ten acres,
half of which were to be planted, and the remainder kept in pasture
and tillage. An ornamental cottage with a pillared porch--a
print of which is still preserved--after the style of an English
vicarage, was agreed upon, and it was here that Scott passed the
first years of his Abbotsford life. He had many correspondents
during this period. Daniel Terry, an architect turned actor, was
probably his chief adviser as to Abbotsford and its furnishings, no
end of letters passing between them. Morritt of Rokeby was much in
his confidence, and Joanna Baillie, 'our immortal Joanna,' whose
'Family Legend,' had been produced at Edinburgh the previous year
under Scott's auspices. The plans for his house were at first of
the simplest. He thus describes them to Miss Baillie: 'My dreams
about my cottage go on. My present intention is to have only two
spare bedrooms, with dressing-rooms, each of which on a pinch will
have a couch-bed; but I cannot relinquish my Border principle of
accommodating all the cousins and _duniwastles_, who will rather
sleep on chairs, and on the floor, and in the hayloft, than be
absent when folks are gathered together.'

To Morritt we find him writing: 'I have fixed only two points
respecting my intended cottage--one is that it shall be _in_ my
garden, or rather kailyard; the other, that the little drawing-room
shall open into a little conservatory, in which conservatory there
shall be a fountain. These are articles of taste which I have long
since determined upon; but I hope before a stone of my paradise
is begun we shall meet and collogue upon it'; but soon after, as
an excuse for beginning 'Rokeby,' his fourth verse romance, he
says: 'I want to build my cottage a little better than my limited
finances will permit out of my ordinary income.' Later on he tells
Lord Byron that 'he is labouring to contradict an old proverb, and
make a silk purse out of a sow's ear--namely, to convert a bare
haugh and brae into a comfortable farm'; and to Sarah Smith, a
London tragic actress, he writes: 'Everybody, after abusing me for
buying the ugliest place on Tweedside, begins now to come over
to my side. I think it will be pretty six or seven years hence,
whoever may come to see and enjoy, for the sweep of the river is
a very fine one of almost a mile in length, and the ground is
very unequal, and therefore well adapted for showing off trees.'
Scott, as was said, took a profound interest in tree-planting. Had
he not been able to add by purchase the neighbouring hills to his
original lands, it was said that he would have requested permission
of the owners to plant the grounds, for the mere pleasure of the
occupation, and to beautify the landscape. 'I saunter about,' he
said to Lady Abercorn, 'from nine in the morning till five at
night with a plaid about my shoulders and an immense bloodhound
at my heels, and stick in sprigs which are to become trees when I
shall have no eyes to look at them! He had a painter's as well as
a poet's eye for scenery: 'You can have no idea of the exquisite
delight of a planter,' he said; 'he is like a painter laying on
his colours--at every moment he sees his effects coming out.
There is no art or occupation comparable to this; it is full of
past, present, and future enjoyment. I look back to the time when
there was not a tree here, only bare heath; I look round and see
thousands of trees growing up, all of which--I may say almost each
of which--have received my personal attention. I remember five
years ago looking forward, with the most delighted expectation,
to this very hour, and as each year has passed the expectation
has gone on increasing. I do the same now; I anticipate what this
plantation and that one will presently be, if only taken care of,
and there is not a spot of which I do not watch the progress.
Unlike building, or even painting, or indeed any other kind of
pursuit, this has no end, and is never interrupted, but goes on
from day to day and from year to year with a perpetually augmenting
interest. Farming I hate; what have I to do with fattening and
killing beasts, or raising corn only to cut it down, and to wrangle
with farmers about prices, and to be constantly at the mercy of
the seasons? There can be no such disappointments or annoyances in
planting trees.'

Scott left Ashestiel at Whitsunday, 1812--a rather comical
'flitting,' according to his own account of it. 'The neighbours,'
he writes to Lady Alvanley, 'have been much delighted with the
procession of my furniture, in which old swords, bows, targets,
and lances made a very conspicuous show. A family of turkeys was
accommodated within the helmet of some _preux_ chevalier of
ancient Border fame; and the very cows, for aught I know, were
bearing banners and muskets. I assure your ladyship that this
caravan, attended by a dozen of ragged, rosy peasant children,
carrying fishing-rods and spears, and leading ponies, greyhounds,
and spaniels, would, as it crossed the Tweed, have furnished no
bad subject for the pencil, and really reminded me of one of the
gypsy groups of Callot upon their march.' The year 1812 was one of
his busiest. Five days every week until the middle of July he did
Court duty at Edinburgh. Saturday evening saw him at Abbotsford.
On Monday he superintended the licking into shape of his new
domicile, and at night he was coaching it to the city. During
the Court recess he pegged away at 'Rokeby' and other work under
circumstances that must have been trying enough. 'As for the house
and the poem,' he writes to Morritt, 'there are twelve masons
hammering at the one and one poor noddle at the other.' He did
not then know the luxury of a private 'den' as at Castle Street.
A window corner, curtained off in the one habitable room which
served for dining-room, drawing-room, and school-room, constituted
his earliest Abbotsford study. There, amid the hammer's incessant
fall, and the hum of many voices, and constant interruptions, he
plodded on, and got through a fair amount. The letters to Terry
commence in September, 1812, and show that some little progress had
been made: 'We have got up a good garden-wall, complete stables
in the haugh, and the old farm-yard enclosed with a wall, with
some little picturesque additions in front. The new plantations
have thriven amazingly well, the acorns are coming up fast, and
Tom Purdie is the happiest and most consequential person in the
world.' To Joanna Baillie he sends this characteristic note, in
the beginning of 1813: 'No sooner had I corrected the last sheet
of 'Rokeby' than I escaped to this Patmos as blithe as bird on
tree, and have been ever since most decidedly idle--that is to say
with busy idleness. I have been banking, and securing, and dyking
against the river, and planting willows, and aspens, and weeping
birches. I have now laid the foundations of a famous background of
copse, with pendent trees in front; and I have only to beg a few
years to see how my colours will come out of the canvas. Alas! who
can promise that? But somebody will take my place--and enjoy them,
whether I do or no'; and in March he adds: 'What I shall finally
make of this villa work I don't know, but in the meantime it is
very entertaining'; and again: 'This little place comes on as fast
as can be reasonably hoped.' To Lady Louisa Stuart he writes: 'We
are realizing the nursery tale of the man and his wife who lived in
a vinegar bottle, for our only sitting-room is just 12 feet square,
and my Eve alleges that I am too big for our paradise.' In October,
1813, Terry is told that 'these are no times for building,' but in
the following spring, pressing the Morritts to visit him, he says:
'I am arranging this cottage a little more conveniently, to put off
the plague and expense of building another year, and I assure you
I expect to spare you and Mrs. Morritt a chamber in the wall, with
a dressing-room and everything handsome about you. You will not
stipulate, of course, for many square feet.' In a letter to Terry,
dated November 10, 1814--the year of 'Waverley'--further progress
is reported: 'I wish you saw Abbotsford, which begins this season
to look the whimsical, gay, odd cabin that we had chalked out. I
have been obliged to relinquish Stark's (the Edinburgh architect,
who died before the building was well begun) plan, which was
greatly too expensive. So I have made the old farm-house my _corps
de logis_ with some outlying places for kitchen, laundry, and two
spare bedrooms, which run along the east wall of the farmcourt, not
without some picturesque effect. A perforated cross, the spoils of
the old kirk of Galashiels, decorates an advanced door, and looks
very well.' Not much was done during the next two years, but in
November, 1816, a new set of improvements was under consideration.
Abbotsford was rapidly losing its cottage character. The 'romance'
period was begun. A notable addition--connecting the farm-house
with the line of buildings on the right--was then agreed upon, on
which Scott communicates with Terry: 'Bullock[5] will show you the
plan, which I think is very ingenious, and Blore has drawn me a
very handsome elevation, both to the road and to the river. This
addition will give me a handsome boudoir opening into the little
drawing-room, and on the other side to a handsome dining-parlour
of 27 feet by 18, with three windows to the north and one to
the south, the last to be Gothic and filled with stained glass.
Besides these commodities there is a small conservatory, and a
study for myself, which we design to fit up with ornaments from
Melrose Abbey.' In the same letter he says: 'I expect to get some
decorations from the old Tolbooth of Edinburgh, particularly the
copestones of the doorway, and a niche or two. Better get a niche
_from_ the Tolbooth than a niche _in_ it to which such building
operations are apt to bring the projectors.'

By July, 1817, the foundation of the existing house, which extends
from the hall westwards to the original courtyard, had been laid,
and Scott found a new source of constant occupation in watching
the proceedings of his masons. In consequence of a blunder or
two during his absence, 'I perceive the necessity,' he said, 'of
remaining at the helm.' To Joanna Baillie he writes in September:
'I get on with my labours here; my house is about to be roofed
in, and a comical concern it is.' There is some correspondence in
October between Scott and Terry relative to the tower, a leading
feature of the building. Scott mentions that (Sir) David Wilkie,
who had just been his guest, 'admires the whole as a composition,
and that is high authority.' 'I agree with you that the tower
will look rather rich for the rest of the building, yet you may
be assured that, with diagonal chimneys and notched gables, it
will have a very fine effect, and is in Scotch architecture by no
means incompatible.' In the beginning of 1818, he again writes to
Terry: 'I am now anxious to complete Abbotsford. I have reason to
be proud of the finishing of my castle, for even of the tower,
for which I trembled, not a stone has been shaken by the late
terrific gale which blew a roof clean off in the neighbourhood.'
Lockhart, who saw Abbotsford for the first time in 1818, confesses
that the building presented a somewhat 'fantastic appearance,' the
new and old by no means harmonizing (see the chapter on Lockhart
for a further account of his visit). In the spring of 1820 Scott
writes to his wife from London, whither he had gone to receive
his baronetcy: 'I have got a delightful plan for the addition
at Abbotsford, which, I think, will make it quite complete, and
furnish me with a handsome library, and you with a drawing-room
and better bedroom. It will cost me a little hard work to meet the
expense, but I have been a good while idle.' The plans for these
new buildings, including the wall and gateway of the courtyard and
the graceful stone screen which divides it from the garden, were
made by Blore, although the screen--with its carvings taken from
details of stone-work at Melrose Abbey--was originally devised by
Sir Walter himself. During the winter of 1821 the new operations
were commenced. By the spring of 1822 they were in full swing. 'It
is worth while to come,' he writes to Lord Montagu, 'were it but
to see what a romance of a house I am making'; and to Terry later
on: 'The new castle is now roofing, and looks superb--in fact, a
little too good for the estate; but we must work the harder to make
the land suitable.' That same summer the place was besieged by
visitors from the South, who, after witnessing the King's reception
at Edinburgh, hastened out to see Abbotsford. In October, 1822, he
writes to his son Walter: 'My new house is quite finished as to
masonry, and we are now getting on the roof just in time to face
the bad weather.' In November, 1822, and January, 1823, there are
long letters to Terry: 'The house is completely roofed. I never
saw anything handsomer than the grouping of towers, chimneys,
etc., when seen at a proper distance.' With Terry all sorts of
subjects were discussed--bells, and a projected gas installation,
along with a constant enumeration of curios and relics, on which
he is urged to spare no expense. 'About July,' Scott writes at the
beginning of 1824, 'Abbotsford will, I think, be finished, when I
shall, like the old Duke of Queensberry who built Drumlanrig, fold
up the accounts in a sealed parcel, with a label bidding "the deil
pike out the een" of any of my successors that shall open it.' By
Christmas, it was completed, and with the New Year's festivities a
large and gay party celebrated the 'house-warming,' of which Basil
Hall's sprightly 'Journal,' incorporated in the 'Life,' supplies
a singularly agreeable account. But there is no room to quote. It
was a doubly joyous occasion, marking not only the realization
of Scott's long-cherished scheme as to his 'castle,' but the
engagement of his eldest son, with whom, as he must have felt at
the time, were the fortunes of the future Abbotsford. Of the year
entered so auspiciously, none dreamt what the end was to be.

[Illustration: THE GATEWAY, ABBOTSFORD]

  'Master of Abbotsford!
    Magician strange and strong,
  Whose voice of power is heard
    By an admiring throng,
  From court to peasant's cot
    We come, but thou art gone;
  We speak, thou answerest not--
    Thy work is done.'

In the creation of Abbotsford not only was the cottage of 1812
transformed to the castle of 1824, but the estate itself was
continually enlarging. Possession of land was a crowning passion
with Scott. He was always driving bargains, as he declared--on
the wrong side of his purse, however--with the needy, greedy
cock-lairds of the locality. 'It rounds off the property so
handsomely,' he says in one of his letters. Once, on his friend
Ferguson remarking that he had paid what appeared to be one of his
usual fabulous prices for a particular stretch, Scott answered
quite good-humouredly, 'Well, well, it is only to me the scribbling
of another volume more of nonsense.' The first purchase was, as we
have seen, the hundred odd acres of Clarty Hole. In 1813 he made
his second purchase, which consisted of the hilly tract stretching
from the Roman road near Turn-Again towards Cauldshiels Loch, then
a desolate and naked mountain mere. To have this at one end of his
property as a contrast to the Tweed at the other 'was a prospect
for which hardly any sacrifice would have appeared too much.' It
cost him about £4,000. In 1815, Kaeside--Laidlaw's home--on the
heights between Abbotsford and Melrose, passed into his hands for
another £4,000, and more than doubled the domain. The house has
changed considerably since Laidlaw's halcyon days. By 1816 the
estate had grown to about 1,000 acres. In 1816 and 1817 he paid
£16,000 for the two Toftfields, altering the name of the new and
unfinished mansion to Huntlyburn, from a supposed but absolutely
erroneous association with the 'Huntlee Bankis'[6] of the Thomas
the Rhymer romance. In 1820, Burnfoot, afterwards Chiefswood, and
Harleyburn fell to his hands for £2,300, and there were many minor
purchases of which Lockhart takes no notice. Scott was very anxious
to acquire the estate of Faldonside,[7] adjoining Abbotsford to the
west, and actually offered £30,000 for it, but without success. He
was similarly unsuccessful with Darnick Tower, which lay into his
lands on the east, and which he was extremely desirous of including
in Abbotsford. Scott's suggestion rather spurred the owner, John
Heiton, to restore the ancient peel-house as a retreat for his own
declining days, and it is still in excellent preservation--one of
the best-preserved peels on the Border--and a veritable museum,
crammed from floor to ceiling with curios, relics, and mementos
both of the past and present.

[Illustration: DARNICK TOWER]

  'Oft have I traced within thy fort,
    Of mouldering shields the mystic sense,
    Scutcheons of honour, or pretence,
  Quarter'd in old armorial sort,
    Remains of rude magnificence.'

But even 'yerd-hunger' must be satisfied, and in Scott's case
there was nothing for it save to steel the flesh against further
desire. In November, 1825, there is the following entry in his
diary: 'Abbotsford is all I can make it, so I resolve on no more
building and no purchases of land till times are quite safe.' But
times were never safe again. Abbotsford was all but within sound
of the 'muffled drum.' Very soon--December 18, 1825--Scott was to
write these words: 'Sad hearts at Darnick and in the cottages of
Abbotsford. I have half resolved never to see the place again.
How could I tread my hall with such a diminished crest! How live
a poor, indebted man where I was once the wealthy, the honoured!'
And again on January 26, 1826: 'I have walked my last on the
domains I have planted, sat the last time in the halls I have
built'--reflections happily unrealized, though, as a matter of
fact, Scott was then the laird of Abbotsford in name only, and
nothing more.

The building and furnishing of Abbotsford are estimated to have
cost over £25,000. The contract for the 1824 edifice was in the
capable hands of the Smiths of Darnick, with whom Scott was on the
most cordial terms. John Smith (the sculptor of the Wallace statue
at Bemersyde) was a singularly able craftsman, and his staff of
workmen, with Adam Paterson for foreman, were known all over the
Border. For the interior decorations--painting, papering, etc.,
and even for some of the carvings and casts--Scott generally gave
employment to local labour. Much of the costlier furniture was
shipped from London, but the great bulk of the work was carried
through by tradesmen in the district, selected by Scott himself,
and in whom he placed implicit confidence. The estate, all told,
must have cost at least £60,000. It extended to 1,500 acres, and
the annual rental in Scott's day was only about £350.

Such was the creation of Scott's Abbotsford, a real 'romance in
stone and lime,' to use the Frenchman's hackneyed phrase. Never had
Sir Walter deeper delight than when its walls were rising skywards,
and the dream of his youth taking steady shape by the silvery side
of the Tweed. But for Abbotsford he would not have been _our_
Scott--our man among men--our Immortal. If Abbotsford was his
dream, it was also his Delilah. It is at once a reminder of his
success, and of the most gigantic literary collapse of the century.
So far as monuments to Scott go, there is none to equal it, not
even the most splendid and costly pile which is one of Edinburgh's
proudest adornments. Yet of all his creations, Abbotsford will
be the soonest to perish, for 'Waverley' and its fellows are
imperishable. Still, so long as it lasts, it will be the memorial
of a pride, unjustifiable in many respects, but chivalrous withal,
and of a fall to depths seldom touched, but., best of all, of a
restoration than which there has been none more illustrious--none
more heroic in literary craftsmanship. 'I have seen much, but
nothing like my ain house,' he cried--a broken, dying man returned
to Abbotsford, only to be borne forth again. Nor has history been
slow to add its Amen.



SCOTT AT ABBOTSFORD



CHAPTER IV

SCOTT AT ABBOTSFORD


Of the Abbotsford life in the seven or eight brilliant seasons
preceding the disaster of 1826 Lockhart's exquisite word-pictures
are far the finest things in the Biography. Scott's dream was
now fairly realized. He was not only a lord of acres, but a kind
of mediæval chieftain as well. His cottage was transformed to a
superb mansion, like some creation of the 'Arabian Nights,' and
the whole estate, acquired at a cost far exceeding its real value,
had grown to one of the trimmest and snuggest on Tweedside. A
comparative failure at the Bar, Scott succeeded well otherwise
in his professional career. His income from the Court Clerkship
and Sheriffdom totalled £1,600, and from other sources he had an
additional £400 a year. As the most prosperous book-producer of the
period, he was netting an annual profit of no less than £10,000.
His family was grown up, and his home life, notwithstanding
some harsh things said about Lady Scott, was of the happiest.
Unliterary, and Frenchified to a degree, Charlotte Carpenter was
not the ideal helpmeet, perhaps, for a man of Scott's calibre and
temperament. But that they lived comfortably together, that she
made him an excellent wife, and that Scott was much attached to
her, must be taken for granted, else Lockhart and the others are
equivocating. There is at least one glimpse into Scott's heart
which cannot savour of hypocrisy--the occasion of her death. Some
of the most touching passages in the Diary belong to that event. As
lover, husband, father, there is no question of the acuteness with
which he felt her loss who had been his 'thirty years' companion.'
Within less than six months the two biggest blows of his life fell
upon Scott. Ruined, then widowed, his cup of grief was drained to
the utmost. But before the fatal '26 Scott's life was an eminently
ideal one. Abbotsford was all he could make it. He had reached the
loftiest rung of the ladder. Long had he been the celebrity of the
hour, not in Britain only, but throughout Europe itself. Probably
no British author of his time was more widely known, and none, it
is certain, was surrounded with so many of the material comforts.
It was truly a summer fulness for Scott at Abbotsford ere the
autumn winds or the biting breath of winter had begun to chill his
cheek.

A glance at the Abbotsford life will bring us nearer Scott as a
man--and as the most lovable of men. Treading, as one does to-day,
in his very footsteps, we shall want to know how he lived there,
and in what manner the pleasant days were spent. Scott's habits
at Abbotsford, as at Ashestiel, were delightfully simple. In the
country he was a rustic of the rustics. Formality vanished to a
considerable extent when he changed his town-house for the bracing
atmosphere of the Tweed. But always methodical in his literary
operations, he never allowed the freer life of Abbotsford to
interfere with whatever tasks he had on hand. He did not sit late
into the night. As a rule, the Abbotsford day ended for Scott by
ten o'clock. He rose at five, lit his own fire in the season,
shaving and dressing with precision. Attired generally in his green
shooting-jacket, he was at his desk by six, and hard at work till
nine. About half-past nine, when the family met for breakfast, he
would enter the room 'rubbing his hands for glee,' for by that time
he had done enough, as he said, 'to break the neck of the day's
work.' After breakfast, he allowed his guests to fill in the next
couple of hours or so for themselves--fishing, shooting, driving,
or riding, with a retinue of keepers and grooms at command.
Meantime he was busy with his correspondence, or a chapter for
Ballantyne to be dispatched by the 'Blucher,' the Edinburgh and
Melrose coach, by which he himself frequently travelled to and from
Abbotsford. At noon he was 'his own man,' and among his visitors,
or felling trees with the workmen on the estate, laying wagers,
and competing with the best of them. When the weather was wet and
stormy he kept to his study for several hours during the day, that
he might have a reserve fund to draw from on good days. To his
visitors he appeared more the man of leisure than the indefatigable
author conferring pleasure on thousands. Only a careful husbanding
of the moments could have enabled him to give the greater part of
afternoon and evening to his guests. 'I know,' said Cadell, the
publisher, once to him, 'that you contrive to get a few hours in
your own room, and that may do for the mere pen-work, but when
is it that you think?' 'Oh,' said Scott, 'I lie simmering over
things for an hour or so before I get up, and there's the time I
am dressing to overhaul my half-sleeping, half-waking _projet de
chapitre_, and when I get the paper before me it commonly runs off
pretty easily. Besides, I often take a dose in the plantations,
and while Tom marks out a dyke or a drain as I have directed,
one's fancy may be running its ain riggs in some other world.' His
maxim was never to be doing nothing, and in making the most of the
opportunities, he served both himself and his friends. Several of
Lockhart's reminiscences of the Abbotsford life are so delightfully
vivid, conveying probably better than anything else something of
the ideal charm of Scott and his circle, that the following may
well be printed in full:

 'I remember saying to (Sir) William Allan one morning, as the
 whole party mustered before the porch after breakfast, "A faithful
 sketch of what you at this moment see would be more interesting a
 hundred years hence than the grandest so-called historical picture
 that you will ever exhibit in Somerset House"; and my friend
 agreed with me so cordially that I often wondered afterwards he
 had not attempted to realize the suggestion.[8]

The subject ought, however, to have been treated conjointly by him
(or Wilkie) and Edwin Landseer.

'It was a clear, bright September morning, with a sharpness in the
air that doubled the animating influence of the sunshine, and all
was in readiness for a grand coursing match on Newark Hill. The
only guest who had chalked out other sport for himself was the
staunchest of anglers, Mr. Rose; but he, too, was there on his
_shelty_, armed with his salmon-rod and landing-net, and attended
by his humorous squire, Hinves, and Charlie Purdie, a brother of
Tom, in those days the most celebrated fisherman of the district.
This little group of Waltonians, bound for Lord Somerville's
preserve, remained lounging about to witness the start of the
main cavalcade. Sir Walter, mounted on Sybil, was marshalling the
order of procession with a huge hunting-whip; and among a dozen
frolicsome youths and maidens, who seemed disposed to laugh at
all discipline, appeared, each on horseback, each as eager as the
youngest sportsman in the troop, Sir Humphry Davy, Dr. Wollaston,
and the patriarch of Scottish belles-lettres, Henry Mackenzie. The
Man of Feeling, however, was persuaded with some difficulty to
resign his steed for the present to his faithful negro follower,
and to join Lady Scott in the sociable, until we should reach the
ground of our battue. Laidlaw, on a long-tailed, wiry Highlander,
yclept Hoddin Grey, which carried him nimbly and stoutly,
although his feet almost touched the ground as he sat, was the
adjutant. But the most picturesque figure was the illustrious
inventor of the safety-lamp. He had come for his favourite sport
of angling, and had been practising it successfully with Rose,
his travelling companion, for two or three days preceding this,
but he had not prepared for coursing fields, and had left Charlie
Purdie's troop for Sir Walter's on a sudden thought; and his
fisherman's costume--a brown hat with flexible brim, surrounded
with line upon line, and innumerable fly-hooks, jack-boots worthy
of a Dutch smuggler, and a fustian surtout dabbled with the
blood of salmon--made a fine contrast with the smart jackets,
white-cord breeches, and well-polished jockey-boots of the less
distinguished cavaliers about him. Dr. Wollaston was in black,
and, with his noble, serene dignity of countenance, might have
passed for a sporting archbishop. Mr. Mackenzie, at this time in
the seventy-sixth year of his age, with a white hat turned up with
green, green spectacles, green jacket, and long brown leathern
gaiters buttoned upon his nether anatomy, wore a dog-whistle round
his neck, and had all over the air of as resolute a devotee as
the gay Captain of Huntlyburn. Tom Purdie and his subalterns had
preceded us by a few hours with all the greyhounds that could be
collected at Abbotsford, Darnick, and Melrose; but the giant Maida
had remained as his master's orderly, and now gambolled about
Sybil Grey, barking for mere joy, like a spaniel puppy.

'The order of march had been all settled, and the sociable was just
getting under weigh, when _the Lady Anne_ broke from the line,
screaming with laughter, and exclaimed, "Papa! papa! I knew you
could never think of going without your pet." Scott looked round,
and I rather think there was a blush as well as a smile upon his
face, when he perceived a little black pig frisking about his pony,
and evidently a self-elected addition to the party of the day. He
tried to look stern, and cracked his whip at the creature, but was
in a moment obliged to join in the general cheers. Poor piggy soon
found a strap round his neck, and was dragged into the background.
Scott, watching the retreat, repeated with mock pathos the first
verse of an old pastoral song:

  'What will I do gin my hoggie die?
    My joy, my pride, my hoggie!
  My only beast, I had nae mae,
    And wow! but I was vogie!'

