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The Journal of Sir Walter Scott From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford   By: (1771-1832)

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Published by BURT FRANKLIN 235 East 44th St., New York, N.Y. 10017 Originally Published: 1890 Reprinted: 1970 Printed in the U.S.A.

S.B.N. 32110 Library of Congress Card Catalog No.: 73 123604 Burt Franklin: Research and Source Works Series 535 Essays in Literature and Criticism 82

[Illustration: [Greek: NUX GAR ERCHETAI.]]

" I must home to work while it is called day; for the night cometh when no man can work. I put that text, many a year ago, on my dial stone; but it often preached in vain ." SCOTT'S Life , x. 88.]

" I shall have a peep at Bothwell Castle if it is only for half an hour. It is a place of many recollections to me, for I cannot but think how changed I am from the same Walter Scott who was so passionately ambitious of fame when I wrote the song of Young Lochinvar at Bothwell; and if I could recall the same feelings, where was I to find an audience so kind and patient, and whose applause was at the same time so well worth having, as Lady Dalkeith and Lady Douglas? When one thinks of these things, there is no silencing one's regret but by Corporal Nym's philosophy : Things must be as they may. One generation goeth and another cometh ." To LORD MONTAGU, June 28th, 1825.


On the death of Sir Walter Scott in 1832, his entire literary remains were placed at the disposal of his son in law, Mr. John Gibson Lockhart. Among these remains were two volumes of a Journal which had been kept by Sir Walter from 1825 to 1832. Mr. Lockhart made large use of this Journal in his admirable life of his father in law. Writing, however, so short a time after Scott's death, he could not use it so freely as he might have wished, and, according to his own statement, it was "by regard for the feelings of living persons" that he both omitted and altered; and indeed he printed no chapter of the Diary in full.

There is no longer any reason why the Journal should not be published in its entirety, and by the permission of the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell Scott it now appears exactly as Scott left it but for the correction of obvious slips of the pen and the omission of some details chiefly of family and domestic interest.

The original Journal consists of two small 4to volumes, 9 inches by 8, bound in vellum and furnished with strong locks. The manuscript is closely written on both sides, and towards the end shows painful evidence of the physical prostration of the writer. The Journal abruptly closes towards the middle of the second volume with the following entry probably the last words ever penned by Scott

[Illustration: by one of the old Pontiffs, but which, I forget, and so paraded the streets by moonlight to discover, if possible, some appearance of the learned Sir William Gell or the pretty Mrs. Ashley. At length we found our old servant who guided us to the lodgings taken by Sir William Gell, where all was comfortable, a good fire included, which our fatigue and the chilliness of the night required. We dispersed as soon as we had taken some food, wine, and water.

We slept reasonably, but on the next morning]

In the annotations, it seemed most satisfactory to follow as closely as possible the method adopted by Mr. Lockhart. In the case of those parts of the Journal that have been already published, almost all Mr. Lockhart's notes have been reproduced, and these are distinguished by his initials. Extracts from the Life, from James Skene of Rubislaw's unpublished Reminiscences, and from unpublished letters of Scott himself and his contemporaries, have been freely used wherever they seemed to illustrate particular passages in the Journal.

With regard to Scott's quotations a certain difficulty presented itself. In his Journal he evidently quoted from memory, and he not unfrequently makes considerable variations from the originals. Occasionally, indeed, it would seem that he deliberately made free with the exact words of his author, to adapt them more pertinently to his own mood or the impulse of the moment... Continue reading book >>

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