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bust is one of the finest things he ever did. It is quite the fashion to go to see it—there's for you. Yours, my dearest love, with the most sincere affection.
“ To the Same.
“ March 27, Piccadilly. “ My Dear Charlotte,
“I have the pleasure to say that Lord Sidmouth has promised to dismiss me in all my honours by the 30th, so that I can easily be with you by the end of April; and you and Sophia may easily select the 28th, 29th, or 30th, for the ceremony. I have been much fêted here, as usual, and had a very quiet dinner at Mr Arbuthnot's yesterday with the Duke of Wellington, where Walter heard the great Lord in all his glory talk of war and Waterloo. Here is a hellish — yes, literally a hellish bustle. My head turns round with it. The whole mob of the Middlesex blackguards pass through Piccadilly twice a-day, and almost drive me mad with their noise and vociferation.* Pray do, my dear Charlotte, write soon. You know those at a distance are always anxious to hear from home. I beg you to say what would give you pleasure that I could bring from this place, and
* The general election was going on.
whether you want any thing from Mrs Arthur for yourself, Sophia, or Anne; also what would please little Charles. You know you may stretch a point on this occasion. Richardson says your honours will he gazetted on Saturday; certainly very soon, as the King, I believe, has signed the warrant. When, or how I shall see him, is not determined, but I suppose I shall have to go to Brighton. My best love attends the girls, little Charles, and all the quadrupeds.
“ I conclude that the marriage will take place in Castle Street, and want to know where they go, &c. All this you will have to settle without my wise head; but I shall be terribly critical — so see you do all right. I am always, dearest Charlotte, most affectionately yours,
WALTER Scott.” /" For the Lady Scott of Abbotsford - to be.”)
“ To Mr James Ballantyne, Printer, St John's
“ 28th March, 96 Piccadilly. “ Dear James,
“ I am much obliged by your attentive letter. Unquestionably Longman & Co. sell their books at subscription price, because they have the first of the market, and only one-third of the books ; so that, as they say with us, • let them care that come abint. This I knew and foresaw, and the ragings of the booksellers, considerably aggravated by the displeasure of Constable and his house, are ridiculous enough ; and as to their injuring the work, if it have a principle of locomotion in it, they cannot stop it — if it has not, they cannot make it move. I care not a bent twopence about their quarrels ; only I say now, as I always said, that Constable's management is best, both for himself and the author; and, had we not been controlled by the narrowness of discount, I would put nothing past him. I agree with the public in thinking the work not very interesting ; but it was written with as much care as the others — that is, with no care at all ; and,
“On these points I am Atlas. I cannot write much in this bustle of engagements, with Sir Francis's mob hollowing under the windows. I find that even this light composition demands a certain degree of silence, and I might as well live in a cotton-mill. Lord Sidmouth tells me I will obtain leave to quit London by the 30th, which will be delightful news, for I find I cannot bear late hours and great society so well as formerly; and yet it is a fine thing to hear politics talked of by Ministers of State, and war discussed by the Duke of Wellington.
“ My occasions here will require that John or you send me two notes payable at Coutts' for £300 each, at two and three months' date. I will write to Constable for one at £350, which will settle my affairs
here-- which, with fees and other matters, come, as you may think, pretty heavy. Let the bills be drawn payable at Coutts', and sent without delay. I will receive them safe if sent under Mr Freeling's cover. Mention particularly what you are doing, for now is your time to push miscellaneous work. Pray take great notice of inaccuracies in the Novels. They are very very many—some mine, I dare say — but all such as you may and ought to correct. If you would call on William Erskine (who is your well-wisher, and a little mortified he never sees you), he would point out some of them.
“ Do you ever see Lockhart? You should consult him on every doubt where you would refer to me if present. Yours very truly,
“ You say nothing of John, yet I am anxious about him.”
“ To Mr Laidlaw, Kaeside, Melrose.
“ London, April 2, 1820. “ Dear Willie,
“ I had the great pleasure of your letter, which carries me back to my own braes, which I love so dearly, out of this place of bustle and politics. When I can see my Master--and thank him for many acts of favour - I think I will bid adieu to London for ever; for neither the hours nor the society suit me
so well as a few years since. There is too much necessity for exertion, too much brilliancy and excitation from morning till night.
“ I am glad the sheep are away, though at a loss. I should think the weather rather too dry for planting, judging by what we have here. Do not let Tom go on sticking in plants to no purpose — better put in firs in a rainy week in August. Give my service to him. I expect to be at Edinburgh in the end of this month, and to get a week at Abbotsford before the Session sits down. I think you are right to be in no hurry to let Broomielees. There seems no complaint of wanting money here just now, so I hope things will come round.— Ever yours, truly,
. WALTER Scott."
“ To Miss Scott, Castle Street, Edinburgh.
“ London, April 3, 1820. “ Dear Sophia,
“ I have no letter from any one at home excepting Lockhart, and he only says you are all well ; and I trust it is so. I have seen most of my old friends, who are a little the worse for the wear, like myself. A five years' march down the wrong side of the hill tells more than ten on the right side. Our good friends here are kind as kind can be, and no frumps. They lecture the Cornet a little, which he takes with becoming deference and good humour.