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benefit of bis creditors, and on the twenty- , ought to have brought something handsome sixth there is an entry in his journal: to poor Mat. But Sheridan, then manager, “Can we do nothing for creditors with you know, generally paid jokes instead of the goblin drama called • Doom of Devor- cash, and the joke that poor Mat got was, goil'?” His friend James Skene notes after all, not a bad one. Have you heard it? in his unpublished reminiscences what I had not heard it, he proceeded: “Well,
Don't let me tell you a story you know.” As were Sir Walter's plans at the time, and they were disputing about something, and the following passages sets them forth:- Lewis had clinched the argument by propos
The energy with which Sir Walter had set ing to lay a bet about it. I shall lay what about turning his resources, both past and you ought long ago to have paid me for my present, to immediate account, with a view to Sheridan; I never lay large bets; but come,
“ Castle Spectre No, no, Mat,' said prove to his creditors, with as little delay. as I will bet a trifle with you — I'll bet what possible, that all that could depend upon him the “Castle Spectre” was worth."" Now self should be put in operation to retrieve his affairs, made him often reluctant to quit his and promptly, but devil take him, it was all
Constable managed differently; he paid well study, however much he found himself ex: spectral together. Moonshine and no merrihausted. However, the employment served to occupy his mind, and prevent its brooding and as liberally scattered the tares with the
He sowed my field with one hand, over the misfortune that had befallen him;
other. and, joined to the natural contentedness of his disposition, prevented any approach of despondency. “Here is an old effort of mine With the exception of inducing Sir to compose a melodrama” (showing me one Walter to make an advance of £5,000 at day a bundle of papers which he had found a time when the affairs of Hurst & Robin his repositories). “This trifle would have inson and his own firm were irretrievably been long ago destroyed had it not been for involved, Constable did not merit this our poor friend Kinneder, who arrested my censure. He was over-sanguine and rather hand, as he thought it not bad, and for his reckless, fonder of devising grand proj. sake it was kept. I have just read it over, ects than of attending to the plodding deand, do you know, with some satisfaction. Faith, I have known many worse things make tails of business; yet he was just the sort their way very well in the world; so, God of publisher required by Sir Walter, and willing, it shall e'en see the light, if it can do not a little of his marvellous success was aught in the hour of need to help the hand due to Constable. The real blunder and that fashioned it." Upon asking the name almost inexcusable action on Sir Walter's of this production, he said, “I suspect I must side consisted in his becoming a partner, change it, having already forestalled it by the first in the firm of James Ballantyne & Co., *Fortunes of Nigel.' I had called it the printers, and next in that of John BallanFortunes of Devorgoil, but we must not
type & Co., booksellers. In each case he begin to double up in that way, for if you leave anything hanging loose, you may be was prompted to join the Ballantynes by sure that some malicious devil will tug at it. his desire to render them a service. He I think I shall call it "The Doom of Devor- bad known one of them as a boy, and he
It will make a volume of itself, and I had helped James Ballantyne with his do not see why it should not come out by par- purse as well as his advice to establish ticular desire as a fourth volume to 'Wood- himself as a printer in Edinburgh. stock. They have some sort of connection, After a few years of struggle the puband it would not be a difficult matter to bind lishing firm was dissolved. More than the connection a little closer. As the market once Sir Walter wished to withdraw from goes, I have no doubt of the Bibliophilist the entangling alliance with James, but he pronouncing it worth £1,000 or £1,500.” I asked him if he meant it for the stage.
