_July_ 1. - Mr. Daveis breakfasted with me. On nearer acquaintance, I was
more galled by some portion of continental manners than I had been at
first, so difficult is it for an American to correct his manner to our
ideas of perfect good-breeding.
390] I did all that was right, however,
and asked Miss Ferrier, whom he admires prodigiously, to meet him at
dinner. Hither came also a young friend, so I have done the polite thing
every way. Thomson also dined with us. After dinner I gave my strangers
an airing round the Corstorphine hills, and returned by the Cramond
road. I sent to Mr. Gibson, Cadell's project for Lammas, which raises
£15,000 for a dividend of 3s. to be then made. I think the trustees
should listen to this, which is paying one-half of my debt.
_July_ 2. - Have assurances from John Gibson that £15,000 should be
applied as I proposed. If this can be repeated yearly up to 1835 the
matter is ended, and well ended; yet, woe's me! the public change their
taste, and their favourites get old. Yet if I was born in 1771, I shall
only be sixty in 1831, and, by the same reasoning, sixty-four in 1835,
so I may rough it out, yet be no Sir Robert Preston. At any rate, it is
all I have to trust to.
I did a morning's task, and was detained late at the Court; came home,
ate a hearty dinner, slumbered after it in spite of my teeth, and made
a poor night's work of it. One's mind gets so dissipated by the fagging,
yet insignificant, business of the offices; my release comes soon, but I
fear for a term only, for I doubt if they will carry through the Court
_July_ 3. - My day began at seven as usual. Sir Adam came to breakfast. I
read Southey's edition of the _Pilgrim's Progress,_ and think of
reviewing the same. I would I had books at hand. To the Court, and
remained till two; then went to look at the drawings for repairing
Murthly, the house of Sir John or James Stewart, now building by
Gillespie Graham, and which he has planned after the fashion of James
VI.'s reign, a kind of bastard Grecian - very fanciful and pretty
though. Read Hone's _Every-day Book_, and with a better opinion of him
than I expected from his anti-religious frenzy. We are to dine with the
Which we did accordingly, meeting Mr. and Mrs. Strange, Lord Forbes, and
_July_ 4. - Was a complete and serious day of work, only interrupted in
the evening by - - , who, with all the freedom and ease of continental
manners, gratified me with his gratuitous presence. Yet it might have
been worse, for his conversation is well enough, but it is strange want
of tact to suppose one must be alike welcome to a stranger at all hours
of the day; but I have stuffed the portfolio, so do not grudge
_July_ 5. - I was up before seven and resumed my labours, and by
breakfast-time I had reached p. 133; it may reach to 160 or 170 as I
find space and matter. Buchanan came and wrote about fifteen of his
pages, equal to mine in proportion of three to one. We are therefore
about p. 138, and in sight of land. At two o'clock went to bury poor
George Burnet, the son of Gilbert Innes, in as heavy a rain as I ever
saw. Was in Shandwick Place again by four and made these entries. I
dine to-day with the Club; grant Heaven it fair before six o'clock!
We met at Barry's, and had a gallant dinner, but only few of our
number was present. Alas! sixty does not rally to such meetings with the
alacrity of sixteen, and our Club has seen the space between these
terms. I was home and abed when Charles arrived and waked me. Poor
fellow! he is doing very well with his rheumatic limbs.
_July_ 6. - I did little this morning but correct some sheets, and was at
the Court all morning. About two I called at Mr. Cadell's, and I learned
the dividend was arranged. Sir Adam fell in with us, and laid anchors to
windward to get an invitation to Cockenzie for next year, being struck
with my life-like description of a tiled haddock. I came home much
fagged, slept for half-an-hour (I don't like this lethargy), read _I
Promessi Sposi_, and was idle. Miss Kerr dined and gave us music.
_July_ 7. - This morning corrected proofs, with which J.B. proceeds
lazily enough, and alleges printing reasons, of which he has plenty at
hand. Though it was the Teind Wednesday the devil would have it that
this was a Court of Session day also for a cause of mine; so there I sat
hearing a dozen cases of augmentation of stipend pleaded, and wondering
within myself whether anything can be predicated of a Scottish parish,
in which there cannot be discovered a reason for enlarging the
endowments of the minister. I returned after two, with a sousing shower
for companion; I got very wet and very warm. But shall we go mourn for
that, my dear? I rather like a flaw of weather; it shows something
of the old man is left. I had Mr. Buchanan to help pack my papers and
things, and got through part of that unpleasant business.