The cheers were redoubled, and the squadron moved on. This pig
had taken, nobody could tell how, a most sentimental attachment
to Scott, and was constantly urging its pretension to be admitted
a regular member of his _tail_, along with the greyhounds and
terriers; but, indeed, I remember him suffering another summer
under the same sort of pertinacity on the part of an affectionate
hen. I leave the explanation for philosophers; but such were the
facts. I have too much respect for the vulgarly calumniated donkey
to name him in the same category of pets with the pig and the hen;
but, a year or two after this time, my wife used to drive a couple
of these animals in a little garden chair, and whenever her father
appeared at the door of our cottage, we were sure to see Hannah
More and Lady Morgan (as Anne Scott had wickedly christened them)
trotting from their pasture to lay their noses over the paling,
and, as Washington Irving says of the old white-haired hedger with
the Parisian snuff-box, "to have a pleasant crack with the laird."'

       *       *       *       *       *

The Abbotsford Hunt, another of the great annual outings--a
coursing match on an extensive scale--affords material for
Lockhart's best vein, especially the Hunt dinner, which for many of
the neighbouring yeomen and farmers was _the_ event of the year.
'The company were seldom under thirty in number, and sometimes they
exceeded forty. The feast was such as suited the occasion--a baron
of beef, roasted, at the foot of the table, a salted round at the
head, while tureens of hare-soup, hotchpotch, and cockieleekie
extended down the centre, and such light articles as geese,
turkeys, an entire sucking-pig, a singed sheep's head, and the
unfailing haggis were set forth by way of side-dishes. Black-cock
and moor-fowl, snipe, black and white puddings, and pyramids of
pancakes, formed the second course. Ale was the favourite beverage
during dinner, but there was plenty of port and sherry for those
whose stomachs they suited. The quaighs of Glenlivet were filled
brimful, and tossed off as if they held water. The wine decanters
made a few rounds of the table, but the hints for hot punch and
toddy soon became clamorous. Two or three bowls were introduced
and placed under the supervision of experienced manufacturers--one
of these being usually the Ettrick Shepherd--and then the business
of the evening commenced in good earnest. The faces shone and
glowed like those at Camacho's wedding; the chairman told his
richest stories of old rural life, Lowland or Highland; Ferguson
and humbler heroes fought their Peninsular battles o'er again; the
stalwart Dandie Dinmonts lugged out their last winter's snow-storm,
the parish scandal, perhaps, or the dexterous bargain of the
Northumberland tryst. Every man was knocked down for the song that
he sung best, or took most pleasure in singing. Shortreed gave
"Dick o' the Cow," or "Now Liddesdale has ridden a raid"; his son
Thomas shone without a rival in the "Douglas Tragedy" and the
"Twa Corbies"; a weather-beaten, stiff-bearded veteran, "Captain"
Ormiston, had the primitive pastoral of "Cowdenknowes" in sweet
perfection. Hogg produced the "Women Folk," or "The Kye comes
Hame," and, in spite of many grinding notes, contrived to make
everybody delighted, whether with the fun or the pathos of his
ballad. The Melrose doctor sang in spirited style some of Moore's
masterpieces. A couple of retired sailors joined in "Bold Admiral
Duncan," and the gallant croupier crowned the last bowl with "Ale,
good ale, thou art my darling." And so it proceeded until some
worthy, who had fifteen or twenty miles to ride, began to insinuate
that his wife and bairns would be getting sorely anxious about the
fords, and the Dumples and Hoddins were at last heard neighing at
the gate, and it was voted that the hour had come for _doch an
dorrach_, the stirrup-cup, a bumper all round of the unmitigated
mountain dew. How they all contrived to get home in safety Heaven
only knows, but I never heard of any serious accident except upon
one occasion, when James Hogg made a bet at starting that he would
leap over his wall-eyed pony as she stood, and broke his nose in
this experiment of o'ervaulting ambition. One comely good-wife,
far off among the hills, amused Sir Walter by telling him the next
time he passed her homestead after one of these jolly doings,
what her husband's first words were when he alighted at his own
door--"Ailie, my woman, I'm ready for my bed; and oh, lass, I wish
I could sleep for a towmont, for there's only ae thing in this
warld worth living for, and that's the Abbotsford Hunt."'

Nor was the good old custom of the Kirn omitted at Abbotsford.
Every autumn, before proceeding to Edinburgh, Scott gave a 'Harvest
Home,' to which all the tenantry and their friends--as many as
the barn could hold--were invited. Sir Walter and his family were
present during the first part of the evening, to dispense the good
things and say a few words of farewell. Old and young danced from
sunset to sunrise, to the skirling of John o' Skye's pipes, or
the strains of some 'Wandering Willie's' fiddle, the laird having
his private joke for every old wife or 'gausie carle,' his arch
compliment for the ear of every bonnie lass, and his hand and his
blessing for the head of every little Eppie Daidle from Abbotstown
or Broomielees. Hogmanay, and the immemorial customs of the New
Year, as celebrated in Scotland--now fast dying out--obtained
full respect at Abbotsford. Scott said it was uncanny, and would
certainly have felt it very uncomfortable not to welcome the New
Year in the midst of his family and a few cronies in the orthodox
fashion. But nothing gave him such delight as the visit which he
received as laird from all the children on his estate on the last
morning of the year, when, as he was fond of quoting:

  'The cottage bairns sing blythe and gay
  At the ha' door for hogmanay.'

'Yesterday (December 31, 1825) being Hogmanay,' says Basil Hall's
'Journal'--the clearest, cleverest, most picturesque sketch of
the Abbotsford life from an outsider's point of view--'there was
a constant succession of guizards--boys dressed up in fantastic
caps, with their shirts over their jackets, and with wooden swords
in their hands. These players acted a sort of scene before us,
of which the hero was one Goloshin, who gets killed in a battle
for love, but is presently brought to life again by a doctor
of the party. As may be imagined, the taste of our host is to
keep up these old ceremonies. Thus, in the morning, I observed
crowds of boys and girls coming to the back-door, where each got
a penny and an oaten-cake. No less than seventy pennies were thus
distributed--and very happy the little bodies looked with their
well-stored bags.' Guizarding--that is, masquerading, guising--has
lost practically all the scope and popularity it once had in the
South of Scotland. The present writer well remembers how, as a boy,
he took part scores of times during Christmas and New Year weeks
in the grotesque but picturesque play referred to. The words and
form of the drama exist in various versions in every part of the
Border Country, almost every parish possessing its own rendering.
The _dramatis personæ_, three or four in number, sometimes five,
arrayed in the fashion described above, proceeded from house to
house, generally contenting themselves with the kitchen for an
arena, where the performance was carried through in presence of
the entire household. Galations (not Goloshin) is the title of the
play. Some account of it will be found in Chambers' 'Popular Rhymes
of Scotland' and in Maidment's scarce pamphlet on the subject
(1835).

From what has been said, it is not difficult to imagine the
ideal relationship existing between Scott and his dependents at
Abbotsford. They were surely the happiest retainers and domestics
in the world. How considerate he was in the matter of dwellings,
for instance! He realized that he owed them a distinct duty
in diffusing as much comfort and security into their lives as
possible. They were not mere goods and chattels, but beings of
flesh and blood, with human sympathies like himself. And he treated
them as such. Amid the severities of winter, some of his Edinburgh
notes to Laidlaw are perfect little gems of their kind: 'This
dreadful weather will probably stop Mercer (the weekly carrier).
It makes me shiver in the midst of superfluous comforts to think
of the distress of others. I wish you to distribute £10 amongst
our poorer neighbours so as may best aid them. I mean not only the
actually indigent, but those who are, in our phrase, _ill off_. I
am sure Dr. Scott (of Darnlee) will assist you with his advice in
this labour of love. I think part of the wood-money, too, should
be given among the Abbotstown folks if the storm keeps them off
work, as is like.' And again: 'If you can devise any means by which
hands can be beneficially employed at Abbotsford, I could turn £50
or £100 extra into service. If it made the poor and industrious
people a little easier, I should have more pleasure in it than any
money I ever spent in my life.' 'I think of my rooks amongst this
snow-storm, also of the birds, and not a little of the poor. For
benefit of the former, I hope Peggy throws out the crumbs, and a
cornsheaf or two for the game, if placed where poachers could not
come at them. For the poor people I wish you to distribute £5 or so
among the neighbouring poor who may be in distress, and see that
our own folks are tolerably well off.' 'Do not let the poor bodies
want for a £5, or even a £10, more or less'--

  'We'll get a blessing wi' the lave,
  And never miss 't.'

Socially, the bond between Scott and his servants was a
characteristic object-lesson. 'He speaks to us,' said one, 'as
if we were blood relations.' Like Swift, he maintained that an
affectionate and faithful servant should always be considered in
the character of a humble friend. Even the household domestics
'stayed on' year after year. Some of them grew grey in his service.
One or two died. He had always several pensioners beside him.
Abbotsford was like a little happy world of its own--the most
emphatic exception to the cynic's rule. Scott was 'a hero and a
gentleman' to those who knew him most intimately in the common and
disillusionizing routine of domestic life.

In reading Lockhart, one feels that, aristocrat as Scott was,
familiar with the nobility and literary lions of the time, he
was most at home, and happiest, perhaps, in the fellowship of
commoner men, such as Laidlaw, and Purdie, and John Usher, and
James Hogg, who were knit to him as soul to soul. Of some of these
he declared that they had become almost an integral part of his
existence. We know how life was inexpressibly changed for Scott
minus Tom Purdie, and to dispense with Laidlaw, when that had
become absolutely necessary, was as the iron entering his soul.
The most perfect pen-portraits in Lockhart are those of Purdie
(the Cristal Nixon of 'Redgauntlet'), that faithful factotum and
friend for whom he mourned as a brother; and 'dear Willie' Laidlaw,
betwixt whom and Scott the most charming of all master and servant
correspondence passed; and 'auld Pepe'--Peter Mathieson, his
coachman, a wondrously devoted soul, content to set himself in the
plough-stilts, and do the most menial duties, rather than quit
Abbotsford at its darkest. John Swanston, too, Purdie's successor,
and Dalgleish, the butler, occupy exalted niches in the temple of
humble and honest worth and sweet sacrificing service for a dear
master's sake who was much more than master to them all. Purdie's
grave, close to Melrose Abbey, with a modest stone erected by Scott
(see closing chapter), is probably the most visited of the 'graves
of the common people' almost anywhere. It is seventy-six years,
since, apparently in the fullest enjoyment of health and vigour, he
bowed his head one evening on the table, and dropped asleep--for
ever. Laidlaw lies at Contin amid the Highland solitudes. But
few from Tweedside have beheld the green turf beneath which his
loyal heart has been long resting, or read the simple inscription
on the white marble that marks a spot so sacred to all lovers of
Abbotsford and Sir Walter.

      'Here lie the remains of William Laidlaw,
          Born at Blackhouse in Yarrow,
     November, 1780. Died at Contin, May 18, 1845.'

No account of the Abbotsford life can fail to take notice of the
extraordinary number of visitors, who, even at that early date,
flocked to the shrine of Sir Walter. The year 1825, as has been
said, must be regarded as the high-water mark in the splendours
of Abbotsford. From the dawn of 'Waverley,' but particularly the
period immediately preceding the crash, Abbotsford was the most
sought-after house in the kingdom. It was seldom without its quota
of guests. 'Like a cried fair,' Scott described it on one occasion.
'A hotel widout de pay,' was Lady Scott's more matter-of-fact
comparison. What a profoundly interesting and curious record a
register of visitors to Abbotsford would have been! We may regret,
like Lockhart, that none was ever attempted. His pages, however,
supply to some extent the lack of such a list. One is amazed at
its vastness and cosmopolitanism. Scott's visitors came from all
parts of the compass. Even then the ubiquitous American led the
way, much less reticent and more irrepressible than his modern
representative. Of Continental visitors to Britain in the early
part of last century, not a few, Lockhart says, crossed the
Channel, chiefly as a consequence of their interest in Scott's
writings, and in the hope of seeing the man himself under his own
roof. As for the more intellectual of his own countrymen, Lockhart
will be surprised if it can be shown that any of them crossed the
Tweed without spending a day at Abbotsford.

It was Scott's ambition to assemble at his board some of the best
blood of the country, and at the height of his prosperity he is
said to have entertained as many persons of distinction in rank,
politics, art, literature, and science, as the foremost nobleman of
his age ever did in the like space of time. Lockhart computes that
one out of every six of the British Peerage had dined at Scott's
table. Prince Leopold, afterwards Leopold I. of the Belgians,
husband of the Princess Charlotte, and the exiled Crown Prince
Gustavus of Sweden, were guests at Abbotsford in 1819 and 1820
respectively. With the leading Border families Scott was on the
best of terms, and the neighbouring gentry were all, more or less,
included within the Abbotsford circle. Of his literary friendships
some account will be found in the next chapter.

Nor was Scott above introducing his poorer relations to Abbotsford.
No old acquaintance or family connections, however remote their
station or style of manners, were forgotten or lost sight of. These
were welcome guests, whoever might be under his roof; and it was
the same with many an old classmate, or the fellow-apprentice who
had faced him at the desk when he was proud to earn threepence
a page in drudging pen-work. 'To dwell on nothing else,' says
Lockhart, 'it was surely a beautiful perfection of real universal
humanity and politeness that could enable this great and good man
to blend guests so multifarious in one group, or contrive to make
them all equally happy with him, with themselves, and with each
other.'

Whilst, however, Abbotsford was a kind of ever open door to an
unparalleled variety of guests, there was another and a much larger
company constantly invading its precincts--the great army of the
uninvited. Such interruptions were a constant source of worry to
Scott. Lockhart counted in one day no fewer than sixteen parties
begging admittance. It was impossible at that time, it was said, to
pass between Melrose and Abbotsford 'without encountering some odd
figure, armed with a sketch-book, evidently bent on a peep at the
Great Unknown.' Some came furnished with letters of introduction
from friends for whose sake Scott received them cordially, and
treated them kindly. Others had no introduction at all, but, pencil
and note-book in hand, took the most impertinent liberties with
the place and its occupants. On returning to Abbotsford upon one
occasion, Lockhart recalls how Scott and he found Mrs. Scott and
her daughters doing penance under the merciless curiosity of a
couple of tourists who had been with her for some hours. They were
rich specimens--tall, lanky young men, both of them rigged out in
new jackets and trousers of the Macgregor tartan, the one a lawyer,
the other a Unitarian preacher from New England. These gentlemen,
when told on their arrival that Scott was not at home, had shown
such signs of impatience that the servant took it for granted
they must have serious business, and asked if they would wish to
speak a word with his lady. They grasped at this, and so conducted
themselves in the interview that Mrs. Scott never doubted they had
brought letters of introduction to her husband, and invited them
accordingly to partake of her luncheon. They had been walking about
the house and grounds with her and her daughters ever since that
time, and appeared at the porch, when the Sheriff and his party
returned to dinner, as if they had been already fairly enrolled on
his visiting-list. For the moment he too was taken in; he fancied
that his wife must have received and opened their credentials,
and shook hands with them with courteous cordiality. But Mrs.
Scott, with all her overflowing good nature, was a sharp observer;
and she, before a minute had elapsed, interrupted the ecstatic
compliments of the strangers by reminding them that her husband
would be glad to have the letters of the friends who had been so
good as to write by them. It then turned out that there were no
letters to be produced, and Scott, signifying that his hour for
dinner approached, added that, as he supposed they meant to walk
to Melrose, he could not trespass further on their time. The two
lion-hunters seemed quite unprepared for this abrupt escape. But
there was about Scott, in perfection, when he chose to exert it,
the power of civil repulsion. He bowed the overwhelmed originals
to the door, and on reentering the parlour, found Mrs. Scott
complaining very indignantly that they had gone so far as to pull
out their note-book and beg an exact account, not only of his age,
but of her own. Scott, already half relenting, laughed heartily at
this misery, afterwards saying, 'Hang the Yahoos, Charlotte, but
we should have bid them stay dinner.' 'Devil a bit,' quoth Captain
Ferguson, who had come over from Huntlyburn, 'they were quite in
a mistake, I could see. The one asked Madame whether she deigned
to call her new house Tully Veolan or Tillietudlem, and the other,
when Maida happened to lay his head against the window, exclaimed,
"_Pro-di-gi-ous!_"' 'Well, well, Skipper,' was the reply, 'for a'
that, the loons would hae been nane the waur o' their kail.'

Much has been written of Scott and his dogs--not the least
important part of the establishment. All true poets, from Homer
downwards, have loved dogs. Scott was seldom without a 'tail' at
his heels. His special favourites, Camp and Maida (the Bevis of
'Woodstock'), are as well-known as himself. Both were frequently
painted by Raeburn and others. When Camp died at Castle Street,
Scott excused himself from a dinner-party on account of 'the death
of a dear old friend'--a fine compliment to the canine tribe--a
finer index to the heart of the man. Scott looked upon his dogs as
companions, 'not as the brute, but the mute creation.' He loved
them for their marvellously human traits, and we know how they
reciprocated his affection. He was always caring for them. When
the financial cloud burst, there is this touching record in the
Diary: 'I was to have gone there (Abbotsford) on Saturday in joy
and prosperity to receive my friends. My dogs will wait for me in
vain. It is foolish, but the thought of parting with these dumb
creatures has moved me more than any of the painful reflections I
have put down. Poor things! I must get them kind masters! There
may be yet those who, loving me, may love my dog, because it has
been mine.... I feel my dogs' feet on my knees; I hear them whining
and seeking me everywhere. This is nonsense, but it is what they
would do could they know how things may be.' 'Be very careful of
the dogs,' was his last request to Laidlaw on the eve of setting
out for Italy. And when, close on a year afterwards, he returned so
deadly stricken, it was his dogs fondling about him which for the
most part resuscitated the sense of 'home, sweet home.'



AN ABBOTSFORD BEAD-ROLL



CHAPTER V

AN ABBOTSFORD BEAD-ROLL


Of Scott's friendships in the world of letters, Lockhart's account
runs like a silver thread through the Life. Many of his strongest
ties were on the literary side. His attitude to literature was
a curious one, however. Notwithstanding the unique place which
he held, and his unrivalled popularity, his successes, from an
author's point of view, were accepted with singular sang-froid.
Nor was he ever heard to profess a love of literature for its
own sake. Carlyle's statement that, with Scott, literature was
mainly a means to an end--and a material enough one at that--it
is to be feared, is only too true. His fictional work was made
entirely subsidiary to the other and more tangible creations of his
imagination and ambition--Abbotsford, and the race of Abbotsford
Scotts. Literary reputation, he was fond of saying, while a bright
enough feather in one's cap, is never a substantial covering for
the head. 'He never considered,' says Lockhart, 'any amount of
literary distinction as entitled to be spoken of in the same breath
with mastery in the higher departments of practical life--least
of all, with the glory of a first-rate captain. To have done
things worthy to be written was a dignity to which no man made any
approach who had only written things worthy to be read.' Of his
own work he seldom spoke, except to his intimates. The making of a
book he held to be no great matter, and to the glory which might be
won thereby 'one is apt,' he said, 'to ascribe an undue degree of
consequence.' Recounting his introduction to the Iron Duke, he told
Ballantyne that he had felt awed and abashed as never before in
the presence of the man whom he regarded not only as the greatest
soldier, but also as the greatest statesman of the age. Ballantyne
suggested that, on his part, the Duke had seen before him a great
poet, and the greatest novelist of the age. Scott smiled. 'What,'
said he, 'would the Duke of Wellington think of a few _bits of
novels_, which perhaps he had never read, and for which the strong
probability is that he would not care a sixpence if he had?' 'I
have more than once,' said Laidlaw, 'heard Sir Walter assert that,
had his father left him an estate of £500 or £600 a year, he
would have spent his time in miscellaneous reading, not writing.'
This, to a certain extent, might have been the case. It is hardly
likely, however. Had he not tasted blood in the success of the
'Minstrelsy,' and the magnificent reception given to the verse
romances, matters might have been different. But, so singularly
successful at the first venture, it was not possible for Scott to
restrain himself from further achievements. Writing was as natural
to him as breathing. From boyhood he had a penchant for letters.
And had he not been 'making himself' right on from Sandyknowe and
Kelso to Lasswade and Ashestiel? The fruit came late, but what a
crop! Still, it was nothing for him, in one aspect of it, to be the
uncrowned king of his country's literature. So far as it made him
Scott of Abbotsford, that was a much more real matter.

We have seen how Abbotsford, in its palmy days, was the most
popular guest-house in the kingdom. To the intellectual lions of
the time its doors offered a specially gracious welcome. Never
did gatherings glisten with a more resplendent genius or such
genuine good-fellowship. An Abbotsford 'noctes' was worth dozens at
Ambrose's, as Lockhart and the contemporary biographies evidence.

To the present bead-roll, which is based almost entirely on
the Biography, Thomas Faed's picture, 'Scott and his Literary
Friends,'[9] offers a good index. The piece is purely imaginary,
for the persons represented were never all at Abbotsford at the
same time, two of them, indeed--Crabbe and Campbell--never having
seen it. Scott is represented as reading the manuscript of a new
novel; on his right, Henry Mackenzie, his oldest literary friend,
occupies the place of honour. Hogg, the intentest figure in the
group, sits at Scott's feet to the left. Kit North's leonine head
and shoulders lean across the back of a chair. Next come Crabbe
and Lockhart--at the centre of the table--together with Wordsworth
and Francis (afterwards Lord) Jeffrey. Sir Adam Ferguson, a bosom
cronie, cross-legged, his military boots recalling Peninsular days
and the reading of the 'Lady of the Lake' to his comrades in the
lines of Torres Vedras, immediately faces Scott. Behind him, Moore
and Campbell sit opposite each other. At the end of the table are
the printers Constable and Ballantyne, and at theirback, standing,
the painters Allan and Wilkie. Thomas Thomson, Deputy Clerk
Register, is on the extreme left, and Sir Humphry Davy is examining
a sword-hilt. A second and smaller copy of Faed's picture (in the
Woodlands Park collection, Bradford) substitutes Lord Byron and
Washington Irving for Constable and Ballantyne. Allan, Davy, and
Thomson are also omitted. The artist might well have introduced
Scott's lady literary friends, Joanna Baillie and Maria Edgeworth,
and it is a pity that Laidlaw has been left out.

[Illustration: SANDYKNOWE TOWER]

  'Then rise those crags, that mountain tower
  Which charm'd my fancy's wakening hour;
  It was a barren scene and wild,
  Where naked cliffs were rudely piled;
  But ever and anon between
  Lay velvet tufts of loveliest green;
  And well the lonely infant knew
  Recesses where the wall-flower grew,
  And honeysuckle loved to crawl
  Up the low crag and ruin'd wall.
  And still I thought that shatter'd tower
  The mightiest work of human power;
  And marvell'd as the aged bind
  With some strange tale bewitch'd my mind,
  Of forayers who, with headlong force,
  Down from that strength had spurr'd their horse,
  Their southern rapine to renew
  Far in the distant Cheviots blue.
  Methought grim features seam'd with scars
  Glared through the window's rusty bars.'

Such a picture suggests instinctively the table-talk of Abbotsford.
One cannot help regretting the absence of a volume on the subject,
apart from Lockhart. What would 'Bozzy' not have given for the
opportunity! Lockhart, naturally, scorned to 'Boswellize' his hero.
Notwithstanding the sterling excellence of the Biography, with
its reproductions of many rare conversations and chronicling of
scores of delightful little incidents, some of the finest things
that fell from Scott's lips and from his guests must have perished
irretrievably. Laidlaw, it is said, was urged to play the rôle of
Boswell, but declined, yet few could have done it better. He was
part of the establishment, and hardly any company was considered
complete without his quiet and sagacious presence. Scott once
remarked when they were alone, after a specially brilliant night,
that many a one, meeting such people and hearing such talk, might
make excellent 'copy' out of it in a very lively and entertaining
book, which would be sure to be read with interest. Hence the value
of the 'Abbotsford Notanda'--Laidlaw's correspondence and other
papers, collected and edited by Robert Carruthers--with no thought,
possibly, on Laidlaw's part, of their ever being printed. It is a
perfect little gem of its kind--one of the sweetest pictures of
the Abbotsford life and of that winsomely ideal relationship which
existed between Sir Walter and his steward. No student of Scott can
overlook it. As the writer, be it noted also, of one of the most
touching and characteristic Scottish ballads, 'Lucy's Flittin','
and an enthusiastic collaborateur with Scott in the 'Minstrelsy,'
Laidlaw will always merit the most honourable remembrance.

It is interesting to recall that Scott's first really distinguished
visitor from the arena of letters was from the other side of
the Atlantic--Washington Irving, an American of the Americans.
Irving's visit, doubtless, helped to modify Scott's estimate of
his countrymen. He did not at first care for many of his Yankee
admirers, but by-and-by not a few of them became friends for
life. Campbell introduced Irving to Scott. 'When you see Tom
Campbell,' wrote Scott to Richardson of Kirklands, 'tell him,
with my best love, that I have to thank him for making me known
to Mr. Washington Irving, who is one of the best and pleasantest
acquaintances I have made this many a day.' Irving was the
guest--if we except Basil Hall at a later period--who made the most
of his brief stay at Abbotsford. He was there in August, 1817,
whilst the building operations were in progress. Some parts of his
famous and classical essay are too good and too graphic not to be
quoted at length.

 'While the postilion was on his errand, I had time to survey the
 mansion. It stood some short distance below the road, on the
 side of a hill sweeping down to the Tweed; and was as yet but a
 snug gentleman's cottage, with something rural and picturesque
 in its appearance. The whole front was overrun with evergreens,
 and immediately above the portal was a great pair of elk horns,
 branching out from beneath the foliage, and giving the cottage the
 look of a hunting-lodge. The huge baronial pile, to which this
 modest mansion in a manner gave birth, was just emerging into
 existence; part of the walls, surrounded by scaffolding, already
 had risen to the height of the cottage, and the courtyard in front
 was encumbered by masses of hewn stone.