never gave effect to his desire. Like other “No, no; the stage is a sorry job, that course
men who have got into a false position, will not do for these hard days; besides, Sir Walter found it easier to remain than there is too much machinery in the piece for to extricate himself. When the day of the stage:
I observed that I was not sure reckoning came, he was made to pay of that, for pageant and machinery was the dearly for his mistake. order of the day, and had Shakespeare been It is strange that neither in the “Life” of this date he might have been left to die a by Lockhart nor in Sir Walter's journal deer-stealer. “Well, then, with all my heart, is an account given of Constable's project if they can get the beast to lead or to drive; of a new edition of Shakespeare in ten they may bring it on the stage if they like. It is a sort of goblin tale, and so was the Cas- volumes. In 1822 he first suggested the ile Spectre,' which had its run.” I asked matter to Sir Walter, and after a time it him if the “Castle Spectre ” had yielded was agreed that he should edit the new Lewis much. “Little of that, in fact to its edition in concert with Lockhart. . The author absolutely nothing, and yet its merits I sum to be paid by Constable for the work
was £2,500. On the 25th of January, | migration, that I repose much confidence in 1825, Constable wrote to Mr. Robinson, Sophia's tact and good sense. Her manners of Hurst & Robinson, saying among other are good, and have the appearance of being things :
perfectly natural. She is quite conscious of
the limited range of her musical talents, and It gives me great pleasure to tell you that never makes them common or produces them the first sheet of Sir Walter Scott's “ Shake out of place - a rare virtue; moreover, she is speare ” is now in type ... it will make ten proud enough, and will not be easily netted volumes. The first volume contains the life and patronized by any of that class of ladies of Shakespeare, by Sir Walter. He is to be who may be called lion-providers for town assisted in the notes by Mr. Lockhart, who and country. is perhaps the best philologist of the present
The foregoing passage not only supday.
plies a pleasant characterization of Sir Mr. Thomas Constable, in the “ Memo- Walter's daughter and his son-in-law, but rial” of his father, furnishes the following it shows that Disraeli had paid a visit to piece of information :
Scotland in 1825, and might have conThree volumes of the edition were com- versed with Scott. The following entry pleted before the sad crisis in 1826, but then in his journal on the rith of June, 1827, laid aside; and ultimately, I have been told, shows that he had read, without being the sheets were sold in London as waste paper! greatly struck with “Vivian Grey," which It is even doubted whether one copy be now had appeared anonymously not long be. in existence.
I think it possible that the manuscript Reading, among the rest, an odd volume might not have been destroyed; at any of “Vivian Grey; ” clever, but not so much rate a search should be made for it. as to make me, in this sultry weather, go up
A week after Sir Walter began to keep stairs to the drawing-room to seek the other a journal he was highly gratified to state volumes. Ah! villain, but you smoked when that Lockhart had been appointed editor you read., Well, madam, perhaps I think the of the Quarterly Review, and he gives better of the book for that reason. the following particulars :
Another notable man, who happily still
survives, visited Edinburgh when he was Some time since John Murray entered into a contract with my son-in-law, John G. Lock- a youth, and is referred to, on the 31st of hart, giving him, on certain ample conditions, January, 1827, in a way which proves that the management and editorship of the Quar- he made a good impression upon Sir terly Review, for which they could scarcely Walter :find a fitter person, both from talents and character. It seems that Barrow and one or marle Street, breakfasted with me. English
Young Murray, son of Mr. M. in Albetwo stagers have taken alarm at Lockhart's boys have this advantage, that they are wellcharacter as a satirist, and his supposed ac- bred, and can converse when ours are regularcession to some of the freaks in Blackwood's built cubs. Magazine, and down comes young D’Israeli to Scotland imploring, Lockhart to remove
When Sir Walter was busied and anx. objections, and so forth. I have no idea of ious about arranging his affairs in order telling all and sundry that my son-in-law is not that his creditors might not suffer, his a slanderer, or a silly, thoughtless lad, al- mind was distracted with a measure inthough he was six or seven years ago engaged troduced into Parliament by his political in some light satires. It is odd enough friends and allies. The government asthat many years since I had the principal cribed much of the mania for speculation share in erecting this Review, which has since to the issue of paper currency by private been so prosperous, and now it is placed banks, and in particular to the issue of under the management of my
son-in-law upon the most honorable principle of detur digniori. notes for one pound, and it was resolved Yet there are sad drawbacks as far as family to hinder this by legislation. The powers comfort is concerned. Today is Sunday, of the private banks were curtailed, and when they always dined with us, and gener- the issue of notes for less than five pounds ally met a family friend or two, but we are no was forbidden in the bill introduced into longer to expect them. In the country, the House of Commons. The Scottish where their little cottage was within a mile or banks were dealt with in the same way as two of Abbotsford, we shall miss their society the English. All Scotland was in a ferstill more, for Chiefswood was the perpetual object of our walks, rides, and drives. Lock- ment as soon as the details of the measure hart is such an excellent family man, so fond were made known. No person took the of his wife and child, that I hope all will go proposed legislation more to heart than well. . . . I have the less dread, or rather Sir Walter Scott, and though his own the less anxiety about the consequence of this party was in office, he set himself to decounce the bill in a series of letters to ing being an exception. At Abbotsford the Edinburgh Weekly Journal, which on the 29th of May he wrote :were signed Malachi Malagrowther. He was rewarded with the success achieved