_July_ 8. - I had my letters as usual, but no proofs till I was just
going out. Returning from the Court met Skene, who brought me news that
our visit was at an end for Saturday, poor Colin having come to town
very unwell. I called to see him, and found him suffering under a degree
of slow palsy, his spirits depressed, and his looks miserable, worse a
great deal than when I last saw him. His wife and daughter were in the
room, dreadfully distressed. We spoke but a few words referring to
recovery and better days, which, I suspect, neither of us hoped.
For I looked only on the ghost of my friend of many a long day; and he,
while he said to see me did him good, must have had little thought of
our meeting under better auspices. We shall, of course, go straight to
Abbotsford, instead of travelling by Harcus as we intended.
_July_ 9. - Two distressed damsels on my hands, one, a friend of Harriet
Swinton, translates from the Italian a work on the plan of _I Promessi
Sposi_, but I fear she must not expect much from the trade. A
translation with them is a mere translation - that is, a thing which can
be made their own at a guinea per sheet, and they will not have an
excellent one at a higher rate. Second is Miss Young, daughter of the
excellent Dr. Young of Hawick. If she can, from her father's letters and
memoranda, extract materials for a fair simple account of his life, I
would give my name as editor, and I think it might do, but for a large
publication - Palabras, neighbour Dogberry, the time is by. Dined
with the Bannatyne, where we had a lively party. Touching the songs, an
old _roué_ must own an improvement in the times, when all paw-paw words
are omitted, and naughty innuendos _gazés_. One is apt to say -
"Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art,
A good mouth-filling oath, and leave 'in sooth,'
And such protest of pepper-gingerbread."
I think there is more affectation than improvement in the new mode.
_July_ 10. - Rose rather late: the champagne and turtle, I suppose, for
our reform includes no fasting. Then poor Ardwell came to breakfast;
then Dr. Young's daughter. I have projected with Cadell a plan of her
father's life, to be edited by me. If she does but tolerably, she
may have a fine thing of it. Next came the Court, where sixty judgments
were pronounced and written by the Clerks, I hope all correctly, though
an error might well happen in such a crowd, and - - , one of the best men
possible, is beastly stupid. Be that as it may, off came Anne, Charles,
and I for Abbotsford. We started about two, and the water being too deep
didn't arrive till past seven; dinner, etc., filled up the rest of the
_July_ 11, _Abbotsford_. - Corrected my proofs and the lave of it till
about one o'clock. Then started for a walk to Chiefswood, which I will
take from station to station, with a book in my pouch. I have begun
_Lawrie Todd_, which ought, considering the author's undisputed talents,
to have been better. He might have laid Cooper aboard, but he follows
far behind. No wonder: Galt, poor fellow, was in the King's Bench when
he wrote it. No whetter of genius is necessity, though said to be the
mother of invention.
_July_ 12. - Another wet day, but I walked twice up and down the terrace,
and also wrote a handsome scrap of copy, though mystified by the want of
my books, and so forth. Dr. and Mrs. Lockhart and Violet came to
luncheon and left us to drive on to Peebles. I read and loitered and
longed to get my things in order. Got to work, however, at seven in the
_July_ 13. - Now "what a thing it is to be an ass!" I have a letter
from a certain young man, of a sapient family, announcing that his
sister had so far mistaken my attentions as to suppose I was only
prevented by modesty from stating certain wishes and hopes, etc. The
party is a woman of rank: so far my vanity may be satisfied. But to
think I would wish to appropriate a grim grenadier made to mount guard
at St. James's! The Lord deliver me! I excused myself with little
picking upon the terms, and there was no occasion for much delicacy in
repelling such an attack.
_July_ 14. - The Court of Session Bill is now committed in the House of
Lords, so it fairly goes on this season, and I have, I suppose, to look
for my _congé_. I can hardly form a notion of the possibility that I am
not to return to Edinburgh. My clerk Buchanan came here, and assists me
to finish the _Demonology Letters_, and be d - d to them. But it is done
to their hand. Two ladies, Mrs. Latouche of Dublin, and her niece, Miss
Boyle, came to spend a day or two. The aunt is a fine old lady; the
conversation that of a serious person frightened out of her wits by the
violence and superstition of our workers of miracles in the west.