 'The noise of the chaise had disturbed the quiet of the
 establishment. Out sallied the warder of the castle, a black
 greyhound, and, leaping on one of the blocks of stone, began a
 furious barking. His alarm brought out the whole garrison of dogs,
 all open-mouthed and vociferous. In a little while the "lord of
 the castle" himself made his appearance. I knew him at once by the
 descriptions I had read and heard, and the likenesses that had
 been published of him. He was tall, and of a large and powerful
 frame. His dress was simple, and almost rustic. An old green
 shooting-coat, with a dog-whistle at the buttonhole, brown linen
 pantaloons, stout shoes that tied at the ankles, and a white hat
 that had evidently seen service. He came limping up the gravel
 walk, aiding himself by a stout walking-staff, but moving rapidly
 and with vigour. By his side jogged along a large iron-grey
 staghound of most grave demeanour, who took no part in the clamour
 of the canine rabble, but seemed to consider himself bound, for
 the dignity of the house, to give me a courteous reception.

 'Before Scott had reached the gate he called out in a hearty tone,
 welcoming me to Abbotsford, and asking news of Campbell. Arrived
 at the door of the chaise, he grasped me warmly by the hand:
 "Come, drive down, drive down to the house," said he; "you're
 just in time for breakfast, and afterwards ye shall see all the
 wonders of the Abbey."

 'I would have excused myself, on the plea of having already made
 my breakfast. "Hout, man," cried he, "a ride in the morning in
 the keen air of the Scotch hills is warrant enough for a second
 breakfast."

 'I was accordingly whirled to the portal of the cottage, and in
 a few moments found myself seated at the breakfast-table. There
 was no one present but the family, which consisted of Mrs. Scott,
 her eldest daughter Sophia, then a fine girl about seventeen,
 Miss Anne Scott, two or three years younger, Walter, a well-grown
 stripling, and Charles, a lively boy, eleven or twelve years of
 age. I soon felt myself quite at home, and my heart in a glow
 with the cordial welcome I experienced. I had thought to make a
 mere morning visit, but found I was not to be let off so lightly.
 "You must not think our neighbourhood is to be read in a morning,
 like a newspaper," said Scott. "It takes several days of study
 for an observant traveller that has a relish for auld-world
 trumpery. After breakfast you shall make your visit to Melrose
 Abbey. When you come back, I'll take you out on a ramble about the
 neighbourhood. To-morrow we will take a look at the Yarrow, and
 the next day we will drive over to Dryburgh Abbey, which is a fine
 old ruin well worth your seeing." In a word, before Scott had got
 through with his plan, I found myself committed for a visit of
 several days, and it seemed as if a little realm of romance was
 suddenly opened before me....

 'After my return from Melrose Abbey, Scott proposed a ramble to
 show me something of the surrounding country. As we sallied forth,
 every dog in the establishment turned out to attend us. There was
 the old staghound Maida, a noble animal, and a great favourite
 of Scott's; and Hamlet, the black greyhound, a wild, thoughtless
 youngster, not yet arrived to years of discretion; and Finette, a
 beautiful setter, with soft silken hair, long pendent ears, and
 a mild eye--the parlour favourite. When in front of the house,
 we were joined by a superannuated greyhound, who came from the
 kitchen wagging his tail, and was cheered by Scott as an old
 friend and comrade.

 'In our walks, Scott would frequently pause in conversation to
 notice his dogs and speak to them, as if rational companions; and,
 indeed, there appears to be a vast deal of rationality in these
 faithful attendants on man, derived from their close intimacy with
 him. Maida deported himself with a gravity becoming his age and
 size, and seemed to consider himself called upon to preserve a
 great degree of dignity and decorum in our society. As he jogged
 along a little distance ahead of us, the young dogs would gambol
 about him, leap on his neck, worry at his ears, and endeavour to
 tease him into a frolic. The old dog would keep on for a long
 time with imperturbable solemnity, now and then seeming to rebuke
 the wantonness of his young companions. At length he would make a
 sudden turn, seize one of them, and tumble him in the dust; then,
 giving a glance at us, as much as to say, "You see, gentlemen, I
 can't help giving way to this nonsense," would resume his gravity
 and jog on as before.

 'Scott amused himself with these peculiarities. "I make no doubt,"
 said he, "when Maida is alone with these young dogs he throws
 gravity aside, and plays the boy as much as any of them; but he
 is ashamed to do so in our company, and seems to say, 'Ha' done
 with your nonsense, youngsters; what will the laird and that other
 gentleman think of me if I give way to such foolery?'" ...

 'We rambled on among scenes which had been familiar in Scottish
 song, and rendered classic by the pastoral muse, long before Scott
 had thrown the rich mantle of his poetry over them. What a thrill
 of pleasure did I feel when first I saw the broom-covered tops of
 the Cowdenknowes peeping above the grey hills of the Tweed! and
 what touching associations were called up by the sight of Ettrick
 Vale, Gala Water, and the Braes of Yarrow! Every turn brought
 to mind some household air--some almost forgotten song of the
 nursery, by which I had been lulled to sleep in my childhood; and
 with them the looks and voices of those who had sung them, and
 who were now no more. It is these melodies, chanted in our ears
 in the days of infancy, and connected with the memory of those
 we have loved, and who have passed away, that clothe Scottish
 landscape with such tender associations....

 'Our ramble took us on the hills, commanding an extensive
 prospect. "Now," said Scott, "I have brought you, like the
 pilgrim in the 'Pilgrim's Progress,' to the top of the Delectable
 Mountains, that I may show you all the goodly regions hereabouts.
 Yonder is Lammermoor and Smailholm; and there you have Galashiels,
 and Torwoodlee, and Gala Water; and in that direction you see
 Teviotdale, and the Braes of Yarrow, and Ettrick stream, winding
 along, like a silver thread, to throw itself into the Tweed."

 'He went on thus to call over names celebrated in Scottish song,
 and most of which had recently received a romantic interest from
 his own pen. In fact, I saw a great part of the Border Country
 spread out before me, and could trace the scenes of those poems
 and romances which had, in a manner, bewitched the world. I gazed
 about me for a time with mute surprise, I may almost say with
 disappointment. I beheld a mere succession of grey waving hills,
 line beyond line, as far as my eye could reach, monotonous in
 their aspect, and so destitute of trees that one could almost see
 a stout fly walking along their profile; and the farfamed Tweed
 appeared a naked stream, flowing between bare hills, without a
 tree or thicket on its banks; and yet, such had been the magic web
 of poetry and romance thrown over the whole, that it had a greater
 charm for me than the richest scenery I beheld in England.

 'I could not help giving utterance to my thoughts. Scott hummed
 for a moment to himself, and looked grave; he had no idea of
 having his muse complimented at the expense of his native hills.
 "It may be partiality," said he, at length; "but to my eye, these
 grey hills and all this wild Border Country have beauties peculiar
 to themselves. I like the very nakedness of the land; it has
 something bold, and stern, and solitary about it. When I have been
 for some time in the rich scenery about Edinburgh, which is like
 ornamented garden land, I begin to wish myself back again among
 my honest grey hills; and if I did not see the heather at least
 once a year, _I think I should die_!" The last words were said
 with an honest warmth, accompanied with a thump on the ground with
 his staff, by way of emphasis, that showed his heart was in his
 speech.'

Following Irving's visit came Lady Byron--for a day only--spent
on the banks of the Yarrow. Lord Byron never was at Abbotsford.
Scott and he met at John Murray's London house and elsewhere,
and they frequently corresponded. Like the old heroes in Homer,
they exchanged gifts. Scott gave Byron a beautiful dagger mounted
with gold, which had been the property of the redoubted Elfi Bey,
and some time after, Byron sent to Abbotsford a large sepulchral
vase of silver, filled with dead men's bones from the Piræus, and
suitably inscribed. A letter from the noble poet accompanying the
gift was filched from the vase, much to Scott's annoyance.

That same year, 1817, Sir David Wilkie painted his incongruous
'Abbotsford Family' (in the Scottish National Gallery), wherein
Scott figures as a miller and the rest of the group as peasants.
Sir Adam Ferguson, who commissioned the picture, was depicted as
a poacher. Wilkie's impressions of Abbotsford, in a letter to his
sister, reveal the pleasant nature of his visit. 'I have never been
in any place,' he says, 'where there is so much real good humour
and merriment. There is nothing but amusement from morning till
night, and if Scott is really writing "Rob Roy," it must be while
we are sleeping.' (That was practically so.) 'He is either out
planting trees, superintending the masons, or erecting fences, the
whole of the day. He goes frequently out hunting, and this morning
there was a whole cavalcade of us out hunting hard.'

Lockhart at Abbotsford, which he first saw in 1818, merits a
chapter to himself. Sir Humphry Davy and Dr. Wollaston, natural
philosophers both, Henry Mackenzie, and William Stewart Rose,
translator of Ariosto, to whom Scott dedicated the first canto of
'Marmion,' were at Abbotsford in 1820. Of their doings (unliterary)
some account will be found in the preceding pages. The year 1823,
when Miss Edgeworth visited Abbotsford, Lockhart believes to be the
happiest in Scott's life. Probably no more welcome guest crossed
his threshold. Scott and she corresponded occasionally. As a matter
of fact, it was Maria's delightful delineations of Irish life
and character which inspired him to try his own hand at fiction.
Long had he hoped to meet her. At last the novelist of 'Castle
Rackrent' and 'The Absentee' was in Scotland, with Abbotsford as
her objective. Barely had she and her sister reached Edinburgh
before a note came from Scott begging them to venture to his house
that very night, late as it was, and just as they were, to hear
the Laird of Staffa and some of his clansmen singing Highland
boat-songs. 'Ten o'clock struck,' writes Miss Edgeworth, 'as I read
this note. We were tired; we were not fit to be seen; but I sent
for a hackney, and just as we were, without dressing, we went. As
the coach stopped, we saw the hall lighted, and the moment the door
opened, heard the joyous sounds of loud singing. Three servants:
'The Miss Edgeworths!' sounded from hall to landing-place; and as
I paused for a moment in the ante-room, I heard the first sound
of Walter Scott's voice--'The Miss Edgeworths?--come!' Thus the
eventful meeting took place, and the friendship of two lives long
intimate, so far as correspondence can be said to create intimacy,
seems to have grown to its full height, literally at their first
hand-clasp. Here is Scott's opinion of the 'little Irish lioness,'
as he called her: 'It is scarcely possible to say more of this
remarkable person than that she not only completely answered, but
exceeded the expectations which I had formed. I am particularly
pleased with the naïveté and good-humoured ardour of mind which she
unites with such formidable powers of acute observation.' 'Never
did I see a brighter day at Abbotsford,' says Lockhart, 'than that
on which Miss Edgeworth first arrived there; never can I forget
her look and accent when she was received by Scott at his archway,
and exclaimed: 'Everything about you is exactly what one ought to
have had wit enough to dream!' The visit was a series of fêtes. The
weather, on its good behaviour, allowed of an out-of-doors life to
the full. One day they picnicked at Cauldshiels. Another, the whole
party feasted by the Rhymer's Waterfall in the Glen, and the stone
on which Maria sat was ever afterwards called 'Edgeworth's stone.'
A third day they drove to the Upper Yarrow, and about sunset the
baskets were unpacked beside St. Mary's Chapel of the Lowes, or
all that remains of it, high up on the hillside, overlooking the
shining waters of the Loch. The young ladies trimmed their hair
with heather and blue-bells, and some of the party sang, and
Scott recited, until it was time to go home beneath the softest
of harvest moons. So passed that halcyon fortnight, and Miss
Edgeworth never saw Abbotsford again. But exactly two years later,
Mr. Lovell Edgeworth threw open the doors of his classical mansion
at Edgeworthstown to the Wizard of the North, and Maria, with her
brother and sister, accompanied him to Killarney amid a succession
of festive gaiety wherever they halted.

[Illustration: CAULDSHIELS LOCH]

  'The westland wind is hush and still,
  The lake lies sleeping at my feet.'

John Leycester Adolphus, author of the 'Letters to Heber,'
unmasking the 'Great Unknown' in proof that 'Marmion' and
'Waverley' were from the same pen, was a frequent guest from 1823
onwards. His 'Memoranda, like Irving's and Hall's, discloses
interesting little sidelights of Scott as seen by an outsider.
There is nothing better than his exquisite description of Scott's
laugh: 'Never, perhaps, did a man go through all the gradations of
laughter with such complete enjoyment and a countenance so radiant.
The first dawn of a humorous thought would show itself sometimes,
as he sat silent, by an involuntary lengthening of the upper lip,
followed by a shy sidelong glance at his neighbours, indescribably
whimsical, and seeming to ask from their looks whether the spark
of drollery should be suppressed or allowed to blaze out. In
the full tide of mirth he did, indeed, laugh the heart's laugh,
like Walpole, but it was not boisterous and overpowering, nor
did it check the course of his words. He could go on telling or
descanting, while his lungs did 'crow like chanticleer,' his
syllables, in the struggle, growing more emphatic, his accent more
strongly Scotch, and his voice plaintive with excess of merriment.'

Tom Moore came in 1825--the culminating year. Scott and he had
only once met, in public, some twenty years earlier. Abbotsford,
curiously, but luckily for Moore, was absolutely guestless during
his visit. Scott enjoyed having the author of 'Lalla Rookh'
all to himself, and sacrificed his mornings, usually sacred to
work, in honour of the occasion. The liking between the two men
was immediate, but none the less profound. To Moore--and tired,
doubtless, of the long mask-wearing--Scott confessed the Novels'
authorship, the first avowal outside his own circle. On the third
day Moore's Diary notes that Scott, 'laying his hand cordially on
my breast, said: "Now, my dear Moore, we are friends for life."'
Together they called on Laidlaw at Kaeside, the Fergusons at
Huntlyburn, saw Melrose, and in the evening Scott 'collected his
neighbours to enjoy his guest, with the wit and humour of Sir
Adam Ferguson, his picturesque stories of the Peninsula, and his
inimitable singing of the old Jacobite ditties.' 'I parted from
Scott,' says Moore, 'with the feeling that all the world might
admire him in his works, but that those only could learn to love
him as he deserved who had seen him at Abbotsford.' And there is
no passage in Moore's memoirs more evidently sincere than that in
which he expresses (only a few months later) his 'deep and painful
sympathy' in the news of Scott's financial misfortune: 'For poor
devils like me (who have never known better) to fag and to be
pinched for means, becomes, as it were, a second nature; but for
Scott, whom I saw living in such luxurious comfort, and dispensing
such cordial hospitality, to be thus suddenly reduced to the
necessity of working his way is too bad, and I grieve for him from
my heart.'

Arthur Henry Hallam, of 'In Memoriam,' cut off in the very bloom of
life and genius, accompanied by his father, the historian, was at
Abbotsford in 1829. His beautiful verses, 'written after visiting
Melrose Abbey in company of Scott,' have been often reprinted:

  'I lived an hour in fair Melrose;
      It was not when the "pale moonlight"
  Its magnifying charm bestows;
      Yet deem I that I "viewed it right."
  The wind-swept shadows fast careered,
  Like living things that joyed or feared,
  Adown the sunny Eildon Hill,
  And the sweet winding Tweed the distance crownèd well.

  'I inly laughed to see that scene
      Wear such a countenance of youth,
  Though many an age those hills were green,
      And yonder river glided smooth,
  Ere in these now disjointed walls
  The Mother Church held festivals,
  And full-voiced anthemings the while
  Swelled from the choir, and lingered down the echoing aisle.

  'I coveted that Abbey's doom;
      For if, I thought, the early flowers
  Of our affection may not bloom,
      Like those green hills, through countless hours,
  Grant me at least a tardy waning,
  Some pleasure still in age's paining;
  Though lines and forms must fade away,
  Still may old Beauty share the empire of Decay!

  'But looking toward the grassy mound
      Where calm the Douglas chieftains lie
  Who, living, quiet never found,
       I straightway learnt a lesson high:
  For there an old man sat serene,
  And well I knew that thoughtful mien
  Of him whose early lyre had thrown
  Over these mouldering walls the magic of its tone.

  'Then ceased I from my envying state,
      And knew that aweless intellect
  Hath power upon the ways of fate,
      And works through time and space uncheck'd.
  That minstrel of old chivalry
  In the cold grave must come to be,
  But his transmitted thoughts have part
  In the collective mind, and never shall depart.

  'It was a comfort, too, to see
      Those dogs that from him ne'er would rove,
  And always eyed him reverently,
      With glances of depending love.
  They know not of that eminence
  Which marks him to my reasoning sense;
  They know but that he is a man,
  And still to them is kind, and glads them all he can.'

That same summer Mrs. Hemans, visiting the Hamiltons at Chiefswood,
was daily at Abbotsford. Lockhart has no mention of the occasion.
See, however, the references in the 'Journal.' As with Miss
Edgeworth, Scott piloted the 'poet of womanhood' to Yarrow, and
over into Ettrick, and in the Rhymer's Glen he related the incident
which gave origin to her inspiring 'Rhine Song.'[10] At parting
with her, he said, 'There are some whom we meet and should like
ever after to claim as kith and kin; and you are one of these.'
Susan Ferrier, authoress of 'Marriage,' 'Inheritance,' etc.,
novels of the older school (in need of modern revival), visited
Scott in 1829, and again in 1831. 'This gifted personage,' says
the 'Journal,'' besides having great talents, has conversation the
least _exigeante_ of any author--female, at least--whom I have
ever seen among the long list I have encountered--simple, full of
humour, and exceedingly ready at repartee; and all this without the
least affectation of the blue-stocking.'[11]

[Illustration: THE RHYMER'S GLEN]

  'Come now, O Queen of Faery,
    With the first love-steps of spring;
  The larch holds out its tassels,
    The birks their splendour fling.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Thy Rhymer's Glen is yearning,
    Methinks thou tarriest long,
  While breeze, and bird, and burnie
    Sing one expectant song.'

Wordsworth was the last of the giants to visit Scott at Abbotsford.
They met for the first time at Lasswade Cottage as far back as
1803, and at least on four other occasions, both in Scotland
and England. But how altered the circumstances of their present
meeting! Scott, a confirmed invalid, was on the eve of saying
farewell to Abbotsford practically for ever. Wordsworth arrived
on September 21, 1831, and Scott was to leave on the 23rd. On the
22nd--the last day at home, and the last one of real enjoyment--the
two friends spent the morning together in a visit to Newark. 'It
was a day to deepen both in Scott and Wordsworth whatever of
sympathy either of them had with the very different genius of the
other'; and that it had this result in Wordsworth's case we know
from the very beautiful poem 'Yarrow Revisited,' and the Sonnet ('A
trouble, not of clouds, or weeping rain'), which the occasion also
produced. As long as English poetry lives, so will the memory of
that last day of the Last Minstrel at Newark:

  'Grave thoughts ruled wide on that sweet day,
    Their dignity installing
  In gentle bosoms, while sere leaves
    Were on the bough, or falling;

  But breezes played, and sunshine gleamed--
    The Forest to embolden;
  Redden'd the fiery hues, and shot
    Transparence through the golden.

       *       *       *       *       *

  'For thee, O Scott! compelled to change
    Green Eildon Hill and Cheviot
  For warm Vesuvio's vine-clad slopes;
    And leave thy Tweed and Teviot
  For mild Sorrento's breezy waves;
    May classic Fancy, linking
  With native Fancy her fresh aid,
    Preserve thy heart from sinking!

  'O! while they minister to thee,
    Each vying with the other,
  May Health return to mellow Age
    With Strength, her venturous brother;
  And Tiber, and each brook and rill
    Renowned in song and story,
  With unimagined beauty shine,
    Nor lose one ray of glory!

  'For Thou, upon a hundred streams,
    By tales of love and sorrow,
  Of faithful love, undaunted truth,
    Hast shed the power of Yarrow!
  And streams unknown, hills yet unseen,
    Wherever they invite Thee,
  At parent Nature's grateful call,
    With gladness must requite Thee.'

Sitting in the Library that same night, the talk turned on Smollett
and Fielding, both driven abroad, as Scott recalled, like himself,
through declining health, and we hardly wonder if there was the
feeling present to his mind that, like them, he, too, might not
return.

Mention of Yarrow instinctively calls up the name of James Hogg,
a true friend of Scott, notwithstanding Lockhart's farrago. Hogg
and Lockhart were constantly misunderstanding one another. In one
sense, they were wide as the poles asunder--Lockhart aristocratic
to the finger-tips, Hogg excessively plebeian. But that should have
made no difference. It made no difference with Scott. Lockhart
undoubtedly tried to help Hogg a good deal, which Hogg resented
more than once; hence Lockhart's strictures. But for all that, the
Shepherd is a picturesque and lovable figure, even in the pages
of Lockhart. Hogg's alleged 'insult' to the dust of Scott--the
'Scorpion's' most stinging charge against him--amounts, after all,
to very little. That Hogg was never further from insult in the
writing of his little brochure[12] seems perfectly clear. There
are, to be sure, some things that had been better left unsaid. But
the book is, nevertheless, one of the brightest and most natural
pen-portraits of Scott that we have. Hogg was a regular visitor
at Abbotsford. Laidlaw denies that he ever, even in his cups,
descended to 'Wattie' and 'Charlotte.' Scott smiled at Hogg's
inordinate vanity, and Hogg had one or two stupid estrangements
with him. But Sir Walter's attachment to his more humble compeer
was never lessened in the least until the day when the two friends
parted for ever at the Gordon Arms in Yarrow--the dearest vale on
earth to them both.[13]



THE WIZARD'S FAREWELL TO ABBOTSFORD



CHAPTER VI

THE WIZARD'S FAREWELL TO ABBOTSFORD


On March 5, 1817, at Castle Street, in the midst of a merry
dinner-party, Scott was seized with a sudden illness--the first
since his childhood. The disorder was cramp in the stomach of an
unusually severe type. From Gillies's 'Recollections' we learn
that, although disabled and compelled to retire to his room, he
was unwilling that the festivity of the evening should be broken
up, and actually sent a message to Mrs. Siddons that nothing would
do him so much good as to hear her sing. He would, he said, be all
right in the morning. But the illness lasted a week, and was more
serious than had been anticipated. It was, indeed, the first of a
series of such paroxysms, which for years visited him periodically,
and from which he never absolutely recovered. Probably the best
index to his feelings at this period is found in what may be
described as the most pathetically poetic verses he ever penned.
He was at Abbotsford, battling with depression and melancholy,
and seldom without a sense of pain. On the bare height above
Cauldshiels, with its then magnificent prospect of Melrose and the
open valley of the Tweed, hemmed in on the west by the Selkirkshire
uplands, he wrote, on one lovely autumn evening, these exquisite
lines--exquisite because expressing the deepest passion of his soul
at the moment:

  'The sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill,
    In Ettrick's vale, is sinking sweet;
  The westland wind is hush and still--
    The lake lies sleeping at my feet.
  Yet not the landscape to mine eye
    Bears those bright hues that once it bore,
  Though evening with her richest dye
    Flames o'er the hills of Ettrick's shore.

  'With listless look along the plain
    I see Tweed's silver current glide,
  And coldly mark the holy fane
    Of Melrose rise in ruin'd pride.
  The quiet lake, the balmy air,
    The hill, the stream, the tower, the tree--
  Are they still such as once they were,
    Or is the dreary change in me?

  'Alas! the warp'd and broken board,
    How can it bear the painter's dye!
  The harp of strain'd and tuneless chord,
    How to the minstrel's skill reply!

  To aching eyes each landscape lowers,
    To feverish pulse each gale blows chill,
  And Araby's or Eden's bowers
    Were barren as this moorland hill.'

[Illustration: MELROSE ABBEY FROM THE MEADOWS]

  'Merrily swim we, the moon shines bright;
  There's a golden gleam on the distant height;
  There's a silver shower on the alders dank
  And the drooping willows that wave on the bank.
  I see the Abbey, both turret and tower--
  It is all astir for the vesper hour;
  The monks for the chapel are leaving each cell,
  But where's Father Philip, should toll the bell?'

The 'change' in himself was visible enough. He was worn almost to
a skeleton, and sat on his horse slanting, as if unable to hold
himself upright. His dress was threadbare and disordered, his
countenance meagre, haggard, and of the deadliest olive brown.
Afterwards, a single season blanched his hair snow-white. The last
days of the Last Minstrel seemed to have come. Lockhart parted on
one occasion with 'dark prognostications' that it was for the last
time. Scott, too, despaired of himself. Calling his children about
his bed, he took leave of them with solemn tenderness, adding,
'For myself, my dears, I am unconscious of ever having done any
man an injury, or omitted any fair opportunity of doing any man a
benefit. I well know that no human life can appear otherwise than
weak and filthy in the eyes of God; but I rely on the merits and
intercession of our Redeemer.' 'God bless you!' he again said to
each of them, laying his hand on their heads. 'Live so that you may
all hope to meet each other in a better place hereafter.' Presently
he fell into a profound slumber, and on awaking, the crisis was
seen to be over. A gradual re-establishment of health followed.
Of the 'Bride of Lammermoor,' and 'Ivanhoe,' written under the
most adverse circumstances, whilst he still suffered acutely, one
is surprised to find both romances in the very front rank of his
creations. He was under opiates, more or less, when the 'Bride'
was on the stocks, dictating nearly the whole of it to Laidlaw
and John Ballantyne. It is a most curious fact psychologically,
for of its characters, scenes, humour, and all that connected him
with the authorship of the story, he recollected nothing. A more
extraordinary incident literature has not known.[14] But work
which cut him short in the end was the saving of his life in this
instance. The mind was a constant conquest over the weaker physical
framework. 'It is my conviction,' he declared to Gillies, 'that
by a little more hearty application you might forget, and lose
altogether, the irritable sensations of an invalid, and I don't,
in this instance, preach what I have not endeavoured to practise.
Be assured that if pain could have prevented my application to
literary labour, not a page of "Ivanhoe" would have been written;
for, from beginning to end of that production, which has been
a good deal praised, I was never free from suffering. It might
have borne a motto somewhat analogous to the inscription which
Frederick the Great's predecessor used to affix to his attempts
at portrait-painting when he had the gout: "Fredericus I., _in
tormentis_ pinxit." Now, if I had given way to mere feelings and
ceased to work, it is a question whether the disorder might not
have taken deeper root, and become incurable. The best way is,
if possible, to triumph over disease by setting it at defiance,
somewhat on the same principle as one avoids being stung by boldly
grasping a nettle.'

