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een some surmise that the reigning family would have been displeased with the work. I can only say, it is the last apprehension I should have entertained, as indeed the inscription to these volumes sufficiently proves. The sufferers of that melancholy period have, during the last and present reign, been honoured both with the sympathy and protection of the reigning family, whose magnanimity can well pardon a sigh from others, and bestow one themselves, to the memory of brave opponents, who did nothing in hate, but all in honour.
While those who were in habitual intercourse with the real author had little hesitation in assigning the literary property to him, others, and those critics of no mean rank, employed themselves in investigating with persevering patience any characteristic features which might seem to betray the origin of these Novels. Amongst these, one gentleman, equally remarkable for the kind and liberal tone of his criticism, the acuteness of his reasoning, and the very gentlemanlike manner in which he conducted his enquiries, displayed not only powers of accurate investigation, but a temper of mind deserving to be employed on a subject of much greater importance; and I have no doubt made converts to his opinion of almost all who thought the point worthy of consideration. Of those letters, and other attempts of the same kind, the author could not complain, though his incognito was endangered. He had challenged the public to a game at bo-peep, and if he was discovered in his "hiding-hole," he must submit to the shame of detection.
Various reports were of course circulated in various ways; some founded on an inaccurate rehearsal of what may have been partly real, some on circumstances having no concern whatever with the subject, and others on the invention of some importunate persons, who might perhaps imagine, that the readiest mode of forcing the author to disclose himself, was to assign some dishonourable and discreditable cause for his silence.
It may be easily supposed that this sort of inquisition was treated with contempt by the person whom it principally regarded; as, among all the rumours that were current, there was only one, and that as unfounded as the others, which had nevertheless some alliance to probability, and indeed might have proved in some degree true.
I allude to a report which ascribed a great part, or the whole, of these Novels, to the late Thomas Scott, Esq., of the 70th Regiment, then stationed in Canada. Those who remember that gentleman will readily grant, that, with general talents at least equal to those of his elder brother, he added a power of social humour, and a deep insight into human character, which rendered him an universally delightful member of society, and that the habit of composition alone was wanting to render him equally
1 Letters on the Author of Waverley; Rodwell and Mar. tin, London 1822.
successful as a writer. The Author of Waverley was so persuaded of the truth of this, that he warmly pressed his brother to make such an experiment, and willingly undertook all the trouble of correcting and superintending the press. Mr Thomas Scott seenied at first very well disposed to embrace the proposal, and had even fixed on a subject and a hero. The latter was a person well known to both of us in our boyish years, from having displayed some strong traits of character. Mr T. Scott had determined to represent his youthful acquaintance as emigrating to America, and encountering the dangers and hardships of the New World, with the same dauntless spirit which he had displayed when a boy in his native country. Mr Scott would probably have been highly successful, being familiarly acquainted with the manners of the native Indians, of the old French settlers in Canada, and of the Brulés or Woodsmen, and having the power of observing with accuracy what, I have no doubt, he could have sketched with force and expression. In short, the author believes his brother would have made himself distinguished in that striking field, in which, since that period, Mr Cooper has achieved so many triumphs. But Mr T. Scott was already affected by bad health, which wholly unfitted him for literary labour, even if he could have reconciled his patience to the task. He never, I believe, wrote a single line of the projected work; and I only have the melancholy pleasure of preserving in the Appendix, the simple anecdote on which he proposed to found it.
To this I may add, I can easily conceive that there may have been circumstances which gave a colour to the general report of my brother being interested in these works; and in particular that it might derive strength from my having occasion to remit to him, in consequence of certain family transactions, some considerable sums of money about that period. To which it is to be added, that if any person chanced to evince particular curiosity on such a subject, my brother was likely enough to divert himself with practising on their credulity.
It may be mentioned, that while the paternity of these Novels was from time to time warmly disputed in Britain, the foreign booksellers expressed no hesitation on the matter, but affixed my name to the whole of the Novels, and to some besides to which I had no claim.
The volumes, therefore, to which the present pages form a Preface, are entirely the composition of the Author by whom they are now acknowledged, with the exception, always, of avowed quotations, and such unpremeditated and involuntary plagiarisms as can scarce be guarded against by any one who has read and written a great deal. The original manuscripts are all in existence, and entirely written (horresco referens) in the Author's own hand, excepting during the years 1818 and 1819, when,
2 See Appendix, No. III. p. 18.
being affected with severe illness, he was obliged to employ the assistance of a friendly amanuensis.
The number of persons to whom the secret was necessarily intrusted, or communicated by chance, amounted I should think to twenty at least, to whom I am greatly obliged for the fidelity with which they observed their trust, until the derangement of the affairs of my publishers, Messrs Constable & Co., and the exposure of their accompt books, which was the necessary consequence, rendered secrecy no longer possible. The particulars attending the avowal have been laid before the public in the Introduction to the Chronicles of the Canongate.
The preliminary advertisement has given a sketch of the purpose of this edition. I have some reason to fear that the notes which accompany the tales, as now published, may be thought too miscellaneous and too egotistical. It may be some apology for this, that the publication was intended to be posthumous, and still more, that old men may be permitted to speak long, because they cannot in the course of nature have long time to speak. In preparing the present edition, I have done all that I can do to explain the nature of my materials, and the use I have made of them; nor is it probable that I shall again revise or even read these tales. I was therefore desirous rather to exceed in the portion of new and explanatory matter which is added to this edition, than that the reader should have reason to complain that the information communicated was of a general and merely nominal character. It remains to be tried whether the public (like a child to whom a watch is shown) will, after having been satiated with looking at the outside, acquire some
new interest in the object, when it is opened, 411 the internal machinery displayed to them.