Miss Boyle is a pretty young woman, rather quiet for an Irish lass.
_July_ 16. - We visited at Lessudden yesterday, and took Mrs. Latouche
thither. To-day, as they had left us, we went alone to Major John's
house of Ravenswood and engaged a large party of cousins to dine
In the evening a party of foreigners came around the door, and going out
I found Le Comte Ladislaus de Potocki, a great name in Poland, with his
lady and brother-in-law, so offered wine, coffee, tea, etc. The lady is
strikingly pretty. If such a woman as she had taken an affection for a
lame baronet, nigh sixty years old, it would be worth speaking about! I
have finished the _Demonology_.
_July_ 17. - Another bad day, wet past all efforts to walk, and
threatening a very bad harvest. Persecuted with begging letters; an
author's Pegasus is like a post-chaise leaving the door of the inn: the
number of beggars is uncountable. The language they hold of my character
for charity makes my good reputation as troublesome as that of Joseph
Surface. A dinner of cousins, the young Laird of Raeburn, so he
must be called, though nearly as old as I am, at their head. His brother
Robert, who has been in India for forty years, excepting one short
visit: a fine manly fellow, who has belled the cat with fortune, and
held her at bay as a man of mould may. Being all kinsmen and friends, we
made a merry day of our re-union. All left at night.
_July_ 18. -
"Time runs, I know not how, away."
Here am I beginning the second week of my vacation - though what needs me
note that? - vacation and session will probably be the same to me in the
future. The long remove must then be looked to, for the final signal to
break up, and that is a serious thought.
I have corrected two sets of proofs, one for the mail, another for the
[_No entry between July 18 and September 5_.]
[Mr. Lockhart remarks that it was during this interval that the
highest point of his recovery was reached. The following little
note accompanied the review of Southey's _Bunyan_ to Chiefswood on
August 6th: - -
"Dear Lockhart, I send you the enclosed. I intended to have brought
it myself with help of 'Daddy Dun,' but I find the weather is
making a rain of it to purpose.
"I suppose you are all within doors, and the little gardeners all
off work. - Yours, W.S."]
A playful yet earnest petition, showing Sir Walter's continued
solicitude for the welfare of the good 'Dominie Sampson,' was also
written at this time to the Duke of Buccleuch: -
"ABBOTSFORD, _20th August_.
"The minister of - - - having fallen among other black cocks of
the season, emboldens me once more to prefer my humble request in
favour of George Thomson, long tutor in this family. His case is so
well known to your Grace that I would be greatly to blame if I
enlarged upon it. His morals are irreproachable, his talents very
respectable. He has some oddity of manner, but it is far from
attaching to either the head or the heart....
"It would be felt by me among one of the deepest obligations of the
many which I owe to the house of Buccleuch. I daresay your Grace
has shot a score of black game to-day. Pray let your namesake bag a
 An amusing illustration of the difficulty of seeing ourselves as
others see us may be found written twenty-five years later by Nathaniel
Hawthorne, where the author of the _Scarlet Letter_ expresses in like
manner his surprise at the want of refinement in Englishmen: - "I had
been struck by the very rough aspect of these John Bulls in their
morning garb, their coarse frock-coats, grey hats, check trousers, and
stout shoes; at dinner-table it was not at first easy to recognise the
same individuals.... But after a while, 'you see the same rough figure
through all the finery, and become sensible that John Bull cannot make
himself fine, whatever he may put on. He is a rough animal, and his
female is well adapted to him.'" - _Hawthorne and His Wife_, vol. ii. p.
70. 2 vols. 8vo. Cambridge, U.S.A., 1884.
 Architects style it Elizabethan, but Sir Walter's term is not
 An amanuensis who was employed by Scott at this time.
 British Hotel, 70 Queen St.
 See _Winter's Tale_, Act IV. Sc. 2.