By 1820 he was enjoying tolerably good health, with no cramp
recurrences for a time. But in 1823, when busy with 'Peveril,'
an arresting hand laid itself upon Scott in the shape of a
slight stroke of apoplexy. As a matter of fact, and as Lockhart
suspected, this was only one of several such shocks which he had
been carefully concealing. '"Peveril" will, I fear, smell of the
apoplexy,' he afterwards admitted. Hence, no doubt, 'Peveril's'
dulness'. He rallied, notwithstanding, and up to Christmas, 1825,
his health was excellent. But from 1826--the year of his crowning
sorrows--the record of Scott's life reads like a long martyrdom.
Rheumatism, hallucinations, strange memory lapses, began to steal
from Scott all the little joy that was left. On February 5, 1830,
the blow fell which, like Damocles' sword, had been hanging over
him for years. It fell with unmistakable meaning. It was his first
real paralytic seizure--long dreaded, long expected. On his return
from the Parliament House, in his usual health, he found an old
friend waiting to consult him about a memoir of her father which
he had promised to revise for the press. Whilst examining the MS.
the stroke came, a slight contortion passing over his features. In
a minute or two he rose, staggered to the drawing-room, where were
Miss Anne Scott and Miss Lockhart, but fell to the floor speechless
and insensible. A surgeon quickly at hand cupped him, after the
old-fashioned treatment for such complaints. By night, speech had
returned, and in a day or two he had resumed his Court duties. But
he was never the same again. People in general did not remark any
difference. Doctors and patient, however, knew well enough that it
was the beginning of the end. Both his parents had succumbed to
paralysis, and 'considering the terrible violence and agitation
and exertion,' says Lockhart, 'to which he had been subjected
during the four preceding years, the only wonder is that this blow
was deferred so long; there can be none that it was soon followed
by others.'

Still he plodded on. Even with half a brain he should not 'lag
superfluous on the stage.' And heedless of innumerable warnings,
he was at his desk day after day, writing and dictating by turns.
He now resigned his Clerkship, on an £800 a year allowance,
surrendered his Edinburgh house, and settled permanently at
Abbotsford, lonely and desolate, an old man before his time, but
indomitable to the core. There he commenced 'Count Robert of
Paris,' the penultimate of his published tales. But the mighty
machinery of his mind moved not as of yore. Like Samson, his
strength had departed. He was now as other men. By November he
suffered from a second stroke, and wrote in his Diary for January:
'Very indifferent, with more awkward feelings than I can well bear
up against. My voice sunk, and my head strangely confused.' But a
worse shock was coming. Cadell pronounced the 'Count' a complete
failure. Yet he struggled to recast it. To crown all, he went to
the 'hustings'--a hardened anti-Reform Billite. At Jedburgh, as
Lockhart tells, the crowd saluted him with blasphemous shouts of
'Burke Sir Walter!'[15]--the unkindest cut of all, which haunted
him to the end. By July he had begun 'Castle Dangerous,' and in
the middle of the month, accompanied by Lockhart, he started for
Lanarkshire to refresh his memory for the setting of his new story.
They ascended the Tweed by Yair, Ashestiel, Elibank, Innerleithen,
Peebles, Biggar, places all dear to his heart and celebrated in
his writings. Crowds turned out to welcome him. Everywhere he was
received with acclamation and the deepest respect. At Douglas the
travellers inspected the old Castle, the ruin of St. Bride's, with
the monuments and tombs of the 'most heroic and powerful family
in Scottish annals.' At Milton-Lockhart, the seat of Lockhart's
brother, Scott met his old friend Borthwickbrae. Both were
paralytics. Each saw his own case mirrored in the other. They had a
joyous--too joyous a meeting, with startling results to the older
invalid. On returning to Cleghorn, another shock laid him low, and
he was despaired of. When the news reached Scott, he was bent on
getting home at once. 'No, William,' he said to his host, urging
him to remain, 'this is a sad warning; I must home to work while it
is called to-day, for the night cometh when no man can work. I put
that text many years ago on my dial-stone, but it often preached in
vain.'

[Illustration: JEDBURGH ABBEY]

  'The sacred tapers' lights are gone,
  Gray moss has clad the altar stone,
    The holy image is o'erthrown,
  The bell has ceased to toll;
  The long ribb'd aisles are burst and shrunk,
  The holy shrines to ruin sunk;
  Departed is the pious monk--
    God's blessing on his soul!'

Returned, he finished 'Count Robert' and 'Castle Dangerous.'
Both novels were really the fruit of a paralytic brain. The
'Magnum Opus,'[16] too, proposed by Cadell (a huge success),
engaged much of his attention. But Sir Walter's work was done.
At length, doctors' treatment doing him little good, from his
constant determination to be at his desk, it was decided, not
without difficulty, that Scott should spend the winter of 1831 in
Italy, where his son Charles was attached to the British Legation
at Naples. On September 22 all was in readiness. A round of
touching adieus, one or two gatherings of old friends, the final
instructions to Laidlaw, and Scott quitted Abbotsford practically
for ever. He returned, to be sure, but more a dead man than a
living one. Of his journey to London (meeting again with Moore,
Milman, Croker, Wilkie, and Washington Irving) there is no need to
write, nor of the Italian tour--Malta, Naples, Rome,[17] Florence,
Venice--for which, no matter the brilliance of their associations,
he exhibited but a mere passive interest. His heart was in the
homeland. _Its_ voices had the strongest appeal for him; an exile
song rang in his ears:

  'Hame! hame! hame! O hame fain wad I be!
  O hame! hame! hame! to my ain countrie.'

Not a little of the scenery reminded him of Scotland--Edinburgh,
the Eildons, Cauldshiels, Abbotsford. A peasant's lilt recalled the
melodies of the Border, and pathetically he repeated some lines
from 'Jock o' Hazeldean' and his boyhood's 'Hardyknute.' When, on
March 22, he heard of Goethe's death, whom he hoped to visit, he
exclaimed: 'Alas for Goethe! but he at least died at home; let us
to Abbotsford!' Then, by-and-by, the return journey was begun, viâ
Switzerland, the Tyrol, Munich, Heidelberg, to Frankfort and the
Rhine. At Nimeguen, on June 9, he had another attack of apoplexy,
combined with paralysis. It was the crowning blow. By the 13th,
London was reached, and in the St. James's Hotel, Jermyn Street
(now demolished), he lay for three weeks in a state of supreme
stupor. Allan Cunningham was in London then, and tells of the
extraordinary interest and sympathy which Scott's illness evoked.
Walking home late one night, he found a number of working men
standing at the corner of Jermyn Street, one of whom asked him,
as if there had been only one deathbed in London: 'Do you know,
sir, if this is the street where _he_ is lying?' 'Abbotsford!'
was his cry in the more lucid intervals that came to him. All its
summer beauty seemed to be standing out before him, and to beckon
him northwards. On July 7 he was carried on board the _James Watt_
steamer, accompanied by Lockhart, Cadell, a medical man--Dr. Thomas
Watson--and his two daughters. The Forth was reached on the 9th,
and the next two days--the last in his 'own romantic town'--were
passed, as all the voyage had been, in a condition of absolute
unconsciousness. On the 11th, at a very early hour of the morning,
Scott was lifted into his carriage for the final journey homewards.
During the first part of the drive he remained torpid, until the
veil lifted somewhat at Gala Water. Strange that, after oblivion
so profound and prolonged, he should open his eyes and regain
a measure of consciousness just here, amid landscapes the most
familiar to him in the world. Some good angel must have touched
him then. A mere coincidence! Perhaps! But there are more things
in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. 'Gala
Water, surely--Buckholm--Torwoodlee,' he murmured. When he saw the
Eildons--

  'Three crests against the saffron sky,
    Beyond the purple plain,
  The kind remembered melody
    Of Tweed once more again'--

he became greatly excited, and in crossing Melrose Bridge, his
'nearest Rialto,' as he called it, he could hardly be kept in the
carriage. Abbotsford, a mile ahead, was soon reached. Laidlaw--a
big lump in his throat, we may be sure--was waiting at the
door, and assisted to carry his dying master and friend to the
dining-room, where his bed had been prepared. He sat bewildered for
a moment or two, then, resting his eyes on Laidlaw, as if trying
to recollect, said immediately, 'Ha, Willie Laidlaw! O man, how
often have I thought of _you_!' By this time his dogs were around
his chair, fawning on him, and licking his hands. Then, indeed,
he knew where he was. Between sobs and tears he tried to speak to
them, and to stroke them as of yore. But the body, no less than the
brain, was exhausted, and gentle sleep closed his eyelids, like
a tired child, once more in his own Abbotsford. He lingered for
some weeks, alternating between cloud and sunshine--mostly cloud.
One day the longing for his desk seized him, and he was wheeled
studywards, but the palsied fingers refused their office, and he
sank back, assured at last that the sceptre had departed. Lockhart
and Laidlaw were now his constant attendants. Both read to him
from the New Testament. 'There is but one Book,' Scott said, and
it 'comforted' him to listen to its soothing and hope-inspiring
utterances. Then the cloud became denser. At last delirium and
delusion prostrated him, and he grew daily feebler. Now he thought
himself administering justice as the Selkirkshire 'Shirra'; anon
he was giving Tom Purdie orders anent trees. Sometimes, his fancy
was in Jedburgh, and the words, 'Burke Sir Walter,' escaped him in
a dolorous tone. Then he would repeat snatches from Isaiah, or the
Book of Job, or some grand rugged verse torn off from the Scottish
Psalms, or a strain sublimer still from the Romish Litany:

  'Dies iræ, dies illa,
  Solvet sæclum in favilla.'

'As I was dressing on the morning of September 17,' says Lockhart,
'Nicolson came into my room and told me that his master had awoke
in a state of composure and consciousness, and wished to see me
immediately. I found him entirely himself, though in the last
extreme of feebleness. His eye was clear and calm--every trace of
the wild fire of delirium extinguished. "Lockhart," he said, "I
may have but a minute to speak to you. My dear, be a good man--be
virtuous--be religious--be a good man. Nothing else will give you
any comfort when you come to lie here." He paused, and I said:
"Shall I send for Sophia and Anne?" "No," said he, "don't disturb
them. Poor souls! I know they were up all night. God bless you
all." With this he sunk into a very tranquil sleep, and, indeed, he
scarcely afterwards gave any sign of consciousness, except for an
instant on the arrival of his sons. About half-past one p.m., on
September 21, Sir Walter Scott breathed his last, in the presence
of all his children. It was a beautiful day--so warm that every
window was wide open, and so perfectly still that the sound of all
others most delicious to his ear, the gentle ripple of the Tweed
over its pebbles, was distinctly audible as we knelt around the
bed, and his eldest son kissed and closed his eyes.'

He died a month after completing his sixty-first year. On December
7, 1825, almost seven years earlier, we find him taking a survey
of his own health in relation to the ages reached by his parents
and other members of the family, and then setting down in his Diary
the result of his calculations, 'Square the odds, and good-night,
Sir Walter, about sixty. I care not, if I leave my name unstained
and my family property settled. _Sat est vixisse._' His prophecy
was fulfilled. He lived just a year--but a year of gradual
death--beyond his anticipations. His wish, too, was fulfilled;
for he died practically free of debt. The sale of his works, the
insurance of his life, and a sum advanced by Cadell, completely
cleared his engagements.[18]

On September 26--a Wednesday--Sir Walter was buried. Services at
Abbotsford, after the simple fashion of the Scottish Kirk, were
conducted by the Revs. Principal Baird, of Edinburgh University,
Dr. Dickson, of St. Cuthbert's, and the minister of Melrose. The
courtyard and all the precincts of Abbotsford were crowded with
uncovered spectators as the procession (over a mile in length)
was arranged. And as it advanced through Darnick and Melrose, and
the villages on the route, the whole population appeared at their
doors in like manner, almost all in black. From Darnick Tower[19] a
broad crape banner waved in the wind, and the Abbey bell at Melrose
rang a muffled peel. At Leaderfoot the Tweed was crossed for the
last time. Thence there is a somewhat steep ascent to Gladswood
and Bemersyde. On the crest of the road overlooking the 'beautiful
bend' the hearse came to a curious halt, at the very spot where
Scott was accustomed to rein up his horses. It was no 'accident,'
as Lockhart imagines. For one of the horses was Sir Walter's own,
and must have borne him many a time hither. Hence the explanation
of an incident which, strangely enough, seems to have puzzled
Lockhart, and was long regarded with a sort of superstitious awe.
It was late in the day--about half-past five--before the memorable
procession reached Dryburgh. The wide enclosure was thronged with
old and young. Peter Mathieson, Laidlaw, and others of Scott's
servants carried the plain black coffin to the grave within St.
Mary's aisle, where it was lowered by his two sons, his son-in-law,
and six of his cousins, Archdeacon Williams reading the Burial
Service of the Church of England. And thus the remains of Sir
Walter Scott--our Scottish Shakespeare--were laid by the side of
his wife in the sepulchre of his fathers, 'in sure and certain
hope of the resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus
Christ.'

[Illustration: LEADERFOOT BRIDGE]

  'Sing Ercildoune and Cowdenknowes,
    Where Homes had ance commanding;
  And Drygrange, with the milk-white yowes,
    'Twixt Tweed and Leader standing.'



LOCKHART AND ABBOTSFORD



CHAPTER VII

LOCKHART AND ABBOTSFORD


John Gibson Lockhart, next to Boswell the greatest of British
biographers, though Mr. Saintsbury is inclined to class him even
above Boswell, was born in the manse of Cambusnethan, June 12,
1794.[20] He came of an ancestry of which he might well be proud.
Some of the best blood of Scotland ran in his veins. Lockhart of
Lee, in Lanarkshire, was probably the source of his family. The
Lockharts had owned territory in the Upper Ward for centuries,
Symington, or Symon's Town, famous now chiefly as a junction on the
Caledonian Railway, being, perhaps, their earliest possession. The
name is thought to be derived from Symon Locard, who founded its
church and assumed lordship of the locality in the reign of Malcolm
the Maiden. Lee itself may have been acquired about the close of
the thirteenth century by William Locard, whose son, another Symon,
was companion to 'the Good' Sir James Douglas on his hazardous
mission with the heart of Bruce. Every schoolboy knows how Douglas
fell on a blood-red field of Spain, how he flung the royal casket
in front of him with the cry, 'Forward, brave heart, as thou wert
wont; Douglas will follow thee or die,' and how Locard assumed the
lead, rescued the King's heart and the body of his comrade, and,
like a wise man, returned to Scotland. Bruce's heart he laid by the
high altar at Melrose, the Douglas with his own dear dust in the
Kirk of St. Bride, among the Lanarkshire uplands. It was this Symon
who brought to Scotland the famous Lee Penny--Scott's 'Talisman,'
the most celebrated charm in the country--a heart-shaped, dark-red
stone now set in a groat of Edward IV., with a silver chain and
ring attached, and long sought after by the superstitious as a
positive cure for the worst ailments of man and beast.

Following Sir Symon Locard there comes on the scene Sir Stephen
Lockhart,[21] as the name was now spelled, who held the lands
of Cleghorn, in the same county. He was the direct male ancestor
of John Gibson Lockhart, and almost certainly a cadet of the Lee
family. His son, Allan Lockhart of Cleghorn, married for his second
wife a daughter of the third Lord Somerville, by whom he had a son
Stephen, Laird of Wicketshaw, also in Lanarkshire. In 1606 another
Stephen, grandson of the latter, married Grizel Carmichael, a
sister of the first Lord Carmichael, and by her he had three sons:
William, heir to Wicketshaw; Robert of Birkhill, in the parish
of Lesmahagow; and Walter of Kirkton. From the second of these,
a noted Covenanter and leader of the Lanark Whigs at Bothwell,
Scott's biographer had his immediate descent. William Lockhart,
grandson of Robert of Birkhill, and his wife, Violet Inglis, of
Corehouse, had two sons, the second of whom was the Rev. John
Lockhart, D.D., minister of Cambusnethan, and for nearly half
a century of the College Kirk, Glasgow. Dr. Lockhart was twice
married, and it was his second wife, Elizabeth Gibson, daughter of
the Rev. John Gibson, senior minister of St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh,
who became the mother of John Gibson Lockhart. Lockhart's ancestry
on his mother's side connects him with James Nimmo the Covenanter,
with the Erskines of Cardross, and the Pringles of Torwoodlee.

While the boy was still young his parents removed to Glasgow. There
Lockhart matriculated, and blossomed into a scholar of brilliant
parts, winning such academic blue ribbons as the Greek Blackstone
and a Snell Exhibition, which took him to Oxford. He was at Balliol
for some years, and left in 1813 with a 'first' in Classics. After
a Continental visit (conversing with Goethe at Weimar), he studied
law at Edinburgh, and in 1816 was called to the Scottish Bar. His
Parliament House career came to a rather curious end, however.
Speechifying was not in his line. He flustered and floundered
upon every attempt, and was a complete failure. And he might have
perambulated the boards of the Parliament Hall long enough. For,
like Scott, 'deil a ane speered his price.' 'Gentlemen,' said he,
in happy allusion to this infirmity on the occasion of a banquet in
his honour long after he had relinquished the Bar, 'you know that
if I could speak we would not be here.'[22]

It was in the realm of literature (more alluring than law) that
Lockhart was fated to shine. Already he had shown talent in that
direction in his 'Heraldry' article for Brewster's 'Encyclopædia,'
and a translation of Schlegel's 'Lectures on the History of
Literature.' And when _Blackwood's Magazine_ soared into the arena
(1817), Lockhart and John Wilson divided its chief honours. It was
largely under Lockhart that 'Maga' made its position as the most
pronounced Tory organ of the day. In his earlier career Lockhart
adopted the slash-style of criticism (the tomahawk type)--incisive,
irritating, and keenly offensive, as a rule. He was a master of
satire, blazing away to his heart's content, with many to fear him,
but none to stay his unsparing pen. If he could not speak, he could
at least write to purpose and with effect. He had now come to his
kingdom when the whole torrent of thought, imagination, and genius,
which the Bar may have held in check, burst forth in its full
brilliance. He was then barely five-and-twenty, and a handsomer
fellow never stepped on shoe-leather--tall, with dark Italian-like
features inherited from his mother, close, tight lips, a mobile
chin, and temples clustering with huge masses of curly jet hair.
There is an admirable pen-portrait of him in the 'Noctes' when
Wilson makes the Shepherd say: 'Wasna't me that first prophesied
his great abeelities when he was only an Oxford Collegian wi' a
pale face and a black toozy head, but an e'e like an eagle's, an' a
sort o' lauch about the screwed-up mouth o' him that fules ca'd no
canny?'

Though Lockhart must have seen Scott frequently in public--in the
Law Courts, the book-shops, and elsewhere--he does not appear
to have met him in private society till the General Assembly of
May, 1818. The incident of the 'hand,' some years previously, is
so interesting, however, as not to be overlooked in any notice
of Lockhart and Scott. Happening to pass through Edinburgh in
June, 1814, Lockhart relates how, along with a band of budding
barristers, he dined at a friend's house in George Street whose
windows overlooked at right angles the back of Scott's town-house
and study at 39, Castle Street. As the merry evening advanced,
Lockhart observed a strange dulness settling over his friend's
demeanour, and fear of his being unwell bade him put the question.
'No,' said he, 'I shall be well enough presently if you will
only let me sit where you are, and take my chair; for there is a
confounded hand in sight of me here which has often bothered me
before, and now it won't let me fill my glass with a goodwill.' 'I
rose to change places with him,' says Lockhart, 'and he pointed
out to me this hand, which, like the writing on Belshazzar's
wall, disturbed his hour of hilarity.' 'Since we sat down,' he
said, 'I have been watching it; it fascinates my eye; it never
stops; page after page is finished and thrown on that heap of
manuscript, and still it goes on unwearied--and so it will be till
candles are brought in, and God knows how long after that. It is
the same every night; I can't stand a sight of it when I am not
at my books.' 'Some stupid, dogged, engrossing clerk, probably,'
exclaimed Lockhart, 'or some other giddy youth in the company.'
'No, boys,' said their host, 'I well know what hand it is--'tis
Walter Scott's.' This was the hand which in the evenings of three
summer weeks wrote the two last volumes of 'Waverley.' Lockhart
was introduced to Scott at a society function in the house of Home
Drummond, of Blair-Drummond, grandson of Lord Kames. 'Mr. Scott,'
he says, 'ever apt to consider too favourably the literary efforts
of others, and more especially of very young persons, received
me, when I was presented to him, with a cordiality which I had not
been prepared to expect from one filling a station so exalted. When
the ladies retired from the dinner-table I happened to sit next
him, and he, having heard that I had lately returned from a tour in
Germany, made that country and its recent literature the subject
of some conversation. He appeared particularly interested when
I described Goethe as I first saw him alighting from a carriage
crammed with wild plants and herbs which he had picked up in the
course of his morning's botanizing among the hills above Jena.'
'I am glad,' said he, 'that my old master has pursuits somewhat
akin to my own. I am no botanist, properly speaking; and though a
dweller on the banks of the Tweed, shall never be knowing about
Flora's beauties; but how I should like to have a talk with him
about trees!'

A few days afterwards, on Scott's initiative, Lockhart was given
the compilation of the historical part of the 'Edinburgh Annual
Register,' worth £500 a year, plus daily intimacy with Scott--a
lucky asset for one so young. Apparently, Scott had taken at once
to the younger writer, then only half his age, and for the next
fourteen years Lockhart was Scott's right-hand man. No more
fortunate and happy relationship was ever formed. It was said of
Sir Walter's own sons that they left little record behind them.
They fell back into the common crowd, and perished in the direct
line, leaving no children to carry on his name. But Lockhart was
the son of his heart, his confidant and faithfullest friend through
all the troubles that followed, and his children were the only
heirs of Abbotsford and their great forebear's glory.

Of the Edinburgh life, the Castle Street domesticities, with
Lockhart's picture of the 'den,' we are not now concerned. In
October of that same year, 1818, along with Wilson, Lockhart saw
Abbotsford for the first time. Scott was in high feather. The
second of his building schemes had just been completed, and the
famous tower, the cynosure of the edifice, was his main topic.
When his guests rose from table, he was eager to take them all
to the top for a moonlight view of the valley. Some--the more
youthful members--assented, and Scott led the way up the narrow,
dark stairs. 'Nothing could have been more lovely,' says Lockhart,
'than the panorama, all the harsher and more naked features being
lost in the delicious moonlight; the Tweed and the Gala winding
and sparkling beneath our feet; and the distant ruins of Melrose
appearing as if carved of alabaster, under the black mass of the
Eildons.' The poet, leaning on his battlement, seemed to hang
over the beautiful vision as if he had never seen it before. 'If
I live,' he exclaimed, 'I will build me a higher tower, with a
more spacious platform, and a staircase better fitted for an old
fellow's scrambling.' Then to John of Skye (John Bruce), whose
pipes were heard retuning on the lawn beneath, he called for
'Lochaber no more,' and as the music rose, softened by the distance
and the murmur of the river, Scott crooned what Lockhart calls the
'melancholy words of the song of exile.' In the new dining-room,
unfinished, but brilliantly illuminated for the occasion, music and
dance and whisky-punch passed the remainder of the evening, Scott
and Dominie Thomson (a reputed original of Dominie Sampson) looking
on with gladsome faces, and now and then beating time, the one with
his staff, the other with his wooden leg. Lord Melville proposed
'good luck' to the 'roof-tree,' and the whole party, standing in a
circle hand-in-hand, sang joyously:

  'Weel may we a' be,
  Ill may we never see,
  God bless the King and the gude companie!'

Such was the 'handselling' of the 1818 Abbotsford.

[Illustration: THE EILDON HILLS AND RIVER TWEED]

  'Twilight, and Tweed, and Eildon Hill,
    Fair and too fair you be;
  You tell me that the voice is still
    That should have welcomed me.'

Lockhart's next visit (with John Ballantyne), on April 10, 1819,
found Scott still in the grip of his cramp enemy, and changed in
appearance far beyond what Lockhart was led to expect. In the night
he had a recurrence of his pains, and Lockhart, naturally, intended
to leave next morning. But Scott, recovered, and wishful to 'drive
away the accursed vapours of the laudanum I was obliged to swallow
last night,' was bent on taking him 'for a good trot in the open
air'--'up Yarrow'--the home phrase, none dearer.

