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Scott of Gala, and Mr Pringle of Torwoodlee. The progress of the western Reformers by degrees led even the most important Whigs in that district to exert themselves in the organization of volunteer regiments, both mounted and dismounted; and, when it became generally suspected that Glasgow and Paisley maintained a dangerous correspondence with the refractory colliers of Northumberland - Scott and his friends the Lairds of Torwoodlee and Gala determined to avail themselves of the loyalty and spirit of the men of Ettrick and Teviotdale, and proposed first raising a company of sharpshooters among their own immediate neighbours, and afterwards — this plan receiving every encouragement—a legion or brigade upon a large scale, to be called the Buccleuch Legion. During November and December 1819, these matters formed the chief daily care and occupation of the author of Ivanhoe ; and though he was still obliged to dictate most of the chapters of his novel, we shall see that, in case it should be necessary for the projected levy of Foresters to march upon Tynedale, he was prepared to place himself at their head. • He had again intended, as soon as he should have finished Ivanhoe, to proceed to London, and receive his baronetcy; but as that affair had been crossed at Easter by his own illness, so at Christmas it was again obliged to be put off in consequence of a heavy series of domestic afflictions. Within one week Scott lost his excellent mother, his uncle Dr Daniel Rutherford, Professor of Botany in the University of Edinburgh—and their sister, Christian Rutherford, already often mentioned as one of the dearest and most esteemed of all his friends and connexions.
The following letters require no further introduction or comment :
“ To the Lord Montagu, Buxton.
“ Abbotsford, 12th Nov. 1819. “ My Dear Lord,
* * * * * * I wish I had any news to send your Lordship; but the best is, we are all quiet here. The Galashiels weavers, both men and masters, have made their political creed known to me, and have sworn themselves anti-radical. They came in solemn procession, with their banners, and my own piper at their head, whom they had borrowed for the nonce. But the Tweed being in flood, we could only communicate like Wallace and Bruce across the Carron. However, two deputies came through in the boat, and made me acquainted with their loyal purposes. The evening was crowned with two most distinguished actions— the weavers refusing, in the most peremptory manner, to accept of a couple of guineas to buy whisky, and the renowned John of Skye, piper in ordinary to the Laird of Abbotsford, no less steadily refusing a very handsome collection,
which they offered him for his minstrelsy. All this
Come saddle the horses, and call up our men,
And we'll show them the bonnets of bonny Dundee.'* “ I am rather too old for that work now, and I cannot look forward to it with the sort of feeling that resembled pleasure—as I did in my younger and more healthy days. However, I have got a good following here, and will endeavour to keep them together till times mend.
“My respectful compliments attend Lady Montagu, and I am always, with the greatest regard, your Lordship’s very faithful WALTER SCOTT.”
“ To Cornet Walter Scott, 18th Hussars.
“ Edinburgh, 13th Nov. 1819. “ Dear Walter,
“ I am much surprised and rather hurt at not hearing from you for so long a while. You ought
* See Scott's Poetical Works, vol. xii. p. 195.
to remember that, however pleasantly the time may be passing with you, we at home have some right to expect that a part of it (a very small part will serve the turn) should be dedicated, were it but for the sake of propriety, to let us know what you are about. I cannot say I shall be flattered by finding myself under the necessity of again complaining of neglect. To write once a-week to one or other of us is no great sacrifice, and it is what I earnestly pray you to do.
“ We are to have great doings in Edinburgh this winter. No less than Prince Gustavus of Sweden is to pass the season here, and do what Princes call studying. He is but half a Prince either, for this Northern Star is somewhat shorn of his beams. His father was, you know, dethroned by Buonaparte, at least by the influence of his arms, and one of his generals, Bernadotte, made heir of the Swedish throne in his stead. But this youngster, I suppose, has his own dreams of royalty, for he is nephew to the Emperor of Russia (by the mother's side), and that is a likely connexion to be of use to him, should the Swedish nobles get rid of Bernadotte, as it is said they wish to do. Lord Melville has recommended the said Prince particularly to my attention, though I do not see how I can do much for him.
“ I have just achieved my grand remove from Abbotsford to Edinburgh-a motion which you know I do not make with great satisfaction. We had the
Abbotsford hunt last week. The company was small, as the newspapers say, but select, and we had excellent sport, killing eight hares. We coursed on Gala’s ground, and he was with us. The dinner went off with its usual alacrity, but we wanted you and Sally to ride and mark for us.
“ I enclose another letter from Mrs Dundas of Arniston. I am afraid you have been careless in not delivering those I formerly forwarded, because in one of them, which Mrs Dundas got from a friend, there was enclosed a draught for some money. I beg you will be particular in delivering any letters intrusted to you, because though the good-nature of the writers may induce them to write to be of service to you, yet it is possible that they may, as in this instance, add things which are otherwise of importance to their correspondents. It is probable that you may have picked up among your military friends the idea that the mess of a regiment is all in all sufficient to itself; but when you see a little of the world you will be satisfied that none but pedants for there is pedantry in all professions—herd exclusively together, and that those who do so are laughed at in real good company. This you may take on the authority of one who has seen more of life and society, in all its various gradations, from the highest to the lowest, than a whole hussar regimental mess, and who would be much pleased by knowing that you reap the benefit of an experience which has raised him from