 See _ante_, January 15, 1828, p. 111. Mr. Mackenzie of Portmore
died in September 1830, when Sir Walter wrote Mr. Skene the following
"DEAR SKENE, - I observe from the papers that our invaluable friend is no
more. I have reason to think, that as I surmised when I saw him last,
the interval has been a melancholy one, at least to those who had to
watch the progress. I never expected to see his kind face more, after I
took leave of him in Charlotte Square; yet the certainty that such must
be the case is still a painful shock, as I can never hope again to meet,
during the remaining span of my own life, a friend in whom high talents
for the business of life were more happily mingled with all those
affections which form the dearest part of human intercourse. In that
respect I believe his like hardly is to be found. I hope Mrs. Skene and
you will make my assurance of deep sympathy, of which they know it is
expressed by a friend of poor Colin of fifty years' standing.
"I hope my young friend, his son, will keep his father's example before
his eyes. His best friend cannot wish him a better model.
"I am just setting off to the West for a long-promised tour of a week. I
shall be at Abbotsford after Monday, 27th current, and I hope Mrs. Skene
and you, with some of our young friends, will do us the pleasure to come
here for a few days. We see how separations may happen among friends,
and should not neglect the opportunity of being together while we can.
Besides, _entre nous_, it is time to think what is to be done about the
Society, as the time of my retirement draws nigh, and I am determined,
at whatever loss, not to drag out the last sands of my life in that
sand-cart of a place, the Parliament House. I think it hurt poor Colin.
This is, however, subject for future consideration, as I have not
breathed a syllable about resigning the Chair to any one, but it must
soon follow as a matter of course.[C]
"Should you think of writing to let me know how the distressed family
are, you may direct, during the beginning of next week, to Drumlanrig,
"My kind love attends my dear Mrs. Skene, girls, boys, and all the
family, and I am, always yours,
"ABBOTSFORD, _18th September_ ."
[C] Sir Walter had been President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh for
some years; his resignation was not accepted, and he retained the office
until he died.
 _Much Ado about Nothing_, Act III. Sc. 5.
 1 _King Henry IV._, Act III. Sc. 1.
 The biography here spoken of was not published.
 Sir Walter had seats placed at suitable distances between the
house and Chiefswood.
 _Titus Andronicus_, Act IV. Sc. 2.
 For an account of these "miracles" see _Peace in Believing_ - a
memoir of Isabella Campbell of Fernicarry. Roseneath, 8vo, 1829.
 _Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft_, addressed to J.G.
Lockhart, Esq., was published before the end of the year in Murray's
 _School for Scandal_.
_September_ 5. - In spite of resolution I have left my Diary for some
weeks, I cannot tell why. We have had the usual number of travelling
Counts and Countesses, Yankees male and female, and a
Yankee-Doodle-Dandy into the bargain, a smart young Virginia man. We
have had friends of our own also, the Miss Ardens, young Mrs. Morritt
and Anne Morritt, most agreeable visitors. Cadell came out here
yesterday with his horn filled with good news. This will in effect put
an end to the trust; only the sales and produce must be pledged to
insure the last £15,000 and the annuity interest of £600. In this way
Mr. Cadell will become half-partner in the remaining volumes of the
books following _St. Ronan's_; with all my heart, but he must pay well
for it, for it is good property. Neither is any value stated for
literary profits; yet, four years should have four novels betwixt
1830-4. This at £2500 per volume might be £8000, which would diminish
Mr. Cadell's advance considerably. All this seems feasible enough, so my
fits of sullen alarm are ill placed. It makes me care less about the
terms I retire upon. The efforts by which we have advanced thus far are
new in literature, and what is gained is secure.
[_No entry between September 5 and December 20_.]
 Sir Walter had written to Morritt on his retirement from the Court
of Session, and his old friend responded in the following cordial
"MY DEAR SCOTT, - ... I am sorry to read what you tell me of your
lameness, but legs are not so obedient to many of us at our age as they
were twenty years ago, _non immunes ab illis malis sumus_, as the
learned Partridge and Lilly's Grammar tells us. I find mine swell, and
am forced to bandage, and should not exert them with impunity in walking
as I used to do, either in long walks or in rough ground. I am glad,
however, you have escaped from the Court of Session, even at the risk of
sometimes feeling the want you allude to of winter society. You think
you shall tire of solitude in these months: and in spite of books and
the love of them, I have discovered by experience the possibility of
such a feeling; but can we not in some degree remedy this? Why should we
both be within two days' march of each other and not sometimes together,
as of old? How I have enjoyed in your house the _summum bonum_ of Sir
Wm. Temple's philosophy, 'something which is not Home and yet with the
liberty of Home, which is not Solitude, and yet hath the ease of
Solitude, and which is only found in the house of an old friend.' Our
summer months are well provided with summer friends. You have plenty and
to spare of sightseers, Lions, and their hunters, and I have travellers,
moor-shooters, etc., in equal abundance, but now when the country is
abandoned, and Walter is leaving you, how I wish you would bring dear
Anne and partake for a while our little circle here - we stir not till
Christmas - if before that time such a pleasure could be attainable.