Past Carterhaugh they rode, where the Forest waters meet, and
where Janet rescued Tamlane from the fairies; Philiphaugh, Scott
describing the battle as vividly as if he had witnessed it; Newark
where the 'Lay' was chanted; and Slain Men's Lea, where the
Covenanters butchered prisoners taken under promise of quarter
(darkest memory of Philiphaugh). They saw Minchmoor, too, and
recalled Montrose and his cavaliers scurrying Tweedwards. Next day
they rode across Bowden Moor, and up the Ale Water to Lilliesleaf
and 'ancient Riddell's fair domain,' Scott doing election business
on the way. Next day, again, from the crest of the Eildons
Lockhart was shown the 'Kingdom of Border Romance'--Eildon itself
a not unfitting centre. Between the Lammermoors and the Cheviots
on one side, and from the Merse to Moffatdale on the other, there
is perhaps no range of landscape more intensely interesting from
a literary point of view, and none in which Lockhart felt a more
personal sympathy. Though not a Borderer (a measure of Border blood
in his veins, however), the dearest ties of his life were destined
to be with the Border; nor, so long as the English language lasts,
will there be lacking generous hearts to love and remember the man
who had Sir Walter for friend and hero. As to Irving, Scott pointed
out to Lockhart the more notable landmarks of the locality and
the places connected with his own career. Sandyknowe he saw, the
home of Scott's boyhood; Earlston, where the Tower of the Rhymer
recalled 'Sir Tristrem,' one of his early essays in literature;
song-haunted Cowdenknowes; Bemersyde of the perennial Haigs, 'a
wizard-spell hanging over it'; Mertoun, where he penned the 'Eve of
St. John'; and Dryburgh,

  'Where with chiming Tweed
  The lintwhites sing in chorus';

and many another spot long famous in popular song and story. He
repeated the lines (often on his lips)[23] ascribed to Burne
the Violer, the last of the race of Border minstrels, and the
prototype, doubtless, of his own 'Last Minstrel':

  'Sing Ercildoune and Cowdenknowes,
    Where Homes had ance commanding;
  And Drygrange, wi' the milk-white yowes,
    Twixt Tweed and Leader standing.
  The bird that flees through Redpath trees
    And Gladswood banks each morrow
  May chant and sing sweet Leader Haughs,
    And bonnie howms of Yarrow.

  'But Minstrel Burne cannot assuage
    His grief while life endureth,
  To see the changes of this age
    Which fleeting time procureth;
  For mony a place stands in hard case,
    Where blithe folks kent nae sorrow,
  With Homes that dwelt on Leader side,
    And Scotts that dwelt on Yarrow.'

Lockhart's 'Peter's Letters,'[24] published in 1819, contains, in
some respects, an even better report of the Abbotsford pilgrimage
than the Biography chapter. 'If I am very partial to the Doctor,'
wrote Scott, acknowledging a gift of the book, 'remember I have
been bribed by his kind and delicate account of his visit to
Abbotsford.' Indeed, as Mr. Lang hints--and properly--had Lockhart
never lived to write the Biography, Dr. Morris's description of
Abbotsford would have remained the _locus classicus_.

Lockhart was not at Abbotsford again till the middle of February,
1820. He had not been idle, however. Of the charms of (Charlotte)
Sophia, Scott's eldest daughter, and dearest, 'the flower and
blossom of his house, and the likest of all his family to their
father,' not much is said, of course, in the Biography. There is
a pretty portrait of her at Abbotsford as a Norwegian peasant,
with a great hound looking up into her face, in which it is not
difficult to discern Sir Walter's lineaments. But she exhibited
several of the Carpenter characteristics as well. Sophia was the
singing member of the family. Scott insisted on his children
being taught music, and Scottish music particularly; and the
most delightful evenings of the Abbotsford life were spent in
the Library listening to his daughter's rendering of the old
ballads and songs, and snatches which he loved with all his heart
and soul. Thus, no doubt, was the 'cold and unimpressionable and
unconquerable' Lockhart pierced to the quick, notwithstanding
a bravado determination 'to continue single.' It was an ideal
love-match, one of the very fortunate (among many unfortunate)
marriages of men of letters. 'Lockhart is Lockhart,' wrote Scott at
a later period, 'to whom I can most willingly confide the happiness
of the daughter who chose him and whom he has chosen.' They were
married at Edinburgh (not at Abbotsford) April 29, 1820, by the
incumbent of St. George's Episcopal Church (where, by the way,
the Scotts worshipped), and took up house at Great King Street,
afterwards removing to 25, Northumberland Street. Chiefswood, a
snug little cottage on the Abbotsford property--'bigged in gude
greenwood'--close to the Rhymer's Glen, within a mile and a half of
the mansion-house, and bordering on Huntlyburn, became their summer
residence. Though somewhat low-lying, a sweeter scene of seclusion
could not be fancied,--even yet. Except for an extra gable, and
one or two minor alterations, the place remains unchanged since
the Lockharts' tenancy--their truly golden days. For never were
they half so happy than here. Abbotsford was then at its acme--the
Wizard at the height of his enchantment.

[Illustration: CHIEFSWOOD]

  'Still, as I view each well-known scene,
  Think what is now, and what hath been,
  Seems as, to me, of all bereft,
  Sole friends thy woods and streams were left;
  And thus I love them better still--.'

Of Scott's fascination for Chiefswood, Lockhart has more than one
familiar passage. He tells how with his own hands Scott planted
creepers brought from the old cottage at Abbotsford around its
little rustic porch, and how he was a constant visitor, glad to
escape to its quiet retreat when the stir and strain of his own
guest-crowded castle were too much for him. Here Scott penned
large portions of the 'Pirate' (his writing-bureau may still be
seen).[25] Under the great ash, flourishing yet, on the slope to
the Rhymer's Glen, William Erskine (afterwards Lord Kinnedder),
Scott's most intimate friend, read aloud chapter after chapter from
the manuscript before the packet was sealed up for the printer; and
here, too, some years later, when much of the gaiety and splendour
of Abbotsford had vanished, little Johnnie Lockhart--'Hugh
Littlejohn'--who, in a sense, had inspired them, listened to the
first narration of those 'Tales of a Grandfather,' which, it is to
be hoped, the children of Scotland have not left off studying. John
Hugh Lockhart, 'the inheritor of so much genius and sorrow,' the
boy who had Sir Walter to tell him stories, was a prime favourite
with the Chiefswood circle; the centre of many of its happiest
groups; his grandfather's companion in many rare plantation raids
and riverside rambles. Born in Edinburgh in 1821, his days were few
and evil, however. Smitten with spine disease, he was barely eleven
when 'God's finger touched him, and he slept.' Seldom--hardly ever,
indeed--does Lockhart unburden his own heart to the reader of the
Biography. But there is one pathetic reverie of the Chiefswood
days which cannot be passed over--when the crowning sorrow of
his life had come, and he was left to bemoan her, 'next to Sir
Walter himself, the chief ornament and delight at all those simple
meetings, she to whose love I owed my own place in them--Scott's
eldest daughter, the one of all his children who in countenance,
mind, and manners most resembled himself, and who indeed was as
like him in all things as a gentle, innocent woman can ever be to a
great man deeply tried and skilled in the struggle and perplexities
of active life--she, too, is no more. But enough--and more than I
intended.'

In 1825 Lockhart left Chiefswood for London. A curious embassy from
the house of Murray had surprised him in the autumn, in the person
of young Benjamin Disraeli, then a mere tyro in literature. He came
to enlist Lockhart's services for the _Representative_, a new daily
which Murray had set his heart on establishing, and, in default of
that, to offer him the editorship of the _Quarterly Review_. But
to edit, or even to supervise, an ordinary newspaper, both Scott
and Lockhart considered to be _infra dig_. There was no difficulty,
however, in accepting the _Quarterly_ appointment, at a salary
which ran to four figures. For the next dozen years London was
Lockhart's home. Chiefswood was occasionally let--as, for instance,
to Thomas Hamilton, who wrote there his dashing military novel of
'Cyril Thornton.' But for all practical purposes it remained in
Lockhart's hands, he and his family still spending some pleasant
summers and autumns on Tweedside.

Of his last summer with Scott the Biography presents a full
account. On April 22, 1831, learning of Sir Walter's third and
more serious seizure, he sent down Mrs. Lockhart and the children,
arriving himself on May 10. 'I found Sir Walter,' he says, 'to
have rallied considerably, yet his appearance, as I saw him, was
the most painful sight I had ever then seen. All his garments hung
loose about him, his countenance was thin and haggard, and there
was an obvious distortion in the muscles of one cheek. His look,
however, was placid, his eye bright as ever. He smiled with the
same affectionate gentleness, and though at first it was not easy
to understand anything he said, he spoke cheerfully and manfully.
'Despite illness, he was fighting away at 'Count Robert.' He had
planned 'Castle Dangerous,' too, and a 'raid' into Douglasdale.
Autumn brought some slight rallies, when Abbotsford resumed
something of its former brightness. Again, day about, they dined
at Abbotsford and under the trees at Chiefswood. Once more they
had the old excursions--to Oakwood and the Linns of Ettrick, and
the twin peels of Sandyknowe and Bemersyde. Very near the end
there came some unexpected things to cast a 'sunset brilliancy'
over Abbotsford--the arrival of Major Scott ('a handsomer fellow
never put foot into stirrup'), Captain Burns, son of the poet, and
Wordsworth. Then Scott left for the Mediterranean, Lockhart's lines
ringing in his ears:

  'Heaven send the guardian Genius of the vale
    Health yet, and strength, and length of honoured days,
  To cheer the world with many a gallant tale,
    And hear his children's children chant his lays.

  'Through seas unruffled may the vessel glide,
    That bears her Poet far from Melrose' glen!
  And may his pulse be steadfast as our pride,
    When happy breezes waft him back again!'

The rest of the story is well known. Lockhart did not see him for
other eight months--October 23 to June 13--but after that, he was
with Scott to the end. There is nothing more beautiful in the
annals of literary friendship than Lockhart's unwearied solicitude
for the dying Sir Walter. However cold, distant, unemotional,
unknowable, the world may have judged him, here at any rate we see
the real man. At bottom, and according to those who knew him most
intimately, Lockhart was one of the best of men--a prince of good
fellows in the truest sense--above all, though saying little about
it, genuinely and reverently religious.

In the latter portion of his own life Lockhart was more or less
a martyr to ill-health. For few men, too, were the fires of
affliction more constantly burning. Friend after friend, on both
sides of his house, passed from him. Worst loss of all, Mrs.
Lockhart--_his_ Charlotte--was taken, and then, on the wedding
of his daughter, Lockhart was left a comparatively lonely man,
with age creeping on him and many maladies, in a great empty
house in London. He had many things to vex him, too, in the 'wild
ways of a son whom he never ceased to love.' In 1847, for the
funeral of the second Sir Walter, he was back at Abbotsford--the
first time since Scott's death. 'Everything in perfect order,'
he writes, 'every chair and table where it was then left, and I
alone walk a ghost in a sepulchre amidst the scenes of all that
ever made life worth the name for me.' During the occupancy of
his son-in-law, however, he was often among the familiar scenes.
In 1853 he resigned his editorship, and, like Scott, spent the
following winter in Italy, returning in April. In August he was at
Milton-Lockhart (where, by the way, much of the Biography had been
written). By the end of September Abbotsford saw him once more,
and for the last time. His books were brought down from London,
and placed in the new drawing-room, where they still are. The
cheerful breakfast-parlour, facing the Tweed and Yarrow--Scott's
sanctum at one period--was fitted up as his bechamber, as the
dining-room had been for Sir Walter. And there he remained until
the end. 'He arrived at Abbotsford,' says Mr. Ornsby's 'Memoirs
of James R. Hope Scott,' 'hardly able to get out of his carriage,
and it was at once perceived that he was a dying man. He desired
to drive about and take leave of various places'--Chiefswood, no
doubt, Huntlyburn, Torwoodlee, Ashestiel perhaps, Gladswood, and
Dryburgh--'displaying, however, a stoical fortitude, and never
making a direct allusion to what was impending.... 'He would not
suffer anyone to nurse him till, one night, he fell down on the
floor, and after that, offered no further opposition. Father
Lockhart, a distant cousin, was now telegraphed for, from whom,
during his stay in Rome, he had received much kind attention, for
which he was always grateful. He did not object to his kinsman's
attendance, though a priest,[26] and yielded also when asked to
allow his daughter to say a few prayers by his bedside. Mr. Hope
Scott was absent on business, but returned home one or two days
before the end, which came suddenly'--no pain, no struggle, but the
falling into a soft sleep like that of a little child. The date was
November 25, 1854. He died at the same age as Scott. As he desired,
he was laid 'at the feet of Walter Scott,' within hearing of the
Tweed. The funeral was 'strictly private.'

We have said that Lockhart was, at bottom, a religious man. In
company with an Oxford friend (G. R. Gleig probably) Lockhart used
to walk on Sunday afternoons in Regent's Park. 'With whatever topic
their colloquy began, it invariably fell off, so to speak, of its
own accord into discussions upon the character and teaching of the
Saviour; upon the influence exercised by both over the opinions and
habits of mankind; upon the light thrown by them on man's future
state and present destiny. Lockhart was never so charming as in
these discussions. It was evident that the subject filled his whole
mind.' His verses on Immortality, first published in full in the
_Scotsman_ for 1863, have often been quoted. No poem probably,
not even by Wordsworth or Tennyson, has done more to inspire and
console the bereaved. Lockhart sent the poem (in part) to Carlyle,
and 'the lines,' says Froude, 'were often on his lips to the end
of his life, and will not be easily forgotten by anyone who reads
them.'

  'When youthful faith has fled,
    Of loving take thy leave;
  Be constant to the dead,
    The dead cannot deceive.

  'Sweet, modest flowers of spring.
    How fleet your balmy day!
  And man's brief year can bring
    No secondary May.

  'No earthly burst again
    Of gladness out of gloom;
  Fond hope and vision vain,
    Ungrateful to the tomb!

  'But 'tis an old belief,
    That on some solemn shore,
  Beyond the sphere of grief
    Dear friends will meet once more.

  'Beyond the sphere of time,
    And sin, and fate's control,
  Serene in changeless prime
    Of body and of soul.

  'That creed I fain would keep,
    That hope I'll not forego:
  Eternal be the sleep,
    Unless to waken so!'



THE LATER ABBOTSFORD



CHAPTER VIII

THE LATER ABBOTSFORD


Sir Walter's Abbotsford, as we saw, was completed in 1824. For the
next thirty years there was practically no alteration on the place.
At Scott's death the second Sir Walter came into possession. He
does not appear to have lived at Abbotsford after 1832, and indeed
for many years previous his time had been spent almost entirely
with his regiment, the 15th Hussars, of which, at his father's
death, he was Major. In 1839, as Lieutenant-Colonel, he proceeded
to Madras, and subsequently commanded the Hussars in India. At
Bangalore, in August, 1846, having exposed himself rashly to the
sun during a tiger-hunt, he was smitten with fever, from which he
never recovered. Obliged to return to England, his death took place
on board the _Wellesley_, near the Cape of Good Hope, February 8,
1847, in his forty-sixth year. His widow conveyed his remains to
this country for interment at Dryburgh Abbey on May 4 following.
Lady Scott--the pretty 'Jeanie' Jobson of Lochore,[27] as she was
affectionately called by the old people of Ballingry, in which
parish Lochore estate lies--continued to reside for the most part
in London, and only once visited Abbotsford. They had no family,
which put a pathetic finis to Scott's most cherished dream. Lady
Scott died at London, March 19,1877, in her seventy-sixth year, and
was buried at Dryburgh.[28] Charles Scott,[29] younger son of Sir
Walter, 'whose spotless worth tenderly endeared him to the few who
knew him intimately,' and with whom much of the Naples pilgrimage
was spent, died at Teheran, October 29, 1841, in his thirty-sixth
year. He was buried there, whither he had gone as attaché and
private secretary to Sir John McNeill, Commissioner to the Court of
Persia. Anne Scott, the 'Lady Anne' of many delightful pleasantries
(the original of Alice Lee in 'Woodstock'), Scott's younger
daughter, died June 25, 1833, less than a year after her father. A
handsome sarcophagus, still in excellent repair, covers her remains
in Kensal Green Cemetery, London. Charlotte Sophia Scott--so named
in honour of a French lady, Sophia Dumergue, who had befriended the
first Lady Scott's mother on her arrival in England--wife of John
Gibson Lockhart, died May 17, 1837. Of her two sons, the elder,
John Hugh ('Hugh Littlejohn') died December 15, 1831, and, like
his mother and aunt, was interred at Kensal Green. Walter Scott
Lockhart, the younger, born April 16, 1826, became a Lieutenant
in the 16th Lancers, and succeeded to Abbotsford on the death of
his uncle in 1847, assuming the additional surname of Scott. He
died, unmarried, at Versailles, January 10, 1853, and was buried
in the Notre Dame Cemetery there. Charlotte Harriet Jane, born
January 1, 1828, only daughter of the Lockharts, and granddaughter
of Sir Walter Scott, then came into possession. She was the wife
of James Robert Hope, Q.C., who, on her succeeding to Abbotsford,
also assumed the family name of Scott. To Mr. Hope Scott and his
wife were born: A boy, who died at birth, 1848; Walter Michael,
born June 2, 1857, died December 11, 1858; Mary Monica, by-and-by
heiress of Abbotsford, born at Tunbridge Wells, October 2, 1852;
Margaret Anne, born September 17, 1858, died December 3 of the same
year. Mrs. Hope Scott died of consumption at Edinburgh, October
26, 1858, aged thirty. Mr. Hope Scott married January 7, 1861, as
his second wife, Lady Victoria Alexandrina Fitzalan Howard, eldest
daughter of the fourteenth Duke of Norfolk, by whom he had two
sons: Philip, born April 8, 1868, who died next day, and James,
born December 18, 1870, now M.P. for the Brightside Division of
Sheffield; also four daughters--Minna Margaret, born June 6,
1862, wife of Sir Nicholas O'Conor, G.C.M.G., British Ambassador
at Constantinople; and Catherine, a twin, who died the day of her
birth; Josephine Mary, born May 18, 1864, married Wilfred Philip
Ward, B.A., son of 'Ideal' Ward of the Oxford Movement, and himself
a well-known writer on ecclesiastical controversies; Theresa Anne,
born September 14, 1865, a Carmelite nun, who died November 1,
1891. Lady Victoria died December 20, 1870, aged thirty, the same
age, curiously, as Mr. Hope Scott's first wife. Mr. Hope Scott
himself died April 29, 1873. His remains were laid beside those of
Mrs. Hope Scott and her children in the vaults of St. Margaret's
Convent at Edinburgh, Lady Victoria and her children being buried
at Arundel.

Mary Monica Hope Scott, the sole surviving descendant of Sir Walter
Scott, now succeeded to the estate, and on July 21, 1874, married
the Hon. Joseph Constable-Maxwell, third son of William, eleventh
Baron Herries of Terregles, and Marcia, eldest daughter of the
Hon. Sir Edward Marmaduke Vavasour, first Bart., of Hazlewood,
Yorkshire, then Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade. Their children are:

1. Walter Joseph, born April 10, 1875, Captain in the Cameronians.
He volunteered for South Africa, and was in Ladysmith throughout
the siege.

2. Joseph Michael, born May 25, 1880, a Lieutenant R.N., H.M.S.
_Dominion_.

3. Malcolm Joseph Raphael, born October 22, 1883, Sub-Lieutenant
R.N., H.M.S. _Pegasus_.

4. Herbert Francis Joseph, born March 14, 1891, a student at
Stonyhurst.

5. Mary Josephine, born June 5, 1876; married (1897) Alexander
Dalglish.

6. Alice Mary Josephine, born October 9, 1881; married (1905)
Edward Cassidy of Monasterevan, County Kildare.

7. Margaret Mary Lucy, born December 13, 1886.

JAMES ROBERT HOPE SCOTT, who may be styled the second
maker of Abbotsford, was born at Great Marlow, in Berkshire, July
15, 1812. He was the third son (not second, as the 'Abridged
Lockhart' has it) of General the Hon. Sir Alexander Hope of
Rankeillour and Luffness, G.C.B., M.P., sometime Governor of
Chelsea Hospital. His mother was Georgina Alicia, youngest
daughter of George Brown of Elleston, Roxburghshire. The family of
Hope, honourable in Scottish history to the present day, is of
considerable antiquity. The name is derived from the Saxon _hop_
or _hope_, signifying a sheltered place among hills. The names
of Adam le Hope and John de Hope appear on the Ragman Roll as
swearing fealty to Edward I. in 1296. Edward Hope was a leading
Edinburgh citizen in Queen Mary's time. His grandson was the
celebrated King's Advocate, Sir Thomas Hope, of Craighall, whose
great-grandson, again, Charles Hope, of Hopetoun, became the first
Earl of that name. His son, the second Earl, had for his third wife
Lady Elizabeth Leslie, daughter of the Earl of Leven and Melville,
and of two sons born to them, the second was General Sir Alexander,
father of James Robert Hope.

Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, young Hope was called
to the Bar in 1838, and specializing as a Parliamentary Counsel,
soon found himself in a large and lucrative practice. On August
19, 1847, he married Lockhart's daughter. Her description is
that of 'a very attractive person, with a graceful figure, a
sweet and expressive face, brown eyes of great brilliance, and a
beautifully shaped head. The chin, indeed, was heavy, but even this
added to the interest of the face by its striking resemblance
to the same feature in her great ancestor, Sir Walter Scott.'
There is a portrait of her at Abbotsford. The following year Mr.
Hope Scott rented Abbotsford from his brother-in-law, removing
thither in August. Five years after, on the death of the latter,
Abbotsford fell to him as possessor in right of his wife, and
for the remainder of his life it became his principal residence.
The place had been sadly neglected since Scott's death in 1832,
and everything needed restoration. But the new laird's purse was
splendidly equal to the occasion. He did wonders for Abbotsford.
Between the years 1855 and 1857 he built a new west wing to the
house, consisting of a Chapel, hall, drawing-room, boudoir, and a
suite of bedrooms. The old kitchen was turned into a linen-room,
and a long range of new kitchen offices facing the Tweed was
erected, which materially raised the elevation of Scott's edifice,
and improved the appearance of the whole pile as seen from the
river. An ingenious tourist access was also arranged, with other
internal alterations. Outside, the grounds and gardens were
completely overhauled, the overgrown plantations thinned, and the
old favourite walks cleaned and kept as Scott himself would have
wished. In the lifetime of the Great Magician the ground on which
he fixed his abode was nearly on a level with the highway running
along the south front, and wayfarers could survey the whole domain
by looking over the hedge. A high embankment was now thrown up
on the road-front of Abbotsford, the road itself shifted several
yards back, the avenue lengthened, a lodge built, and the new mound
covered with a choice variety of timber, which has now grown into
one of the most pleasing features of the Abbotsford approach. The
courtyard was at the same time planted as a flower-garden, with
clipped yews at the corners of the ornamental grass-plots, and beds
all ablaze with summer flowers. The terraces on the north, so rich
and velvety, date from this period.

These, with much elaborate and costly furnishing for the new
interior, make up the Abbotsford of to-day. Mr. Hope Scott had not
the 'yerd-hunger' of his illustrious predecessor. His was rather
a 'stone-and-lime mania,' all to most excellent purpose, however.
Most visitors to Abbotsford have the impression that Sir Walter was
responsible for every part of the present edifice, whereas it is
at least a third larger from that of Scott's day. From the south,
the Hope Scott addition is easily recognisable, being of light
freestone, in contrast to the darker hue of the 1824 pile, which
is built of native red whin. The Hope Scott succession practically
rescued Abbotsford when its fortunes were at their lowest, and its
history almost at a standstill. After sixteen years, Abbotsford had
once more a family life and a domestic happiness of a singularly
exalted type. Everybody must admit the ideally happy life spent
by Scott himself at Abbotsford--prior to 1826, at any rate. Few
men enjoyed life more. His happiness, in the main, sprang from the
physical side of things--the out-of-doors sports and exercises in
which he revelled, and which were among the chief attractions of
his Abbotsford. Scott was never happier than when he was making
others happy. No man sacrificed himself more on that side. And
surely that was religion at its reallest. Scott did not say much
about religion. He had, like Lockhart, all a Scotsman's reticence
on the subject. But that he gave it profound and reverent
thought--that there was in him a vein of earnest religious
feeling,[30] goes without saying, strong man of the world though he
was, and exhibiting, as he did, many things outré to the ordinary
religious sense--seldom going to church, for instance, (he read the
Church of England Service-Book, however, to his household); and
'writing his task' on Sundays more often than he should.

[Illustration: THE GARDEN, ABBOTSFORD]

    'Trim Abbotsford so gay,
  The rose-trees flaunting there so bold,
  The ripening fruits in rind of gold,
    And thou their lord away.'

Mr. Hope Scott's happiness, on the other hand, was the outcome of
striking spiritual experiences. He had always been eminent for
piety, and his views in connection with the Oxford Movement were
well known. In 1851, after anxious deliberation, he became a Roman
Catholic, and was received on the same day as Cardinal Manning.
Shortly afterwards his wife followed him into the same communion.
Mr. Hope Scott's religion was consequently a dominating influence
at Abbotsford, permeating, as was said, the whole atmosphere of
the place. 'The impression left by that most interesting and
charming family,' writes a lady visitor in 1854, 'could never be
effaced from my mind. It always seemed to me the most perfect type
of a really Christian household, such as I never saw in the world
before or since. A religious atmosphere pervaded the whole house,
and not only the guests, but the servants, must, it seems to me,
have felt its influence. Mr. Hope Scott was the beau-idéal of an
English gentleman, and a Christian.' There were many guests at the
later Abbotsford--a different order from those of an earlier day.
Hither came John Henry Newman for five weeks during the winter of
1852-53, and again, for a fortnight, in 1872. 'We have a Chapel in
the house, but no Chaplain,' wrote Hope Scott to Newman. 'You can
say Mass at your own hour, observe your own ways in everything, and
feel all the time perfectly at home.' Newman replied: 'It would
be a pleasure to spend some time with you; and then I have ever
had the extremest sympathy for Walter Scott, that it would delight
me to see his place. When he was dying, I was saying prayers for
him continually (whatever they were worth), thinking of Keble's
words, "Think on the Minstrel as ye kneel."' And, again, we have
Newman writing: 'I have ever had such a devotion, I may call it,
to Walter Scott. As a boy, in the early summer mornings, I read
"Waverley" and "Guy Mannering" in bed, when they first came out,
before it was time to get up; and long before that--I think when
I was eight years old--I listened eagerly to the "Lay of the Last
Minstrel," which my mother and aunt were reading aloud. When he
was dying I was continually thinking of him. Hope Scott was one
of the Cardinal's 'intimates.' He was also on affectionate terms
with Manning and Gladstone, to the latter of whom he dedicated
his edition of Lockhart's 'Abridgment of the Life.'[31] Several
passages in Morley's 'Gladstone' show how strong and genuine was
the bond between them. 'Hope especially had influence over me
more than, I think, any other person at any period of my life. My
affection for him during those latter years before his change was,
I may almost say, intense; there was hardly anything, I think,
which he could have asked me to do, and which I would not have
done.' When Hope Scott joined the Roman Church, Gladstone, the day
after, made a codicil to his will, striking him out as executor.
Friendship did not die, however, but only lived 'as it lives
between those who inhabit separate worlds.'