To-day I leave, for Edinburgh, this house by Swift when he wrote the “
of sorrow. In the midst of such distress I
Drapier have the great pleasure to see Anne regaining Letters to denounce Wood's halfpence, her health, and showing both patience and as the Scottish banks were exempted from steadiness of mind. God continue this for the operation of the bill and one pound my own sake as well as hers. Much of my ootes remained in circulation. The result future comfort must depend upon her. was to increase Sir Walter's popularity, and the banks which had been pressing
It is gratifying to add that his hope was bardly upon him now treated him with fulfilled, his daughter watching over him more consideration. There was something with care and tenderness in his declining comic in the situation of which he was years. conscious. Hence he wrote in his jour- Nothing gave Sir Walter greater connal:
cern after losing his wife than the delicate
health of his grandson. On the 24th of Whimsical enough that when I was trying May, 1827, he wrote: “A good thought to animate Scotland against the currency bill, came into my head: to write stories for John Gibson brought me the deed of trust; little Johnnie Lockhart from the history of assigning my whole estate, to be subscribed by me;
so that I am turning patriot, and Scotland, like those taken from the his. taking charge of the affairs of the country, on tory of England. Such was the origin of the very day I was proclaiming myself inca- the “ Tales of a Grandfather," which had pable of managing my own. [He adds an apt the warmest reception from the public of reference to Arthur Murphy's farce, “The any work by him since “ Ivanhoe." As Upholsterer, or What News ?] What of Lockhart put it, Sir Walter “had solved that? The eminent politician Quidnunc, was for the first time the problem of narrating in the same condition.
history, so as at once to excite and gratify A more serious matter preyed upon his the curiosity of youth, and please and inmind at the time when all its energies struct ihe wisest of mature minds.” When were in a state of tension. Lady Scott's revising these “Tales” for the press in healtb then gave him great concern. The January, 1828, he wrote: evil fortune which had befallen him was a
I have made great additions to volume first still more crushing biow to her. She did and several of these “Tales; ” and I care not not comfort him when he much needed who knows it, I think well of them. Nay, I consolation. Writing before the crash will hash history with anybody, be he who he bad actually occurred, but when he be- will. I do not know but it would be wise to lieved it could not be averted, he says; let romantic composition rest, and turn my “Another person did not afford me all the mind to the history of England, France, and sympathy I expected, perhaps because I Ireland, to be da capo rota'd, as well as that seemed to need little support, yet that is of Scotland. Men would look at me as an pot her nature, which is generous and author for Mr. Newbery's shop in Paul's kind.” When his forebodings were real- Virginibus puerisque. I would as soon com
Churchyard. I should care little for that. ized, he says:
pose histories for boys and girls, which may A painful scene after dinner, and another be useful, as fictions for children of a larger after supper, endeavoring to convince these growth, which can at best be only idle folk's poor dear creatures [Lady Scott and Anne, entertainment. But write what I will, or to his younger daughter) that they must not look whom I will, I am doggedly determined to for miracles, but consider the misfortune as write myself out of the present scrape by any certain, and only to be lessened by patience labor that is fair and honest. and labor.
Sir Walter was unfaltering in his deterOn the 11th of May, 1826, his profes- mination to work for his creditors. When sional duties obliged him to go to Edin- offered from £1,500 to £2,000 a year to burgh, leaving his wife at Abbotsford. conduct a journal, he declined, writing at Before going he wrote; “To what scene I the time, “A large income is not my obmay suddenly be recalled, it wrings my ject; I must clear my debts." heart to think.” He received a message The following entry in his journal shows on the fifteenth that his wife was dead. that his son-in-law had given him good His feelings at the time, on his return and advice concerning his style :at the funeral, are pathetically set forth
J. G. L. points out some solecisms in my in his journal, and most of the passages stýle, as "amid” for “amidst,” “ bave been quoted by Lockhart, the follow. for " scarcely." • Whose,” he says, is the
proper genitive of “which ;” only at such | Lockhart's article on Sheridan the complitimes as “ which” retains its quality of im- ments which are paid to his “ Life of personification. Well! I will try to remem. Burns.” The following entry was made ber all this; but after all I write grammar as
on the 28th of May, 1828: I speak, to make my meaning known, and a solecism in point of composition, like a Scotch I have amused myself to-day with reading word in speaking, is indifferent to me. I Lockhart's “Life of Burns," which is very never learned grammar; and not only Sir well written in fact, an admirable thing. Hugh Evans, but even Mrs. Quickly might He has judiciously slurred over his vices and puzzle me about Giney's case and horum, follies; for although Currie, I myself, and harum, horum. I believe the Bailiff in the others have not said a word more on that “Good-natured Man" is not far wrong when subject than is true, yet as the dead corpse is
“One man has one way of expressing straightened, swathed, and made decent, so himself, and another another, and that is all ought the character of such an inimitable the difference between them.”