Well, then, for auld lang syne, will you not, now that the Session has
no claim on you, combine our forces against the possibility of _ennui_.
If you will do this, I will positively, and in good faith, hold myself
in readiness to do as much by you in the next November, and in every
alternate November, nor shall the month ever pass without bringing us
together. Do not tell me, as Wm. Rose would not fail to do if I gave him
so good an opportunity, that my proposal would be a greater bore than
the solitude it destroyed. It shall be no such thing, but only the
trouble of a journey. I feel too, as I grow older, the _vis inertiæ_,
and fancy that locomotion is more difficult, but let us abjure the
doctrine, for it baulks much pleasure. Pray - pray as the children
say - come to us, think of it first as not impossible, then weigh fairly
the objections, and if they resolve themselves into mere aversion to
change, overcome them by an assurance that the very change will give
value to the resumption of your home avocations. If I plead thus
strongly, perhaps it is because I feel the advantage to myself. Time has
made gaps in the list of old friends as in yours; young ones, though
very cheering and useful, are not, and cannot be, the same. I enjoy them
too when present, but in absence I regret the others. What remains but
to make the most of those we have still left when both body and mind
permit us [to enjoy] them. I have books; also a room that shall [be your
own], and a [pony] off which I can shoot, which I will engage shall
neither tumble himself or allow you to tumble in any excursion on which
you may venture. Dear Anne will find and make my womenkind as happy as
you will make me, and we have only to beg you to stay long and be most
cordially welcome. ... Adieu, dear Scott. I fear you will not come for
all I can say. I could almost lose a tooth or a finger (if it were
necessary) to find myself mistaken. Come, and come soon; stay long; be
assured of welcome.
"All unite in this and in love to you and Anne, with your assured
_December_ 20. - From September 5 to December 20 is a long gap, and I
have seen plenty of things worth recollecting, had I marked them down
when they were gliding past. But the time has gone by. When I feel
capable of taking it up, I will.
Little self will jostle out everything else, and my affairs, which in
some respects are excellent, in others, like the way of the world, are
far from being pleasant.
Of good I have the pleasure of saying I have my children well, and in
good health. The dividend of 3s. in the pound has been made to the
creditors, and the creditors have testified their sense of my labours by
surrendering my books, furniture, plate, and curiosities. I see some
friends of mine think this is not handsomely done. In my opinion it is
extremely so. There are few things so [easy] as to criticise the good
things one does, and to show that we ourselves would have done [more]
handsomely. But those who know the world and their own nature are always
better pleased with one kind action carried through and executed, than
with twenty that only glide through their minds, while perhaps they
tickle the imagination of the benevolent Barmecide who supposes both the
entertainment and the eater. These articles do not amount to less than
£10,000 at least, and, without dispensing with them entirely, might
furnish me with a fund for my younger children. Now, suppose these
creditors had not seriously carried their purpose into execution, the
transaction might have been afterwards challenged, and the ease of mind
which it produced to me must have been uncertain in comparison. Well!
one-half of these claims are cleared off, furnished in a great measure
by one-half issue of the present edition of the Waverley Novels, which
had reached the 20th of the series.
It cannot be expected that twenty more will run off so fast; the later
volumes are less favourites, and are really less interesting. Yet when I
read them over again since their composition, I own I found them
considerably better than I expected, and I think, if other circumstances
do not crush them and blight their popularity, they will make their way.
Mr. Cadell is still desirous to acquire one-half of the property of this
part of the work, which is chiefly my own. He proposes assembling all my
detached works of fiction and articles in Annuals, so that the whole,