A man of great wealth,[32] Mr. Hope Scott never spared his means
when the interests of religion were in question. As an example of
his Christian zeal and affection for Romanism, it may be stated
that he built the Church of Our Lady and St. Andrew at Galashiels
at a cost of £10,000, also the Chapel at Selkirk, the Church on
Loch Shiel, and the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Kelso.
He helped churches and schools and convents all over the country.
Following his death in 1873 (Newman preaching his funeral sermon),
Abbotsford went to Mary Monica[33] (named from a favourite saint).
So we are thankful that there is still a Scott--one of Sir Walter's
blood--his great-granddaughter, 'Lady of Abbotsford.'



THE TREASURES OF ABBOTSFORD



CHAPTER IX

THE TREASURES OF ABBOTSFORD


Towards the close of his life, at the suggestion of Cadell (to
keep him from more serious tasks), Scott commenced the writing
of a descriptive catalogue of the most curious articles in his
library and museum--his 'gabions' he called them. This, which
he entitled 'Reliquiæ Trottcosianæ--or the Gabions of the late
Jonathan Oldbuck, Esq.,'--thus assuming to himself some claim
to be the original of the inimitable Laird of Monkbarns--was,
unfortunately, never finished. The MS. is at Abbotsford, and has
been partly printed in _Harper's Magazine_ for April, 1889. As
the writing shows, it is first in Scott's own hand, sadly cramped
and shaky; then Laidlaw takes up the pen, but the work was soon
abandoned for 'Count Robert,' the romance that was simmering in his
brain. It is a thousand pities that Scott preferred 'Count Robert'
to the gabions history. His mind, impaired by repeated shocks of
paralysis, was quite unfitted for serious imaginative composition.
Even the 'Reliquiæ' fragment is not without proof of waning
power. Still, 'Count Robert' could well have been spared for the
completion of the latter project, and none but the Wizard himself,
with his rare wealth of anecdote and story, could have done it
justice.

Of the many haunts of genius in this and other countries,
Abbotsford is unique in that it was the first (and likely to be the
last) great estate won by the pen of an author. Created practically
within a dozen years--a marvellously brief period--it remains
(the Hope Scott extension excepted) very much as in Sir Walter's
lifetime. His own house has undergone no change beyond slight and
necessary rearrangement of the furnishings. The visitor of to-day
may rest assured that he sees the place almost identically as Scott
saw it. The apartments open to the public were planned by him to
the minutest particular. His eyes fell on these same pictures,
with very few exceptions. And of its antiquarian treasures--the
most remarkable private collection in existence--almost all have
personal association with Scott.

There are two methods of reaching Abbotsford--by rail to
Galashiels, thence to Abbotsford Ferry Station on the Selkirk
line, alighting at which and crossing the Tweed, a delightful
tree-shaded walk of about a mile brings us to the house. But the
more popular method is to make the journey from Melrose, three
miles distant. The way lies between delicious green fields and
bits of woodland--a pleasant country road, exposed somewhat,
despite smiling hedgerows on either side. Seldom in summer is it
without being dust-blown. For in a more than local sense, this is
one of the world's highways, with a constant stream of pilgrims
from every land passing to and fro. No better proof, surely, of
Scott's abiding popularity. The road teems with reminiscences
of the Romancist. Out from the grey town, with its orchards and
picturesque gardens, the Waverley Hydropathic is passed on the
right. In the grounds a handsome seated statue of Scott may be
noticed. Further on, to the left, tree-ensconced, lie Chiefswood
and Huntlyburn on the Abbotsford estate. Then comes Darnick, with
its fine peel, now open to the public, and well worth a visit.
At the fork of the roads (that to the right leading by Melrose
Bridge to Gattonside and Galashiels) we turn leftwards, and are
soon at the visitors' entrance (a modest wicket-gate) to the great
Scottish Mecca. But nothing is to be seen yet. Mr. Hope Scott's
plantations and 'ingenious tourist arrangement' screen the pile
with wonderful completeness. And it is only when within a few paces
of the building, at a turn in the lane leading from the highway,
that all at once one emerges upon it. The public waiting-room is in
the basement, whence parties of ten or twelve are conducted through
the house.

In point of picturesqueness, Abbotsford is, of course, best
seen from the Tweed--the north bank--or the hillside, whereon
the Galashiels manufacturers have reared their own princely
residences--unknown to Scott's day. But we are then looking,
let us remember, at the _back_ of the edifice. Nearly all the
photographs present this view, however, for the sake of the river.
The situation is low--poor, indeed, except for the Tweed. At first
not unfrequently is there a sense of disappointment, especially
if one's ideas have been founded on Turner's somewhat fanciful
sketches. These, it need scarcely be said, though beautiful, and
art at its highest, are yet far removed (like his Sandyknowe and
Chiefswood) from the real Abbotsford.

In his lifetime Scott's friends had no end of praise and flattery
for the place: 'A perfect picture of the wonderful owner's mind';
'a romance in stone and lime'; 'a poem in stone'; 'a mosaic of
Scottish history'; 'like places that we dream about'; 'exactly
what one ought to have had wit enough to dream,' etc. It is
surprising, therefore, to have the more modern descriptions of such
men as Dr. John Brown, who actually calls it the 'ugly Abbotsford';
Ruskin, albeit a true Scott-lover, who describes it as 'perhaps the
most incongruous pile that gentlemanly modernism ever designed';
Hugh Miller, who characterizes it as a 'supremely melancholy
place'; Dean Stanley, who (curiously) speaks of it as 'a place to
see once _but never again_'; George Gilfillan, who compares it to
a 'Castle Folly'; Robert Chambers, to whom it was chiefly a 'sad
piece of patchwork'; and Carlyle (never friendly to Scott), who
simply refers to it as 'a stone house in Selkirkshire.' [It is
not in Selkirkshire, however.] Granting it to be in many respects
bewildering, heterogeneous, irregular, fantastic, odd, a revelry
of false Gothic, reared on no set plan, and so forth, the general
effect does not seem to be at all displeasing. Ruskin and the
others saw Abbotsford perhaps only once at the most. But it is not
a place to be exhausted in an hour, or a day, and hundreds (among
modern trippers) in their hurry can hardly carry away a correct
impression. Abbotsford is a place to be seen often, and the oftener
it is seen and studied, the more fascinating will it become, and
the less prominent will its defects appear.

[Illustration: SIR WALTER'S DIAL, ABBOTSFORD]

  'Thou gav'st him solemn thoughts at twilight dim,
  And now to us dost bear remembrance sweet of him.'

 Abbotsford proper is enclosed by an embattled wall and a fine
 castellated gateway, surmounted by a sculptured portcullis with
 Scott's motto, 'CLAUSUS TUTUS ERO,' an anagram of his name in
 Latin. The 'jougs' (stocks for the neck) of Threave Castle dangle
 to the left of the handsome iron-clenched door. Entering, we are
 in the courtyard, half an acre or so in extent, nicely turfed
 and parterred. It is walled on two sides, and on the third,
 facing the entrance, an elegant stone screen of sixteen elliptic
 arches, set with iron lattice-work, separates from the gardens.
 The fourth side is the house-front, 150 feet in length. All the
 grounds are kept in the pink of perfection. The antiquarian
 character of the place is at once apparent. Medallions, tablets,
 altars, etc., from the Roman station at Petreia (Penrith) and
 elsewhere, fill numerous niches in the courtyard wall, against
 which runs a trellised arbour covered with creepers. The centre
 of the courtyard is occupied by a fountain, which is said to have
 stood in former days at the foot of the Cross of Edinburgh (see
 Lockhart, vol. v., p. 261). The dial-stone in the flower-garden,
 inscribed (like Johnson's watch) with the motto 'ΓΑΡ ΝΥΞ
 ΕΡΧΕΤΑΙ' ('For the night cometh'), is an object of suggestive
 interest. 'Turn-Again' is in the corner, recalling Scott's first
 introduction to Abbotsford. Across the archway leading into the
 fruit-garden there is the appropriate text:

 '_Et audiverunt Vocem Domini deambulantis in horto._'

Within, and guarded with jealous care, is the last survivor of the
fruit-trees planted by Sir Walter himself.

The exterior of Abbotsford abounds in relics and inscriptions,
woven here and there throughout the masonry. At the western side of
the main entrance, and high up in the wall, is the door of the old
'Heart of Midlothian' (see p. 37), with the words:

 'THE LORD OF ARMIS IS MY PROTECTOR: BLISSIT AR THAY THAT TRUST
 IN THE LORD, 1575.'

The arched entrance-porch was copied from Linlithgow Palace. The
arms of the family with the legends--

 'REPARABIT CORNUA PHŒBE; WATCH WEEL'

are conspicuous above it. Near by are the grave and stone effigy
(cut by Smith of Darnick) of Maida, Scott's favourite deerhound,
with Lockhart's famous 'false-quantity' lines:

  'Maidæ Marmoreâ dormis sub imagine Maida
    ad januam domini sit tibi terra levis,'

thus Englished by Sir Walter:

  'Beneath the sculptured form which late you wore,
  Sleep soundly, Maida, at your master's door."

  (See Lockhart, vol. vii., pp. 275-281.)

There is apparently only one date, 1822, on the south front, on
a stone below the staircase window. Eastward is the Study, with
Scott's bedroom above, and the tower from which he looked out on
the Eildons. A long stone near the visitors' entrance carries the
inscription:

  'By Night by Day Remember ay the goodness of ye Lord:
  And thank His name whos glorious fam is spred Throughout ye world';

whilst another, showing a rudely-carved sword, has the words:

  'Up with ye Sutors of Selkyrke.'

Over the great bay-window of the Library, the first of the
principal rooms facing the Tweed, is a lintel from the Common Hall
of the old Edinburgh College, with a quotation from Seneca:

 'Virtus Rectorem Ducemque Desiderat; Vitia--sine--Magistro
 Discuntur.' Anno 1616.

Next the Library is the Drawing-Room, then the Armoury, and
Dining-Room, with the motto:

  'SO
  LI DEO
  GLORIA.'

And, lastly, the Breakfast Parlour, once Scott's sanctum, in which
Lockhart died.

Now turn we to the interior. Be it at once said that Mrs. Maxwell
Scott's excellent little 'Catalogue of the Armour and Antiquities
at Abbotsford' is absolutely indispensable. A previous study of
its pages will enable the visitor to know exactly how he is to be
piloted, and the whereabouts of the 'gabions' he is most bent on
seeing. The attendants are always ready to point out objects of
special interest to individuals, and there need be no hesitancy to
ask questions. For the sake of convenience, we follow the order
which has been in force for years. All we plead for in the public
interest is a little more leisure, if that be possible, for seeing
what is to be seen.

Visitors are admitted first into what is surely the _sanctum
sanctorum_ of the place--


THE STUDY.

This is a fair-sized apartment, 20 feet long, 14 feet broad, and
16 feet high, lighted by a large window which looks out to the
courtyard. Everything is practically as Scott left it. Oaken
bookcases line the walls, and hardly a volume (it is chiefly a
reference library) has been altered. A light gallery, graced with
ample book-shelves, runs round three sides of the room, opening out
on a private staircase, by which the 'inhabitant of the study,' as
the 'Reliquiæ' puts it, 'if unwilling to be surprised by visitors,
may make his retreat, a facility which he has sometimes found
extremely convenient.' The Desk is, of course, the chief object of
interest. Modelled from one at Rokeby (see 'Letters,' vol. i., p.
180), it is thus described by Lockhart as he first saw it in the
'den' at Castle Street in 1818:

'The only table was a massive piece of furniture with a desk and
all its appurtenances on either side, that an amanuensis might work
opposite to him when he chose, and with small tiers of drawers
reaching all round to the floor. The top displayed a goodly array
of session papers, and on the desk below were, besides the MS.
at which he was working, sundry parcels of letters, proof-sheets,
and so forth, all neatly done up in red tape. His own writing
apparatus was a very handsome old box, richly covered, lined with
crimson velvet, and containing ink-bottles, taper-stand, etc., in
silver, the whole in such order that it might have come from the
silversmith's window half an hour before.' At the desk most of the
novels were written, we may suppose, though not all at Abbotsford,
as is not unfrequently imagined. It is, however, impossible
to collate with exactness the dates and occasions of their
composition. The fact remains, that in all probability each of the
Waverleys was penned at this desk. Hence its unreckonable value to
the literary pilgrim, and the unqualified reverence with which tens
of thousands have gazed upon it. Certainly no article of furniture
has been so intimately associated with Scott. Fourteen years from
the time that he first saw it, it fell to Lockhart himself to open
Scott's desk under the mournfullest circumstances. 'Perhaps the
most touching evidence of the lasting tenderness of Sir Walter's
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 who had died before her; his
father's snuff-box and etui case, and more things of the like sort,
recalling "the old familiar faces."'

Scott's desk is seldom seen open. The present writer counts it one
of the memories of his life to have had that pleasure, and to have
sat in Sir Walter's 'own huge elbow-chair,' and to have handled--an
act almost too sacred after all those years--relics so touching
and pathetic in their associations. The little locks of hair are
still there, with the quills used by Scott, and his spectacles,
pocket-knife, paper-knife, and a large number of account-books and
other private documents. Here, too, is Mrs. Lockhart's Bible 'From
J. G. L., 1825,' her Prayer-Book, and a host of articles with which
both Scott and Lockhart must have been long familiar.

[Illustration: SIR WALTER SCOTT'S DESK AND 'ELBOW CHAIR' IN THE
STUDY, ABBOTSFORD]

  'Thou, who with tireless hand didst sweep
  Away the damps of ages deep
  And fire with wild, baronial strain
  The harp of chivalry again,
  And bid its long-forgotten swell
  Thrill through the soul, farewell! farewell!'

Other objects of interest may be briefly noted:

 Sir Walter's chair.

 Of green morocco; in the Empire style, which prevailed early in
 the last century.

The Wallace chair.

 Presented by Joseph Train in 1822. Made of wood from Robroyston,
 near Kirkintilloch, the scene of Wallace's betrayal. A MS. volume
 in Train's handwriting, contained in a drawer under the seat,
 tells the story of the chair (see Lockhart, vol. vii., p. 223;
 note inscription).

Lockhart's chair.

 Of plain horse-hair.

Scott's card-plate.

 Carries the simple address: 'Sir Walter Scott, Castle Street.'

A small folding box-writing-desk.

 Made from wood of the Spanish Armada, and inscribed: 'Afflavit
 Deus et dissipantur.'

Print of Stothard's 'Canterbury Pilgrims' (over the mantelpiece).

 The best-known of Stothard's paintings. Engraved in 1817. 'Sir
 Walter made the characteristic criticism upon it that, if the
 procession were to move, the young squire who is prancing in
 the foreground would in another minute be off his horse's head'
 (Adolphus's 'Memoranda').

Portrait of Claverhouse.

 Painter unknown.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth.

 Painter unknown.

Portrait of Rob Roy.

 Painter unknown.

  'The eagle, he was lord above,
  And Rob was lord below.'

Bust of Lord Chief Commissioner Adam.

 Sculptor probably Samuel Joseph, R.S.A. Founder of the Blair-Adam
 Club (see Lockhart, vol. viii., p. 200). 'I have lived much
 with him, and taken kindly to him as one of the most pleasant,
 kind-hearted, benevolent men I have ever known.'

Scott's walking-sticks, pipes, etc.

 In cabinet to the right.

A small turret-room off the study is of peculiar interest. Sir
Walter styled it his 'Speak-a-bit.' Here he enjoyed many a happy
_tête-à-tête_. It is said to be panelled with the oak of the
bedstead on which Queen Mary slept at Jedburgh in 1566. Scott's
death-mask is the only article the room contains. The dead face is
so tired that nobody can look upon it without a gush of pity, and
a feeling of thankfulness that at last the man is in his grave. We
are not moved by the grandeur of its modelling; the appeal it makes
is to a larger humanity than that. It is the face of a brother
man, stretched out too long upon the rack of this tough world. The
majesty of the forehead, and the dour earnestness of the features,
tell of Walter Scott, the genius; but it is in the corners of the
mouth that all the pathos lies. In them there is the droop of an
infinite weariness, and it makes the heart ache (see _Temple Bar_,
1904).


LIBRARY.

Adjoining is the Library, the largest and finest apartment in
the house--40 feet long by 18 feet broad and 16 feet high--with
an immense bay-window, commanding a lovely view of the Tweed.
The book-presses, wired and locked, rise to a height of 11 feet,
leaving a space of 5 feet accordingly between the top of the
shelves and the magnificent cedar ceiling, whose rich Gothic
ornamentation (of plaster, however) is modelled from Melrose and
Rosslyn. Notice the familiar 'curly green' of the Melrose Abbots.
Close on 20,000 volumes line the walls.[34] Many are presentation
copies, and not a few contain MS. criticisms and jottings by
Scott. The furniture of this room is very valuable. Two very
richly-carved chairs, said to have come from the Borghese Palace,
in Rome, were presented by Constable (see letter to Terry in
Lockhart, vol. vii., p. 104). An ebony writing-cabinet, gorgeously
figured, and once the property of George III., was presented by
his successor. Note should be taken of Sir Walter's four-sloped
reading-desk, movable at the will of the writer, thus enabling him
to consult a number of works at one time. This was in constant use
when 'Napoleon' was on the stocks. The great centre-table was the
work of Joseph Shillinglaw, Darnick, 'the Sheriff planning and
studying every turn as zealously as ever an old lady pondered the
development of an embroidered cushion.' The hangings and curtains
(not in use) were chiefly the work of a little hunch-backed tailor,
William Goodfellow, who occupied a cottage on Scott's farm of
the Broomielees. 'Not long after he had completed his work at
Abbotsford,' says Lockhart, 'little Goodfellow fell sick, and
as his cabin was near Chiefswood, I had many opportunities of
observing the Sheriff's kind attention to him in his affliction.
I can never forget the evening on which the poor tailor died.
When Scott entered he found everyone silent, and inferred from
the looks of the good women in attendance that their patient had
fallen asleep, and that they feared his sleep was the final one. He
murmured some syllables of kind regret. At the sound of his voice
the dying tailor unclosed his eyes, and eagerly and wistfully sat
up, clasping his hands with an expression of rapturous gratefulness
and devotion that, in the midst of deformity, disease, pain and
wretchedness, was at once beautiful and sublime. He cried with a
loud voice, "The Lord bless and reward you!" and expired with the
effort.' One painting only has place in the Library--a full-length
of the second Sir Walter, by Sir William Allan (1822), in the
uniform of the 15th Hussars, his horse by his side. 'A handsomer
fellow never put foot into stirrup,' said Scott. The celebrated
Chantrey Bust, of which Lockhart said that it 'alone preserved for
posterity the cast of expression most fondly remembered by all who
mingled in his domestic circle,' was placed in its present niche
(at the end of the room) by young Sir Walter the day after his
father's funeral. Scott sat to Sir Francis Chantrey in 1820, and it
is this original bust which is at Abbotsford. Only one duplicate
was made (for Apsley House). Chantrey sculptured a _second_ bust
in 1828 (acquired by Sir Robert Peel), having in the meantime
presented Scott with the bust of 1820, which bears an inscription
to that effect on the back.

A large octagonal glass table in the fine bay contains the
following gabions:

 Napoleon's blotter and gold bee-clasps.

 Found in his carriage after Waterloo. The blotter contains a small
 packet of Napoleon's hair.

Napoleon's pen-case and sealing-wax.

 Left on the writing-table at the Palace of the Elysée Bourbon, in
 his flight from Paris, 1815 Presented by Lady Hampden, 1829.

A tricoloured cockade.

 Brought from France in 1815.

Soldier's Memorandum-book.

 Found at Waterloo. See 'Paul's Letters,' p. 199.

Piece of oat-cake.

 Found in a dead Highlander's pocket on the field of Culloden the
 day of the battle. Given to Scott by Robert Chambers.

Queen Mary's seal.

 Base engraved with a crowned shield, bearing the Scottish lion and
 initials 'M.R.'

A piece of Queen Mary's dress.

Prince Charlie's quaigh.

 With mirror bottom, 'that he who quaffed might keep his eye on the
 dirk hand of his companion.' Often used by Scott. Presented, in
 1825, by Mrs. Stewart of Stenton.

Lock of Prince Charlie's hair.

Rob Roy's purse.

 Of brown leather; much worn. Presented by Joseph Train, 1818, a
 few days after the publication of 'Rob Roy.'

Helen MacGregor's brooch.

 A six-pointed star, with a thistle and two leaves between. 'I
 confess, for my own part,' says Scott, 'that I looked long and
 curiously upon the brooch that belonged to Rob Roy's wife. I was
 thinking more of the wife than of the dauntless outlaw; of the
 woman who reproached her husband upon his deathbed for exhibiting
 some signs of contrition for his past misdeeds, exhorting him to
 die as he had lived, "like a man."'

Flora MacDonald's pocket-book.

 Presented by Alexander Campbell, Leith, 1825. Flora, it would
 appear, had intended this as a present to the Rev. Martin Martin,
 a minister in the Isle of Skye, but he having died, it never
 reached its destination. The initials 'M. M.' have been wrought on
 the outside.

Lock of Nelson's hair.

Lock of Wellington's hair.

 'As to the Duke of Wellington, my faith is constant that there
 is no other man living who can work out the salvation of this
 country. He is such a man as Europe has not seen since Julius
 Caesar,'--Scott to Lockhart.

Robert Burns's tumbler.

 With some verses scratched thereon. Scott and Burns met only once,
 in 1786.

Toadstone amulet.

 'It was sovereign for protecting new-born children and their
 mothers from the power of the fairies,' says Scott.

Joanna Baillie's purse.

 Netted in thick red silk by the poetess, and presented to Scott in
 1812 (see Lockhart, vol. iii., p. 387).

Box made of the pulley of the 'Maiden.'

 An instrument of execution, of the guillotine order, introduced
 into Scotland by the Regent Morton, who himself suffered death by
 its means.

Balfour of Burley's snuff-box.

 Immortalized in 'Old Mortality.'

Gold snuff-box set in brilliants.

 Presented, in 1815, by George IV., then Prince Regent, Scott's
 friend and patron.

Bog-oak snuff-box.

 Presented by Maria Edgeworth.

Silver snuff-box.

 Presented by City of Cork, 1825.

Robert Scott's (of Sandyknowe) snuff-box.

Tom Purdie's snuff-box.

Peter Mathieson's snuff-box.

Tom Purdie's wood-knife.

Sir Walter's knife.

Small knife and fork used by Scott as a child.

'Beardie's' quaigh.

Wallace-oak quaigh.

 Presented by Joseph Train.

Quaigh made from Queen Mary's yew at Craigmillar.

Quaigh made from Duke of Wellington's tree at Waterloo.

 'Such a multifarious collection of ancient quaighs (little cups
 of curiously dove-tailed wood inlaid with silver) as no Lowland
 sideboard but his was ever equipped with' (see Lockhart, vol. v.,
 p. 339).

Cardinal Mezzofanti's skull-cap.

 Brought from Rome by Scott. The Cardinal was one of the greatest
 linguists of his day.

A Russian icon.

Silver medal of Charles I.

Miniature of Charles II.

Miniature of James VIII., the Chevalier de St. George.

Medallion of George IV.

Bronze medallion of Scott.

Miniature of Scott at the age of six.

 Painted at Bath in 1777; painter unknown. A copy from the original
 in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. A second copy is in the
 possession of Mr. John Murray, London.

Miniature of Scott, 1797.

 As an officer in the Edinburgh Light Dragoons. According to the
 fashion of the day, his hair is powdered. A lock of light brown
 hair is fastened, under glass, at the back of the frame. This is
 the second authentic likeness of Scott.

Miniature of Lady Scott, 1797.

 When Miss Carpenter--'a brunette as dark as a blackberry, but her
 person and face very engaging.'

Miniature of M. Jean Carpenter.

 Father of Lady Scott.


DRAWING-ROOM.

Next we pass to the drawing-room, a deeply interesting apartment,
24 feet by 18 feet, and in height the same as the others. The
walls are hung with Chinese paper (wonderfully fresh still),
evidence of that Chinese fashion which the skill of Sir William
Chambers succeeded in foisting upon fashionable people during the
reign of George IV. The windows, doors, and other woodwork, are
of Jamaica cedar, and have a rich and beautiful appearance, and
the furnishings are of great value. Notice some very pretty china
specimens. The paintings, both numerous and valuable, include:

Full-length portrait of Scott, by Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A.

 Painted in 1809. A replica, with variations, of the picture done
 for Constable the year before (now at Bowhill). In the Abbotsford
 copy the background gives the valley of the Yarrow instead of
 Liddesdale. Camp is the dog at Scott's feet, and Douglas the
 greyhound.

Lady Scott, by James Saxon, 1805.

 A companion portrait to that of Sir Walter, painted in 1805.

Scott's mother, by Sir John Watson Gordon, P.R.S.A., R.A.

Anne Scott, by William Nicholson, R.S.A.

 In fancy dress; a water-colour sketch. 'An honest, downright good
 Scots lass, in whom I would only wish to correct a spirit of
 satire.'

Anne Scott, by John Graham.

 In Spanish dress.

Sophia Scott (Mrs. Lockhart), by William Nicholson, R.S.A.

 In Norwegian peasant dress.

The Hon. Mrs. Maxwell Scott, by Miller.

 Presented by Mr. Maxwell Scott's cricketing friends, 1887.