genius as Burns to be tenderly handled after While Lockhart did not hesitate to crit. death. The knowledge of his vicious weakicise Sir Walter, the latter was ready to the well disposed, and of' triumph to the
nesses or vices is only a subject of sorrow to return the compliment, and doubtless he
profligate. spoke to Lockhart in the strain which he used in his journal when writing about Sir Walter's political opinions did not him. Having read the sixty-sixth number prevent him from associating with others of the Quarterly, in which Lockhart re- who thought differently; indeed, these viewed Moore's “Life of Sheridan,” Sir opinions were most active at election time, Walter writes:
and in particular at an election in his own Don't like Lockhart's article on Sheridan's county. Towards the end of his life he life. There is no breadth in it, no general was greatly concerned about the state of views, the whole flung away in smart but the country, and he wrote a fourth letter party criticism. Now, no one can take more signed Malachi Malagrowther, which he general and liberal views of literature than hoped would avert the Reform Bill, but J. G. L. But he lets himself too easily into which his friends persuaded him to dethat advocatism of style, which is that of a stroy. In his younger and robust days he pleader, not a judge or a critic, and is partic- was not an active partisan, and though he ularly unsatisfactory to the reader.
hated the Whigs and opposed them on Though a strong party man and theoret. the hustings, he was ready to entertain ically a Tory among Tories, yet Sir Wal them at Abbotsford and to be entertained ter was most tolerant and fair-minded in in turn. He records a dinner of the lead. practice. He disliked carrying anything ing Whigs at which he was present, and to an extreme, even his own political opin- adds: “I do not know why it is that when ions. When Lockhart became editor of
I am with a party of my opposition friends, the Quarterly, it was feared that Southey the day is often merrier than when with would raise objections and refuse to write our own set.”. The point upon which he for the review. When Sir Walter was
and his opposition friends were entirely at informed of this he wrote in his journal :
variance was the part played by the sov
ereign in our constitutional monarchy. In Lockhart will have hard words with him, sentiment he was a Jacobite, yet he had for, great as Southey's powers are, he has no quarrel with the house of Hanover and not the art to make them work popularly; he he was one of the few men of note who is often diffuse, and frequently sets much conscientiously respected George IV. as value on minute and unimportant facts, and
a king. Moreover his admiration for useless pieces of abstruse knowledge. Living too exclusively in a circle where he is idolized George III. was extreme, and long after both for his genius and the excellence of his his death he made this entry in his journal disposition, he has acquired strong prejudices, on the 4th of June, 1827; “The birthday though all of an honorable and upright cast of our good old king. It was wrong not He rides his High Church hobby too hard, to keep up the thing as it was of yore, and it will not do to run a tilt upon it against with dinners, and claret, and squibs, and all the world. Gifford used to crop his articles crackers, and saturnalia." Yet he was considerably, and they bear mark of it, being not wholly blind to the old ing's weak. sometimes décousues. Southey said that Gilford cut out his middle joints. When John
nesses, and he wrote on the 14th of Octocomes to use the carving-knife, I fear Dr. told me that the late king made it at one
ber in the same year: “Lord Bathurst Southey will not be so tractable.
time a point of conscience to read every It is right to give by way of pendant word of every act of Parliament before to Sir Walter's depreciatorý remarks on giving his assent to it. There was a noix.