James VI. of Scotland.

 Painter unknown.

Anne, Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth.

 Painter unknown. To her the 'Lay' was chanted:

  'In pride of power, in beauty's bloom,
  She wept o'er Monmouth's bloody tomb.'

Henrietta, Queen of Charles I.

 Painter unknown.

Sir Thomas Hervey, Knight Marshal to Queen Mary.

 Painter unknown.

Nell Gwynne, by Sir Peter Lely.

John Dryden, by Sir Peter Lely.

William Hogarth, by himself.

Oliver Cromwell.

 Painter unknown.

Head of Mary Queen of Scots, by Amyas Cawood (not Camwood, or
Canwood, as the guidebooks say).

 Presented by a Prussian nobleman. This picture represents the
 head of the Queen after decapitation, and bears the signature of
 the painter, with the inscription and date, 'Maria Scotiæ Regina,
 Feb. 9, 1587,' the day after the execution. 'It is known that
 leave was granted for such a picture, and in the painter's name
 we may probably recognize a brother of Mary's faithful attendant,
 Margaret Cawood,' Cawood, or, as now, Carwood, near Biggar, was
 the seat of this family.

Fast Castle.

 By Thomson of Duddingston. Presented by the artist. Fast Castle,
 Berwickshire, is the supposed 'Wolf's Crag' of the 'Bride of
 Lammermoor.'

Jedburgh Abbey.

 A water-colour drawing by Bennet. Presented by the artist.

Bust of Shakespeare.

 Somewhat youthful-looking. Presented by George Bullock, along with
 the finely-carved oak cabinet on which it stands (see Lockhart,
 vol. v., p. 167).


ARMOURY.

'Stepping westwards,' we enter the Armoury, a long, narrow
apartment, running right across the house, with emblazoned windows
at either end (heads of the Scottish Kings), and forming a sort
of ante-room to the drawing-room on one side and the dining-room
on the other. It consists of two parts, that to the south being 10
feet in length, the other 25 feet. Both portions communicate by
a Gothic archway, with carved oaken wicket. Scarcely a nation on
earth, savage or civilized, but has contributed something in the
shape of a warlike weapon to the stores of the Abbotsford armoury.
Of its many remarkable and valuable objects--the mere enumeration
of which would, of themselves, form a goodly catalogue--the
following may be specially noted:

Sword of Montrose.

 'I have a relic of a more heroic character; it is a sword which
 was given to the great Marquis of Montrose by Charles I., and
 appears to have belonged to his father, our gentle King Jamie. It
 had been preserved for a long time at Gartmore, but the present
 proprietor was selling his library, and John Ballantyne, the
 purchaser, wishing to oblige me, would not conclude a bargain till
 he flung the sword into the scale' (letter to Joanna Baillie,
 Lockhart, vol. iii., p. 390). The sword bears on both sides the
 royal arms of Great Britain, with the following inscription on the
 blade:

  'Jacobe alumne pacis atk pallæ
  Serene cultor et decus Britannici
  Clarrissimum regni tuis regalib
  Sceptris subest de stirpe quond martia.'

 Scott had the sheath remounted in 1822.

Rob Roy's gun.

 An immensely long-barrelled weapon of Spanish manufacture, bearing
 the initials of the freebooter, 'R. M. C.'--Robert Macgregor
 Campbell (see Introduction to 'Rob Roy,' p. 87). 'A dialogue
 between Montrose's sword and Rob Roy's gun might be composed with
 good effect' (Scott to Joanna Baillie).

Rob Roy's sword.

 'A fine old Highland broadsword with Andrea Ferrara blade and
 basket hilt.'

Rob Roy's dirk.

 Of Andrea Ferrara make.

Rob Roy's sporran.

 Presented by Joseph Train, 1817. A plain leather spleuchan likely
 to have been used by 'Rob' in his honest drover days.

Claverhouse's pistol.

 A fine old Highland flint-lock. Not known how it came into Scott's
 possession.

Napoleon's pistols.

 Taken from his carriage after Waterloo, and presented by the Duke
 of Wellington.

Andreas Hofer's rifle.

 The patriot leader of the Tyrolese in 1809. Presented by Sir
 Humphry Davy, who obtained it from Hofer's lieutenant in reward
 for having cured him of a fever.

James VI.'s hunting-bottle.

 In an old tooled and gilt leathern case. Presented by George
 Huntly Gordon.

Prince Charlie's hunting-knives.

 Of French make, time of Louis XIV.

Canadian cow-horn.

 With a map of Canada and its lakes most ingeniously and not
 incorrectly carved upon it by a native Indian.

Keys of Loch Leven Castle.

 Three in number, on an old iron padlock.

The 'thumbikins' or thumbscrews.

 An instrument of torture used in Covenant times. Presented by
 Gabriel Alexander.

Small iron box.

 Found in the Chapel of Mary of Guise at Edinburgh Castle.

Model of Bruce's candlestick.

Mary Queen of Scots' crucifix.

 Of mother-of-pearl.

Russian Prayer-Book.

Russian cross (brass).

Tamul Book.

Necklaces of human hair and bones.

 From the Sandwich Islands.

Celtic mask.

 Found at Torrs, Kelton parish, Galloway. Presented by Joseph
 Train, 1820.

White tail-duster.

 Used by Scott for dusting his books.

Highland broadsword.

 Presented to Scott by the Celtic Society; a gorgeous article, with
 a sheath of elaborately-chased silver (see Diary, January, 1826).

Scott's blunderbuss.

 Round the muzzle are the words: 'When rogues appear, my voice
 you'll hear.'

Scott's pistols and sabre.

 Used when Quarter--Master of the Edinburgh Light Dragoons.

Scott's sword.

 'A Highland broadsword, with engraved basket hilt and Andrea
 Ferrara blade.'

Scott's own gun.

 An old Spanish double-barrelled flint-lock.

Officer's sword.

 Worn by the second Sir Walter when in the 15th Hussars.

Pair of gilt dress spurs.

 Worn by the second Sir Walter when in the 15th Hussars.

The Armoury paintings consist chiefly of Scott's servants and
friends:

 John Swanston.

 Gamekeeper. 'A fine fellow, who did all he could to replace Tom
 Purdie.' Painter uncertain; initialled 'G. D.'; date 1851.

Peter Mathieson, with 'Donald,' the pony.

 Coachman. 'I cannot forget how his eyes sparkled when he first
 pointed out to me Peter Mathieson guiding the plough on the haugh.
 "Egad," said he, "auld Pepe" (this was the children's name for
 their good friend)--"auld Pepe's whistling at his darg. The honest
 fellow said a yoking in a deep field would do baith him and the
 blackies good. If things get round with me, easy shall be Pepe's
 cushion"' (Lockhart, vol. ix.). Painter uncertain; initialled 'G.
 D.'; date 1851.

Tom Purdie.

 Described in 'Redgauntlet' (see Lockhart, vol. vi., p. 121).
 Painted by Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A.

James Ballantyne.

 Painter unknown. 'James was a short, stout, well-made man, and
 would have been considered a handsome one but for those grotesque
 frowns, starts, and twistings of his features, set off by a
 certain mock majesty of walk and gesture, which he had perhaps
 contracted from his usual companions, the emperors and tyrants of
 the stage.'

Miniature of Claverhouse.

 Painter unknown.

Charles Mackay, as 'Bailie Nicol Jarvie.'

 'The man who played the Bailie made a piece of acting equal to
 whatever has been seen in the profession. For my own part, I was
 actually electrified by the truth, spirit, and humour which he
 threw into the part. It was the living Nicol Jarvie' (Scott to
 Terry, April, 1829).

Miniature of Prince Charlie.

James IV. (contemporary portrait, 1507).

Portrait of Allan Ramsay.

 By Allan Ramsay, junior.

The Scotts of Raeburn.

 By Sir John Watson Gordon.

Scott in his study.

 By Sir William Allan.

Medallion of Scott.

Medallion of Christopher North.

 By Andrew Currie.

Hinse of Hinsfeldt.

 Scott's cat. See description of the Castle Street 'den.'

'Ginger.'

 Scott's dog. Painted by Landseer.

Drawing of Queen Elizabeth dancing.

 By Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe. 'This production of Mr. Sharpe's
 pencil, and the delight with which Scott used to expatiate on its
 merits, must be well remembered by everyone that ever visited the
 poet at Abbotsford.'

'The Dish of Spurs.'

 By Sharpe. 'When the larders of our ancestors were bare, and fresh
 meat was desired, the housewife placed a pair of spurs on a dish
 to remind the men-folk that the moment was come for a raid on
 their neighbour's cattle.'

'The Reiver's Wedding.'

 By Sharpe. See Lockhart, vol. ii., for unfinished ballad of 'The
 Reiver's Wedding'; also letter to Miss Seward, June 29, 1802, same
 vol.

'Gibbie wi' the Gowden Gairters.'

 By Sharpe. Sir Gilbert Elliot paying his addresses to Auld Wat of
 Harden's daughter.

An (not The) Ettrick shepherd.

The Paschal Lamb.

 From the High Altar at Dryburgh.

Dead partridge.

 The above three wood-carvings are by Andrew Currie.

Statuette of Sir Walter.

 From John Greenshields' seated figure, carved in freestone, now in
 the Advocates' Library--'Sic Sedebat.'


ENTRANCE HALL.

In this order of going round the Entrance Hall comes last--a
spacious apartment, 40 feet by 20 feet, panelled to the height
of 7 feet with dark oak from Dunfermline Abbey. The roof is of
stucco-work in imitation of the wainscotting, and comprehends a
series of arches with dependent points, modelled from Melrose
Abbey. The effect of this room is grand and impressive. A sort
of rich and red twilight, even at noonday, from the emblazoned
'Bellenden'[35] windows, pervades the place, which is literally
laden with relics and trophies. The cornice displays a double
line of escutcheons, with the heraldic bearings of the Scotts,
Kers, Elliots, Douglases, Homes, Pringles, Maxwells, Johnstones,
Chisholms, and other Border families, and the inscription in black
letter:

 'These be the Coat Armouris of ye Clannis and men of name quha
 keepit the Scottish Marches in ye days of auld. They were worthie
 in thair tyme and in thair defens God thaim defendid.'

The arms of Scott's own ancestors occupy sixteen shields running
along the centre of the roof, being the complete quarterings of
a man of 'gentle blood.' On his father's side--running west--are
the names of Scott, Haliburton, Campbell, M'Dougal, Murray,
Scott (Dryhope), Ker, Riddel; and on his mother's side--running
east--Rutherford, Swinton, Shaw, Ker, Ainslie. Three shields on
this side are blanks,--Scott not being able to trace out his
pedigree to the full length of his spaces,--and are painted over
with blue clouds, and the motto, _Alta--Nox--Premit_ ('Oblivion has
covered them'). The floor is a mosaic of black and white Hebridean
marble. Of a singularly rich assortment of curiosities in the shape
of cuirasses and suits of armour, helmets, shields, swords, lances,
and other arms of all sorts and ages, flags, cannonballs, and
numberless other articles from apparently every country under the
sun, all of them interesting in their antiquity or associations,
the following are some of the more notable:

 Suit of fluted armour.

 Early sixteenth century.

Suit of polished steel tilting armour.

 Middle of the sixteenth century. Believed to have come from
 Bosworth Field, and, as Scott suggests, to have belonged to Sir
 John Cheney, the biggest man of both armies on that memorable day.
 An enormous two-handed sword, nearly the length of a man, is held
 by this figure (see also the celebrated Calendar-sword, close by,
 and tilting-lance, about 12 feet long).

[Illustration: THE ENTRANCE HALL, ABBOTSFORD]

  'And stranger lips, unmoved and cold,
  The legends of thy mansion told--
  Thy lauded, glittering brand and spear,
  And costly gift from prince and peer,
  And broad claymore, with silver dight
  And hunting-horn of Border knight,
  What were such gauds to me?
  More dear had been one single word
  From those whose veins thy blood had stirred.'

Relics from Waterloo.

 Pistols, cuirasses, swords, sabres, etc. (see Lockhart, vol. v.).

Relics from Culloden.

 Highland back-swords.

Relics from Roxburgh Castle.

 Two cannonballs.

Archbishop Sharp's grate.

 See letter to Terry, January 9, 1823. The fireplace is modelled
 from the Abbot's Stall at Melrose.

Head of elk.

 Found in Abbotsrule Moss, twelve miles from Abbotsford.

Ralph Erskine's pulpit.

 The two semicircular presses between the windows, forming a sort
 of wine-cellar, were made from the wood of this pulpit, with the
 precentor's desk and King's seat of Dunfermline Abbey Church.

Keys of the old Tolbooth of Edinburgh.

 Presented by the magistrates of Edinburgh, 1816.

Lock and key of Selkirk Gaol.

A Jeddart axe.

 Time of James V.

Hermitage touting-horn.

 'How great he was when he was made master o' _that_! Sir Walter
 carried it home all the way from Liddesdale to Jedburgh, slung
 about his neck like Johnny Gilpin's bottle, and muckle and sair we
 routed on't, and hotched and blew wi' micht and main' (Shortreed's
 'Memoranda').

Burgess hat of Stow.

Model of the Scottish branks.

 For scolding wives.

Model of skull of Robert the Bruce.

 On the mantelpiece.

Model of skull of Shaw, the Waterloo Lifeguards-man.

 On the mantelpiece (see Lockhart, vol. v., p. 71).

Marie Antoinette's clock.

 On the mantelpiece.

Bronze pot from Riddell, Roxburghshire.

'The mistletoe chest where Ginevra lay.'

 Sent from Italy to Scott as the identical chest in which the
 beautiful young bride hid herself on her marriage-day, in a
 frolicsome wish to baffle the search of her newly-wedded lord, and
 out of which chest she never came, until the lapse of many years
 had converted her beautiful frame into a mouldering skeleton. A
 spring-lock had shut her in, and all search for her proved vain.
 Sir Walter was led to doubt the authenticity of the relic from the
 fact that Italy has a box with similar claims in several of her
 principal cities. Besides, the chest at Abbotsford has not the
 spring lock.

Sir Walter's clothes.

 The last suit worn by him--drab trousers, striped waistcoat,
 dark-green coat with white metal buttons, and light fawn beaver
 hat. 'When I was at Abbotsford I saw in a glass case the last
 clothes Scott wore. Among them an old white hat, which seemed
 to be tumbled and bent and broken by the uneasy, purposeless
 wandering hither and thither of his heavy head. It so embodied
 Lockhart's pathetic description of him when he tried to write and
 laid down his pen and cried, that it associated itself in my mind
 with broken power and mental weakness from that hour' (Charles
 Dickens, 1851).

Bust of Wordsworth.

  'So didst thou travel on life's common way,
  In cheerful godliness.'


DINING-ROOM.

The Dining-room--'his own great parlour'--is not open to the
public. It was the first room of any pretensions that Scott built
at Abbotsford (it is 30 feet in length, including a considerable
bow, 17 feet in breadth and 12 feet high), and much care was
expended on its design and decoration. He adorned the walls with
portraits of his ancestors, and, says Lockhart, 'he seemed never
to weary of perusing them.' It was here, too, as has been already
said, that the final tragedy was played out.

 Walter Scott.

 Sir Walter's great-grandfather, known as 'Beardie,' from a vow
 which he made never to shave his beard till the Stuarts were
 restored.

  'With amber beard and flaxen hair,
  And reverend apostolic air,
  Small thought was his, in after time,
  E'er to be hitch'd into a rhyme.
  The simple sire could only boast
  That he was loyal to his cost;
  The banish'd race of kings revered,
  And lost his land--but kept his beard.'

 Painter unknown.

Robert Scott, of Sandyknowe.

 Sir Walter's grandfather.

    'The thatch'd mansion's grey-hair'd sire,
  Wise without learning, plain and good,
  And sprung of Scotland's gentle blood.'

 Painter unknown.

Professor Rutherford.

 Sir Walter's maternal grandfather, Professor of Medicine in the
 University of Edinburgh, 'one to whom the school of medicine in
 our northern metropolis owes its rise, and a man distinguished
 for professional talent, for lively wit, and for literary
 acquirements.' Painter unknown.

[Illustration: THE DINING-ROOM, ABBOTSFORD]

  'Forth went a shadowy hand
    And touched him on the brow;
  Calmly he laid his wand
  Aside, and shook the sand--
    Death, is it thou?
  Slow o'er his reverend head
    The darkness crept,
  While nations round his bed
    Stood still, and wept!'

Walter Scott, W.S.

 Sir Walter's father, 'a most just, honourable, and conscientious
 man. He passed from the cradle to the grave without making an
 enemy or losing a friend.' Painter unknown.

Mrs. Scott.

 Anne Rutherford, Sir Walter's mother, 'short of stature and by no
 means comely.' Painter unknown.

Thomas Scott.

 Sir Walter's uncle. 'The most venerable figure I had ever set my
 eyes on--tall and erect, with long flowing tresses of the most
 silvery whiteness. He sat reading his Bible without spectacles,
 and did not, for a moment, perceive that anyone had entered
 his room; but, on recognizing his nephew, he rose with cordial
 alacrity, kissing him on both cheeks, and exclaiming: "God bless
 thee, Walter, my man! thou hast risen to be great, but thou wast
 always good."' Painter unknown.

Thomas Scott, W.S.

 Sir Walter's third brother, 'a man of infinite humour and
 excellent parts.' Painter unknown.



AROUND ABBOTSFORD



CHAPTER X

AROUND ABBOTSFORD


Whilst this work deals mainly with Abbotsford, it will be fitting
to refer briefly to one or two places within what may be called the
Abbotsford radius. At least half a dozen scenes of interest can
be visited with profit by the literary pilgrim. Abbotsford is his
Mecca _par excellence_, and it is here that homage must rise to its
full height. Abbotsford is but the centre, however, of a widely
historic locality, in which it may be possible to discover shrine
after shrine, each demanding some show of devotion. Of course,
Scott is the chief attractive force to the Scottish Border. But
long before his day Tweedside and the country around Abbotsford
lay in the very lap of 'glamourie.' And it was, as we have seen,
largely because of the romance which haunted the whole district
that Abbotsford took shape, to become by-and-by perhaps the most
romantic spot in Europe.

Melrose--the Kennaquhair of the 'Monastery'--is the most convenient
headquarters for studying the homes and following the footprints
of Sir Walter Scott. Scott may be said to have made Melrose. It
was a mere village when Abbotsford was building. It really grew
with the growth of Abbotsford, and in the wake of Scott's success.
The name--_maol-ros_, 'the open or naked headland'--is a transfer
from Old Melrose, two and a half miles further down the Tweed,
where flourished the first monastic settlement, fragrant with the
memories of Aidan, Boisil (whence St. Lessuden and St. Boswells),
and most celebrated of them all, Cuthbert, that Leaderside shepherd
lad, who rose to be head of the great See of Durham. It was David,
'the Sair Sanct,' who founded the second religious house of Melrose
between the years 1136 and 1146. Dedicated to the Virgin, and
tenanted by a colony of Cistercians from Rievalle, in Yorkshire,
the pioneers of their Order in Scotland, Melrose quickly came to
the front as the most famous establishment of its kind in the
kingdom. For four centuries, like the rest of the Border Abbeys,
Melrose held its place, and was a power in the land. During the
Edwardian Wars it suffered frequently from fire and assault, and,
indeed, about 1322, it was more or less a ruin. Mainly through the
munificence of Robert the Bruce, it was rebuilt in 1326, 'in the
most magnificent style of the period,' at a cost of £50,000 in
modern money. By 1384 it was again sacked, this time by Richard
II., and again restored. In 1544 Evers and Latoun, the English
generals at Ancrum Moor, desecrated and demolished the Douglas
tombs at Melrose, and in the following year, on the Hertford
invasion, the work of destruction was complete. At the Reformation
the Abbey was finally dismantled, and for long afterwards the ruin
was used as a quarry by the towns-people. Not a little of the
original Abbotsford found its way from Melrose Abbey. The statues,
specially numerous and costly, were 'ground to powder' in 1649, and
up to 1820 the nave was used as the parish church. Scott's genius
and patriotism have done more for Melrose than anything else. To
him, in large measure, as the Biography shows, the place owes its
preservation as the finest ecclesiastical ruin in the country. None
knew Melrose Abbey better, or bore a dearer regard to it, than
Scott, and its architecture is nowhere more faithfully described
than in the 'Lay.' To read the 'Lay' at Melrose is one of the
delights of a lifetime. The best view is from the south-east
corner of the churchyard. By the high altar Bruce's heart was
interred. Here also lie the bodies of the brave Earl Douglas,
hero of Otterburn, and of that other Douglas, the 'dark knight of
Liddesdale,' a prominent figure in Border story. There, too, is
the traditional grave of 'the wondrous Wizard,' Michael Scot, from
whose cold dead hand Deloraine snatched the Book of Might. And many
another--monarch and monk, priest and warrior, Border laird and
lady--are at rest under these time-worn canopies. How interesting
and touching to follow the inscriptions around the walls, and the
numerous chaste carvings on 'pillar and arch and lintel high.' Two
epitaphs outside call for attention, both connected with Scott.
One, which he was fond of repeating--it is surely one of the most
pregnant in epitaphian literature--runs:

  'The earth goeth on the earth,
    Glist'ring like gold;
  The earth goes to the earth
    Sooner than it wold;
  The earth builds on the earth
    Castles and towers;
  The earth says to the earth,
    "All shall be ours."'

The other, his own simple and sincere words, covering the grave of
honest Tom Purdie:

                     IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE
                               OF
                          THE FAITHFUL
                      AND ATTACHED SERVICES
                               OF
                        TWENTY-TWO YEARS,
                          AND IN SORROW
                     FOR THE LOSS OF A HUMBLE
                       BUT SINCERE FRIEND,
                     THIS STONE WAS ERECTED
                               BY
                     SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.,
                         OF ABBOTSFORD.


                       HERE LIES THE BODY
                               OF
                         THOMAS PURDIE,
                          WOOD-FORESTER
                         AT ABBOTSFORD,
                      WHO DIED 29 OCTOBER,
                              1829,
                      AGED SIXTY-TWO YEARS.


                     'Thou hast been faithful
                       Over a few things,
                     I will make thee ruler
                       Over many things.'

                                 MATTHEW, chap. xxv. v. 21st.

Close under the Abbey windows reposes all that is mortal of the
great Christian philosopher, Sir David Brewster. 'The Lord is my
Light' is a not unfitting text for one who was the acknowledged
master of optics in his day. Melrose Cross, in the centre of the
town, with the date of its restoration (1642), is believed to be
the oldest 'mercat-cross' in the Borders. From Melrose we may climb
the clefted Eildons, always in vision, the supreme landmarks and
sentinels of the Borderland. Here Scott loved to linger. 'I can
stand on the Eildon Hill,' he said, 'and point out forty-three
places famous in war and verse.' Or the romantic green-woods of
the Fairy Dean may attract us, despite the 'White Lady' and her
vagaries. And we may be led to explore Elwyndale and the fine
open country to the head of the glen, with the three towers
of the 'Monastery,' Hillslap or Glendearg--Dame Glendinning's
home--Langshaw, and Colmslie.

As a rule, the visitor to Abbotsford has also Dryburgh as an
objective, and ample provision has been made for his ease and
comfort in getting thither. By far the most picturesque route is to
follow that of Scott's funeral-day. Past Newstead first, quaintest
of old-world hamlets, the supposed Roman Trimontium (from the
Eildons, at whose base it nestles). Note its wealth of sun-dials.
Thence, still keeping by the serpentine Tweed, to Leaderfoot,
across its old Bridge--where was Scott's last passing of the
Tweed--up by Gladswood and Bemersyde Hill, pausing for a moment or
two at 'Sir Walter's gate,' on the crest of the whinny road--

  'Where fair Tweed flows round holy Melrose,
    And Eildon slopes to the plain.'

This was Scott's favourite view, and it has few equals. Did not
Elihu Burritt affirm that 'it is the most magnificent view I ever
saw in Scotland, excepting, perhaps, the one from Stirling Castle'?
Still pursuing our way Dryburghwards, we catch a glimpse of
Sandyknowe[36] to the east, the scene of Scott's child-years, and
enshrined in some of the noblest verse of 'Marmion.' Then, dipping
down through the thickest and tallest of wild-woods, and the most
luxuriant of bracken and broom, we reach Dryburgh, which, if it
cannot boast the architectural glories of Melrose, far surpasses
it for queenly situation. Surrounded on three sides by the Tweed,
itself unseen from the Abbey precincts, and amidst a 'brotherhood
of venerable trees,' in picturesqueness and seclusion it is perhaps
the most charming monastic ruin in Great Britain. And here, in
the lap of legends old, in the heart of the land he has made
enchanted, and among his ancestral dust (for Dryburgh belonged to
his forebears, and might have come to himself but for the stupidity
of a spendthrift relative), Walter Scott waits the breaking light
of morn. There are the inscriptions which we must read, and as
reverent and worshipful pilgrims, heads are bared for this sacred
duty. In 1847 a massive granite sarcophagus was placed over Scott's
grave, where thousands upon thousands from all the winds that blow
have treasured its simple words:

                    SIR WALTER SCOTT, BARONET,
                   DIED SEPTEMBER 21, A.D. 1832.

[Illustration: DRYBURGH ABBEY]

                          'Slender as a reed
  Is the slim pillar on the transept tall,
  Where the lush wall-flower blooms, and over all
  A rowan grows, where some wind-wafted seed
  Had lodged, and all is silent as a dream,
  But for a throstle on the ancient yew,
  But for the low faint murmur of the stream;
  And sweet old-fashioned scents are floating through
  The arch from thyme and briar, as for ever
  Shall his sweet nature haunt this fabled river.'

The other inscriptions are:

                DAME CHARLOTTE MARGARET CARPENTER,
                              WIFE OF
             SIR WALTER SCOTT OF ABBOTSFORD, BARONET,
                 DIED AT ABBOTSFORD, MAY 15, 1826.

                LIEUTENANT-COLONEL SIR WALTER SCOTT
                  OF ABBOTSFORD, SECOND BARONET,
           DIED AT SEA, 8 FEBRUARY, 1847, AGED 45 YEARS.
            HIS WIDOW PLACED THIS STONE OVER HIS GRAVE.

       *       *       *       *       *

                         DAME JANE JOBSON,
                            HIS WIDOW,
          DIED AT LONDON, 19 MARCH, 1877, AGED 76 YEARS.

These tombs and inscriptions follow each other from the back to the
front of the aisle. And on the right of the others is Lockhart's,
at right angles, with a bronze medallion at the top:

                               HERE,
                 AT THE FEET OF SIR WALTER SCOTT,
                                LIE
                       THE MORTAL REMAINS OF
                       JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART,
                          HIS SON-IN-LAW,
                      BIOGRAPHER AND FRIEND.
                        BORN 14 JUNE, 1794.
                        DIED 25 NOV., 1854.

If we be wise, we shall make the return journey by Dryburgh village
and Newtown. What a magnificent river the Tweed is here, looking
either up or down from the Baillie Suspension Bridge, or the high
red bank beyond! Surely the Eildons never backgrounded a pleasanter
picture than this. All the landscape is, in sooth, among the
fairest of fair scenes, on which we shall want to feast the eye
again and again, to be dreaming of Dryburgh when, it may be, over
the seas and far away. On a summer's day, or at the early autumn,
or even 'mid winter's mantling white, it seems to carry a perpetual
charm.

Kelso, as a shrine of Scott, may not be left unvisited. Here he
was schooled (partly), but better, it was at Kelso that the whole
world of Romance opened out to his delighted fancy. Robert Burns
is said to have gazed in wondrous and even prayerful rapture
on the vision of Kelso Bridge and the Tweed, forming an almost
perfect picture. And this, with the Abbey, 'like some antique Titan
predominating over the dwarfs of a later world'; ruined Roxburgh,
between Tweed's and Teviot's flow; and the near neighbourhood of
other memory-moving spots, were just the scenes which made the
best appeal to Scott, which influenced him most, and the fruits
of whose inspiration we still daily reap. Jedburgh has some claim
on the Scott student and for the lover of old romance. His best
hours will be spent by its venerable Abbey, in the most excellent
of situations (how well those old monks could gauge the lie of the
land!), girt about with well-kept gardens, overlooking the bosky
banks of the Jed--a veritable poem in Nature and Art.

[Illustration: KELSO ABBEY AND BRIDGE]

  'Bosom'd in woods where mighty rivers run,
  Kelso's fair vale expands before the sun;
  Its rising downs in vernal beauty swell,
  And fringed with hazel winds each flowery dell;
  Green-spangled plains to dimpling lawns succeed,
  And Tempé rises on the banks of Tweed.
  Blue o'er the river Kelso's shadow lies,
  And copse clad isles amid the waters rise.'

There is one place which should not be overlooked. To him who
writes it is the sweetest and the best, entwined with memories
lasting as life itself. With the story of Thomas of Ercildoune
he first heard that of Sir Walter Scott. Under the weird shadow
of the Rhymer's Tower, other names fell upon his ear--Ashestiel,
Abbotsford, 'Marmion,' 'Waverley.' Much has been since then! But
home and the days of youth are never forgotten. One hears still
in memory the music of the Leader. Across the years comes there
again and again a sweet old-time fragrance of yellow broom from
Cowdenknowes.



INDEX


  Abbotsford, 3, 114
    Armoury, 191
    Dining-room, 203
    Drawing-room, 188
    Entrance Hall, 199
    Family, 90
    Ferry, 168
    Hunt, 57
    Library, 181
    'Noctes,' 79
    'Notanda,' 82
    Pronunciation of, 3
    Study, 176
    the Treasures of, 167

  Abbotstown, 60

  Adolphus, John Leycester, 93

  Ale Water, 135

  Allan, Sir William, 53

  Allerly, 102

  Ambrose, 79

  American, ubiquitous, 67

  Apsley House, 183

  Ariosto, 91

  Ashestiel, 13, 112, 219

  Atkinson, 36


  Baillie, Joanna, 29, 81

  Baird, Rev. Principal, 121

  Ballantyne, 52, 80
    James, 24, 196
    John, 108, 135

  Ballingry, 149

  Balliol, 128

  Bemersyde, 18, 121, 136
    Hill, 215

  Berwick, 16

  Biggar, 112

  Blore, Edward, 36

  'Blucher,' the, 52

  Boswell, 81, 125

  Bowden Moor, 135

  Braes of Yarrow, 87, 88

  Brewster, Sir David, 102, 214

  'Bride of Lammermoor,' 108

  British Peerage, 68

  Broadmeadows, 19

  Broomielees, 60, 182

  Brown, Dr. John, 171

  Bruce, Heart of, 126

  Bullock, George, 36

  Burne the Violer, 137

  Burnfoot, 42

  Burns, Captain, 143
    Robert, 12, 218

  Burritt, Elihu, 215

  Byron, Lady, 89
    Lord, 13, 30, 81, 89


  Cadell, the publisher, 52, 113, 115, 119, 120, 167

  Calais, 12

  Cambusnethan, 125

  'Camp,' 72

  Campbell, 80
    Tom, 83

  Cardross, 128

  Carlyle, 77, 137, 148, 171

  Carpenter, Charles, 26
    Charlotte, 50

  Carruthers, Robert, 82

  Carterhaugh, 135

  Cartleyhole, 21

  'Castle Dangerous,' 112, 113

  Castle Street, 33, 105, 130

  Catrail, 24

  Cauldshiels, 93, 106, 114
    Loch, 41

  Chambers, Robert, 171

  Chantrey Bust, 183

  Charge Law, 5

  Chiefswood, 42, 139, 140
    days, 141

  Clarty Hole, 22

  Cleghorn, 112, 127

  Cock-a-Pistol, 5

  Cockburn, Alison, 6
    Lord, 102

  Colmslie, 214

  Constable, 80

  Contin, 66

  'Count Robert of Paris,' 111, 113

  Court Clerkship, 49

  Cowdenknowes, 18, 87, 136, 219

  Crabbe, 80

  Crash, the, 67

  Croker, 114, 120

  Cross of Edinburgh, 172

  Cunningham, Allan, 115

  Cuthbert (St.), 210


  Dalgleish, 65

  Darnick, 43, 121
    Tower, 42, 121

  Davy, Sir Humphry, 54, 81, 91

  Deloraine, 212

  'Den,' the, at Castle Street, 133

  Dial-stone, 113

  Dickens, Charles, 102, 203

  Dickson, Dr., 121

  Disraeli, Benjamin, 142

  Douglas, 112
    Dr. Robert, 21

  Douglasdale, 143

  Drumlanrig, 40

  Dryburgh, 23, 122, 136, 214

  Drygrange, 18

  Dunfermline Abbey, 199


  Earlston, 136, 219
    Fair, 129

  Edgeworth, Mr. Lovell, 93
    Maria, 81, 91

  Edgeworthstown, 93

  Edinburgh, 114
    Cross of, 172

  Eildon, 23
    Hall, 18
    Tree Stone, 42

  Eildons, the, 42, 114, 134, 214

  Elibank, 112

  Eliot, George, 102

  Elwyndale, 214

  Ercildoune, Thomas of, 219

  Erskines of Cardross, 128

  Ettrick, 88, 98


  Faed's (Thomas) 'Scott and his Literary Friends,' 80

  Fairnalee, 26

  Fairy Dean, 214

  Faldonside, 42

  Ferguson, Captain, 71
    Sir Adam, 80, 90

  Ferrier, Susan, 98

  Fielding, 101

  FitzGerald, Edward, 102

  Floors, 18

  Froude, 148


  Galashiels, 21, 88, 169

  Gala Water, 87, 88

  Gattonside, 169

  Gibson, Elizabeth, 127

  Gilfillan, George, 171

  Gladstone, 163

  Gladswood, 18, 121, 215

  Gleig, G. R., 147

  Glendearg, 214

  Goethe, 128

  Goodfellow, William, 182

  Gordon Arms in Yarrow, 102

  Great King Street, 139

  Guizards, 61

  Gustavus, Prince, 68


  Hall, Basil, 40, 83
    'Journal' of, 61

  Hallam, Arthur Henry, 96

  Hamilton, Thomas, 102, 142

  'Hardyknute,' 114

  Harleyburn, 42

  Heart of Bruce, 126

  'Heart of Midlothian,' 173

  Heiton, John, 42

  Hemans, Mrs., 98

  Hillslap, 214

  Hogg, James, 59, 65, 101
    James's alleged insult, 101

  Hogmanay, 61

  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 102

  Hope, James Fitzalan, M.P., 154

  Howitt, William, 102

  'Huntlee Bankis,' 42

  Huntlyburn, 41, 71, 95, 139


  Innerleithen, 112

  Irving, Washington, 57, 82, 114

  Italian tour, 114

  'Ivanhoe,' 108


  James V. (King), 5

  James, G. P. R., 102

  Jedburgh, 112, 117, 218
    Abbey, 218

  Jeffrey, Francis, 80

  'Jock o' Hazeldean,' 114

  John of Skye, 134

  'Journal,' Basil Hall's, 61


  Kaeside, 41

  Kelso, 16, 79, 218
    Bridge, 218

  'Kennaquhair,' 210

  Kensal Green Cemetery, 153

  Ker, Andrew, 42

  Killarney, 93

  'Kingdom of Border Romance,' 136

  Kinnedder, Lord, 140

  Kirn, the, 60

  Knox, John, 42


  'Lady Anne,' 56

  Laidlaw, 54, 65, 66, 82, 108, 113, 116, 122

  Lammermoor, 88

  Landseer, Sir Edwin, 54

  Lang, Mr., 138
    'Life of Lockhart,' 125

  Langshaw, 214

  Lasswade, 79
    Cottage, 99

  Leaderfoot, 121, 215

  Lee, in Lanarkshire, 125
    Penny, 126

  Leopold, Prince, 68

  Lessuden, 210

  'Letters to Heber,' 93

  'Life of Lockhart' (Mr. Lang's), 125

  Lilliesleaf, 135

  Lochore, 152

  Lockhart, Charlotte Harriet Jane, 154
    John Gibson, 4, 115-122, 125-148, 160
    'Abridgment of the Life' by, 163
    novels of, 140
    verses on Immortality, 147
    John Hugh, 141
    Mrs., 145
    Rev. John, D.D., 127
    Walter Scott, 153

  London, 44

  'Lucy's Flittin',' 82


  Mackenzie, Henry, 54, 80, 91

  'Maga,' 129

  Maida, 55, 72, 86, 174

  Manning, Cardinal, 161, 162

  'Marmion,' 91, 215, 219

  Mary, Queen, 180

  Mathieson, Peter, 65, 122, 196

  Mediterranean, 143

  Melrose, 5, 121, 169, 210
    Abbey, 23, 39, 86
    Bridge, 116, 169
    Cross, 214
    Session Records, 21

  Melville, Lord, 134

  Mercer, 63

  Merse, the, 136

  Mertoun, 18, 136

  Miller, Hugh, 171

  Milman, 114

  Milne, Nicol, 42

  Milton-Lockhart, 112, 145

  Minchmoor, 135

  'Minstrelsy,' 82

  Moffat, 14

  Moffatdale, 136

  'Monastery,' 210

  Montagu, Lord, 39

  Moore, Tom, 94, 114

  Morritt of Rokeby, 29

  'Muffled drum,' the, 43

  Murray, John, 89
    Patrick, 12


  Naples pilgrimage, 153

  Newark, 19, 99

  Newman, John Henry, 162, 164

  Newstead, 214

  Newtown, 217

  Nicholson, 118

  Nimmo the Covenanter, 128

  'Nixon, Cristal,' 65

  Norham Castle, 17

  'North, Kit,' 80

  25, Northumberland Street, 139


  O'Conor, Sir Nicholas, 155

  Old Melrose, 210

  Oxford, 128


  Paterson, Adam, 44

  Peebles, 112

  Penrith, 172

  'Peter's Letters,' 137

  'Peveril of the Peak,' 109

  Philiphaugh, 135

  Piræus, 90

  'Pirate, The,' 140

  Purdie, Tom, 34, 65, 117, 196, 213
    grave of, 66


  Queensberry, Duke of, 40


  Raeburn, 72

  Ragman Roll, 157

  Ravenswood, 18

  'Redgauntlet,' 65

  'Reliquiæ Trottcosianæ,' 167

  Rhymer's Glen, 139
    Tower, 219

  Richardson of Kirklands, 83

  Rizzio, 42

  'Rob Roy,' 90

  'Rokeby,' 25

  Rome, Scott's residence in, 114

  Rose, William Stewart, 91

  Rosebank, 13

  Roxburgh, 218

  Ruskin, 12, 102, 171

  Russell, General, 18


  St. Boswells, 210

  St. Mary's Chapel of the Lowes, 93

  Saintsbury, Mr., 125

  Sampson, Dominie, 134

  Sandyknowe, 79, 136, 215

  Scot, Michael, 212

  Scott, Charles, 153
    Charlotte Sophia, 153
    Dr., of Darnlee, 63
    James Robert Hope, 146, 155-163
    Lady (second), 152
    Lady Victoria Hope, 155
    Major, 143
    Mary Monica Hope (Hon. Mrs. Maxwell Scott), 155, 164
    Sophia, 138

  Scott, Sir Walter, 3, 5, 12, 219
    death-mask, 180
    desk, 178
    grave, 216
    laugh, 94
    visitors, 67

  'Scott and his Literary Friends' (Thomas Faed), 80
    Sir Walter (the second), 183
    Walter Joseph, 155

  Scrope, William, 102

  Selkirk, 5, 23

  Shakespeare, 12, 122

  Sheriffdom, 49

  Shillinglaw, Joseph (Darnick), 183

  Shortreed, 59

  Siddons, Mrs., 105

  'Sir Walter's Gate,' 215

  Skene of Rubislaw, 102

  Skirmish Hill, 5

  Skye, John o', 60

  Smailholm, 88

  Smith, John, of Darnick, 43

  Smollett, 101

  Snell Exhibition, 128

  Stanley, Dean, 171

  Stark, 35

  Stevenson, R. L., 102

  Stuart, Lady Louisa, 35

  Swanston, John, 65, 196

  Symington, 125


  'Tales of a Grandfather,' 140

  'Talisman,' 126

  Teheran, 153

  Tennyson, 147

  Terry, Daniel, 29

  Teviotdale, 88

  Thomson, Thomas, 81

  Threave Castle, 172

  Toftfields, 41

  Tolbooth of Edinburgh, 37

  Torres Vedras, 80

  Torwoodlee, 88, 128

  Trimontium, 214

  Turn-Again, 5, 41, 173

  Turner, J. M. W., 102

  Tweed, 12, 121


  'Up Yarrow,' 135

  Upper Yarrow, 93

  Usher, John, 65


  Versailles, 154

  Victoria, Queen, 102


  Wallace statue, 44

  Ward, Wilfred Philip, 155

  Warner, Richard, 16

  Wat of Harden, 11

  Watson, Dr. Thomas, 115

  'Waverley,' 219

  Waverley Hydropathic, 5, 169

  Weirdlaw Hill, 106

  Wellington, Duke of, 78

  Wilkie, Sir David, 37, 90, 114

  Williams, Archdeacon, 122

  Wilson, John, 129

  Wollaston, Dr., 54, 91

  Wordsworth, 80, 99, 143, 147
    Dorothy, 15


  Yair, 112

  Yarrow, 98

  'Yarrow Revisited,' 99

  'Yerd-hunger,' 43


THE END


BILLING AND SONS, LTD., PRINTERS, GUILDFORD



FOOTNOTES:

[1] Abbotsford, with the accent on the 'ford,' A modern
pronunciation accentuates the first syllable. This is wrong. Scott
himself said Abbotsfòrd.

[2] Turn-Again, where Ker of Cessford was slain and the victorious
party turned from the pursuit. Skirmish Hill, Charge Law, and
Cock-a-Pistol are other landmarks of the fight. The Waverley
Hydropathic is said to mark the immediate scene of the struggle.

[3] Lockhart and others have fallen (not unnaturally perhaps) into
the error of supposing that 'Clarty Hole' was the real designation.
Cartleyhole, however, was a very old name. Some wag possibly
nicknamed the place 'the Clarty Hole,' which seems to have stuck to
it.

[4] Charles Carpenter, in the Indian Civil Service at Salem, Madras.

[5] George Bullock and Edward Blore, London architects and
furnishers. Atkinson was the artist who arranged the interior of
Abbotsford.

[6] The 'Huntlee Bankis' lie between Melrose and Newtown, on the
eastern slope of the Eildons, on the left side of the highway as it
bends round to the west, going towards, and within about two miles
of, Melrose. The spot is indicated by the famous Eildon Tree Stone.

[7] The place belonged in 1566 to Andrew Ker, one of the murderers
of Rizzio. In 1574 Ker married the widow of John Knox, the
Reformer. Nicol Milne was proprietor in Scott's day.

[8] See, however, facsimile of Allan's 'Gala Day at Abbotsford'--a
sepia sketch--in Scott Centenary Exhibition Catalogue.

[9] In the possession of Captain Dennistoun of Golfhill. The
picture has been frequently on exhibition, and frequently engraved.

[10] See 'Memoir of Mrs. Hemans' and her beautiful poem on 'The
Funeral-Day of Sir Walter Scott.'

[11] See 'Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier,' edited by J.
A. Doyle, for account of her visits to Ashestiel and Abbotsford.

[12] 'Domestic Manners and Private Life of Sir Walter Scott,' first
published 1834; reprinted 1882.

[13] Of other Abbotsford visitors, mention may be made of Skene of
Rubislaw, a friend of long standing; Sir David Brewster, who lived
at Allerly, on the Gattonside bank of the Tweed; William Scrope,
author of 'Days and Nights of Salmon Fishing on the Tweed,' who
leased the Pavilion, 'and lived on terms of affectionate intimacy
with Scott'; G. P. R. James, the novelist, who rented Maxpoffle,
near Bowden; Thomas Hamilton, Lockhart's tenant at Chiefswood;
Lord Cockburn, a frequent guest; J. M. W. Turner, R.A., and a host
of artists who found their way at all seasons to Abbotsford. Of
celebrated visitors _after_ Scott's day, there were Queen Victoria
in 1867; George Eliot in 1845; Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, Edward
FitzGerald, William Howitt, Oliver Wendell Holmes, R. L. Stevenson,
with men and women of note from every land.

[14] Dickens, however, had a somewhat similar experience, though
not, of course, to the like extent.

[15] The Burke and Hare murders were recent.

[16] A reissue of the Poetry, with biographical prefaces, and a
uniform reprint of the Novels, each introduced by an account of the
hints on which it had been founded, and illustrated throughout by
historical and antiquarian annotations.

[17] Scott resided for a month in the Casa Bernini. In 1882 the
Earl of Haddington unveiled a marble tablet in commemoration of the
visit, when the venerable Duc de Salmonetta, with whom Sir Walter
travelled in Italy, was present and took part in the proceedings.

[18] As all the world knows, Scott stood indebted in 1826, on the
Ballantyne-Constable crash, for no less a sum than £120,000, and
a further £10,000 raised on Abbotsford with the view of averting
the disaster. He determined to give every man his own. 'If my
life is spared, nobody shall lose a penny by me,' he said, 'and
this right hand shall work it all off.' Between 1826 and 1832 the
debt was diminished by £66,000, an average of £11,000 a year.
Against the remaining £54,000, a sum of £22,000 was received for
his life insurance, and a generous advance from Cadell enabled his
executors to settle in full with the Ballantyne creditors. By 1847
the loan was reduced to one-half, and the mortgage on the lands
to £8,500. On May 11, 1847, Lockhart writes to Croker: 'I have
finally settled all our Sir Walter's affairs. There remained debt
secured on the lands, £8,500; to Cadell, £16,000; and sundries,
£1,000. I have taken the £1,000 on myself, and Cadell obliterates
the £24,500 on condition of getting the whole remaining copyright
of Scott's works, and also of the Life.' At the time of the failure
Scott surrendered his Collection at Abbotsford to his creditors;
but so pleased were they with his fair and honourable response
to their claims that they requested him to accept the furniture,
plate, paintings, library, and museum, as a mark of sympathy and
appreciation of his conduct. He valued his Collection at £10,000,
and left it in his will to his eldest son, burdened to the extent
of £5,000, for division among his younger children. In order to
effect this, the second Sir Walter would have been obliged to
disperse the Collection but for a subscription raised among a
number of Scott's admirers to purchase the Abbotsford Collection
and hold it in trust for the public and the family. This trust is
vested in the Dean and Council of the Faculty of Advocates, who
are empowered to leave the Collection in the charge and keeping of
Scott's representatives at Abbotsford, or, should occasion arise,
to remove it to some other building. The copyrights purchased by
Cadell in 1847 were sold in 1851 by private bargain for £27,000
to Messrs. Adam and Charles Black, the publishers of the present
volume. Messrs. Black's editions of Scott's works may, therefore,
be trusted to contain the exact text as left in the 'Magnum Opus,'
the MSS. of which are still in their possession.

[19] Scott was an intense favourite with the Darnickers, who
playfully dubbed him 'Duke of Darnick.'

[20] Mr. Lang's 'Life of Lockhart' gives the date as _July_ 14; the
month is probably a printer's error, however. At Dryburgh the date
is _June_ 14; but the Cambusnethan Records read _June_ 12.

[21] There is no foundation for the fanciful etymology of the name
Lockhart, _quasi_ Lock-heart (purely _post facto_). There were
Locards in Scotland long before 1330.

[22] Yet we find Lockhart, at the Jedburgh circuit of 1823,
'pleading,' so Scott says, 'for a clansman of mine (Rob Scott),
who, having sustained an affront from two men on the road home
from Earlston Fair, nobly waylaid and murdered them both,
single-handed.' Lockhart lost his case, and his client was hanged.

[23] Carlyle, curiously, had a fondness for the same verses, and
was frequently quoting them.

[24] 'Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk'--the name was, of course,
borrowed from Scott's 'Paul's Letters' (see vol. ii. for
Abbotsford)--is seldom read nowadays, and there has been no new
edition for years. Still, it is a faithful, if pungent, picture
of the period, and, notwithstanding a certain ill odour, really
contains far more good than evil. There was no first edition, the
first actual publication being called the second edition. Why,
would be difficult to say.

[25] Some of Lockhart's own best work was done at
Chiefswood--_e.g._, 'Valerius,' a romance of the times of Trajan;
'Adam Blair'--a Scottish 'Scarlet Letter'; and several of his
Spanish Ballads.

[26] It may be noted here that while Lockhart 'regarded his
son-in-law's conversion to Romanism as a grief and a humiliation,
nevertheless, the nobleness of his nature, and the deep regard he
always felt for his virtues, prevailed without an effort.'--_Life
of Hope Scott._

[27] Miss Jobson appears to have been a young lady of great beauty.
When George IV. came to Edinburgh, she was one of the maids of
honour at Holyrood. She was Sir Adam Ferguson's niece, and it was
he who practically arranged the match. Following her marriage, she
and her husband lived for a time at Lochore (purchased in 1813 by
her father, a prosperous Dundee merchant). Sir Walter Scott himself
was often there. Reference is made in 'The Abbot' to Ballingry
Kirk. After 1832 Lochore was let to tenants, and in 1867 was sold
for £60,000 to the Lochore Coal Company, in whose hands it still
remains.

[28] A friend who knew her writes: 'Lady Scott was exceedingly
sensitive and reserved. She hardly ever mentioned her husband's
name after his death. She was very kind-hearted, but rarely
expressed her feelings. She was very fond of children. She lived a
quiet and retired life, interesting herself much in politics, and
could talk and argue well on the subject. She was clever and well
read. She would never speak of Abbotsford.'

[29] 'I have the liveliest impression of that good, honest Scotch
face and character, though never in contact with the young man but
once.'--THOMAS CARLYLE.

[30] The entries in the 'Journal' show this strongly,--his
resignation to God's will, and thankfulness for blessings.

[31] In 1868 Gladstone urged Mr. Hope Scott to produce an abridged
version of Lockhart, ignorant, apparently, of Lockhart's own
Abridgment. And in 1871 Hope Scott asks leave to dedicate a reprint
of it to Gladstone as 'one among those who think that Scott still
deserves to be remembered, not as an author only, but as a noble
and vigorous man.'

[32] In addition to Abbotsford, Mr. Hope Scott owned the estate of
Dorlin, on Loch Shiel; the Villa Madona, Hyères, South France; and
property in County Mayo.

[33] Mrs. Maxwell Scott has taken a deep interest in all the
affairs of Abbotsford. Literary in her leanings, quite a number
of volumes have come from her pen: 'The Making of Abbotsford, and
Incidents in Scottish History'; 'Abbotsford and its Treasures';
'The Tragedy of Fotheringay'; 'Life of Henry Schomberg Kerr, Sailor
and Jesuit'; 'Joan of Arc,' and many articles besides, with the
Prefaces to the 'Melrose' edition of the Novels.

[34] See the Abbotsford Library Catalogue, a handsome quarto,
edited by John G. Cochrane for the Maitland and Bannatyne Clubs,
1838.

[35] The slogan of the Scotts of Buccleuch--'A Bellenden!' from
Bellendean, near the head of the Borthwick Water, in Roxburghshire.
The windows show the shields of eight families of the clan.

[36] Sandyknowe appears to be the correct designation of the tower.
In most books on Scott it is generally referred to as Smailholm
Tower. Smailholm, however, had another Keep of that name (now
demolished) close to the village. Many old records and maps read
Sandeknow, etc., and local usage confirms this. Scott himself liked
to speak of Sandyknowe.



                        TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

-Plain print and punctuation errors fixed.





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