“ As to
ture of principle and consense in this.' very often the dictation of Caleb Balderstone's He tells a story of George II. of a very and the old cooper's best jokes was mingled different kind. Old George II. was, as is with groans extorted from him by pains; but well known, extremely passionate.
that when he, Mr. L., endeavored to prevail these occasions his small stock of English upon him to take a little respite, the only antotally failed him, and he used to express request that he would see that the doors were
swer he could obtain from Mr. Scott was a bis indignation in the following form : carefully shut, so that the expressions of his “G-d-ame, who I am? Got d— you, agony might not reach his family. who you be ?"
stopping work, Laidlaw,” he said, “you When absorbed with the work in haod, know that is wholly out of the question. and especially when he was toiling in What followed upon these exertions, made in order that his creditors might be paid, circumstances so very singular, appears to Sir Walter gave little heed to politics, and me to exhibit one of the most singular chapthis is shown by.an entry on the 18th of ters in the history of the human intellect. May, 1827 :
The book having been published before Mr.
Scott was able to rise from his bed, he Tom Campbell called, warm from his Glas- assured me that, when it was put into his gow rectorship; he is looking very well. He hands, he did not recollect one single inciseemed surprised that I did not know any. He by no means desired me to understand,
dent, character, or conversation it contained. thing about the contentions of Tories, Whigs, and Radicals in the great commercial city.° 1 nor did I understand, that his illness had have other eggs on the spit.
erased from his memory all or any of the
original family with which he had been acOne of the passages which Mr. Douglas quainted from the period probably of his has extracted from James Ballantyne's boyhood. These of course remained rooted unpublished memoranda contains a fuller where they had ever been, or, to speak more account than Lockhart supplied of the explicitly, where explicitness is so entirely extraordinary conditions under which important, he remembered the existence of some of Sir Walter's best novels were
the father and mother, of the son and daughproduced. In his journal he made an and the attack made by his bride upon the
ter, the rival lovers, the compulsory marriage, entry to the effect that:
unhappy bridegroom, with the general catasBishop, the composer, was very ill when trophe of the whole. All these things he he wrote “ The Chough and Crow," and other recollected, just as he did before he took to music for “Guy Mannering.” Singular ! but his bed, but the marvel is that he recollected I do think illness, if not too painful, unseals | literally nothing else — not a single character the mental eye, and renders the talents more
woven by the romancer - not one of the many acute, in the study of the fine arts at least. scenes and points of exquisite humor, nor To this passage the illustration from writer of the work.
anything with which he was connected as
“For a long time I felt James Ballantyne is appended :
myself very uneasy,” he said, “ in the course During the progress of composing “ The of my reading, always kept upon the qui vive Heart of Midlothian,” “ The Bride of Lam- lest I should be startled by something altomermoor, ” and “ Legend of Montrose"
gether glaring and fantastic; however, I recperiod of many months - Mr. Scott's health ollected that the printing had been performed had become extremely indifferent, and was by James Ballantyne, who, I was sure would often supposed to place him in great danger. not have permitted anything of this sort to But it would hardly be credited, were it not pass.”. Well," ” I said, “
upon the whole, for the notoriety of the fact, that although how did you like it?" “Oh,” he said, “I one of the symptoms of his illness was pain felt it monstrous gross and grotesque, to be of the most acute description, yet he never
sure; but still the worst of it made me laugh, allowed it to interrupt his labors. The only and I trusted, therefore, the good-natured difference it produced that I am aware of was public wou d not be less indulgent.'” I do its causing him to employ the hand of an not think I ever ventured to lean to this singuamanuensis in place of his own. Indeed, lar subject again; but you may depend upon during the greater part of the day at this it, that what I have said is as distinctly reperiod he was confined to his bed. The per- ported as if it had been taken down at the son employed for this purpose was the re-inoment in shorthand. I could not otherwise spectable and intelligent Mr. Wm. Laidlaw, have imparted the phenomenon at all. who acted for him in this capacity in the
It is always interesting to learn what country, and I think also attended him to town.”'I have often been present with Mr. the critic is such a man as Sir Walter his
one novelist thinks of another, and when Laidlaw during the short intervals of his
comments receive special attention. labor, and it was deeply affecting to hear the account he gave of his patron's severe suffer. Some of his remarks on Jane Austen ings, and the indomitable spirit which enabled which he wrote in his journal were quoted him to overmaster them. `He told me that by Lockhart, and are familiar to many