That Waverley and its successors have had their day of favour and popularity must be admitted with sincere gratitude; and the Author has studied (with the prudence of a beauty whose reign has been rather long) to supply, by the assistance of art, the charms which novelty no longer affords. The pub lishers have endeavoured to gratify the honourable partiality of the public for the encouragement of British art, by illustrating this edition with designs by the most eminent living artists.1
To my distinguished countryman, David Wilkie, to Edwin Landseer, who has exercised his talents so much on Scottish subjects and scenery, to Messrs Leslie and Newton, my thanks are due, from a friend as well as an author. Nor am I less obliged t Messrs Cooper, Kidd, and other artists of distinction to whom I am less personally known, for the ready zeal with which they have devoted their talents to the same purpose.
Farther explanation respecting the Edition, is the business of the publishers, not of the author; and here, therefore, the latter has accomplished his task of introduction and explanation. If, like a spoiled child, he has sometimes abused or trifled with the indulgence of the public, he feels himself entitled to full belief, when he exculpates himself from the charge of having been at any time insensible of their kindness.
ABBOTSFORD, 1st January 1829.
1 This refers to the Edition of 1829, in 48 vols., with 96 Engravings.
APPENDIX TO GFNERAL PREFACE.
FRAGMENT OF A ROMANCE WHICH WAS TO HAVE BEEN ENTITLED,
THOMAS THE RHYMER.
THE sun was nearly set behind the distant mountains of Liddesdale, when a few of the scattered and terrified inhabitants of the village of Hersildoun, which had four days before been burned by a predatory band of English Borderers, were now busied in repairing their ruined dwellings. One high tower in the centre of the village alone exhibited no appearance of devastation. It was surrounded with court walls, and the outer gate was barred and
2 It is not to be supposed that these fragments are given as possessing any intrinsic value of themselves; but there may be some curiosity attached to them, as to the first
poited. The bushes and brambles which grew around and had even insinuated their branches beneath the gate, plainly showed that it must have been many years since it had been opened. While the cottages around lay in smoking ruins, this pile, deserted and desolate as it seemed to be, had suffered nothing from the violence of the invaders; and the wretched beings who were endeavouring to repair their miserable huts against nightfall, seemed to neglect the preferable shelter which it might have afforded them, without the necessity of labour.
Before the day had quite gone down, a knight, richly armed, and mounted upon an ambling hackney, rode slowly into the village. His attendants were a lady, apparently young and beautiful, who rode by his side upon a dappled palfrey; his squire, who carried his helmet and lance, and led his battlehorse, a noble steed, richly caparisoned. A page
etchings of a plate, which are accounted interesting br those who have, in any degree, been interested in the mor finished works of the artist.
and four yeomen, bearing bows and quivers, short words, and targets of a span breadth, completed his equipage, which, though small, denoted him to be a man of high rank.
He stopped and addressed several of the inhabiants whom curiosity had withdrawn from their labour to gaze at him; but at the sound of his voice, and still more on perceiving the St George's Cross in the caps of his followers, they fled, with a loud ery, "that the Southrons were returned." The knight endeavoured to expostulate with the fugitives, who were chiefly aged men, women, and children; but their dread of the English name accelerated their flight, and in a few minutes, excepting the knight and his attendants, the place was deserted by 3. He paced through the village to seek a shelter for the night, and despairing to find one either in the inaccessible tower, or the plundered huts of the peasantry, he directed his course to the left hand, where he spied a small decent habitation, apparently the abode of a man considerably above the common/ rank. After much knocking, the proprietor at length showed himself at the window, and speaking in the English dialect, with great signs of apprehension, demanded their business. The warrior replied, that his quality was an English knight and baron, and that he was travelling to the court of the King of Scotland on affairs of consequence to both king
"Pardon my hesitation, noble Sir Knight," said the old man, as he unbolted and unbarred his doors "Pardon my hesitation, but we are here exposed to too many intrusions, to admit of our exercising unlimited and unsuspicious hospitality. What I have is yours; and God send your mission may bring back peace and the good days of our old Queen Margaret?"
"Amen, worthy Franklin," quoth the Knight"Did you know her?”
"I came to this country in her train," said the Franklin; " and the care of some of her jointure lands which she devolved on me, occasioned my settling here."
"And how do you, being an Englishman," said the Knight, "protect your life and property here, when one of your nation cannot obtain a single night lodging, or a draught of water, were he thirsty?"
Marry, noble sir," answered the Franklin, se, as they say, will make a man live in a lion's len; and as I settled here in a quiet time, and have given cause of offence, I am respected by my neighbours, and even, as you see, by our forayers from England."
"I rejoice to hear it, and accept your hospitality. -Isabella, my love, our worthy host will provide you a bed. My daughter, good Franklin, is ill at ease. We will occupy your house till the Scottish King shall return from his northern expeditior meanwhile call me Lord Lacy of Chester." The attendants of the Baron, assisted by the Franklin, were now busied in disposing of the horses, and arranging the table for some refreshment for Lord Lacy and his fair companion. While they sat down to it, they were attended by their host and his daughter, whom custom did not permit to eat in their presence, and who afterwards withdrew o an outer chamber, where the squire and page both young men of noble birth) partook of supper, and were accommodated with beds. The yeomen,
after doing honour to the rustic cheer of Queen Margaret's bailiff, withdrew to the stable, and each, beside his favourite horse, snored away the fatigues of their journey.
Early on the following morning, the travellers were roused by a thundering knocking at the door of the house, accompanied with many demands for instant admission, in the roughest tone. The squire and page of Lord Lacy, after buckling on their arms, were about to sally out to chastise these intruders, when the old host, after looking out at a private casement, contrived for reconnoitring his visitors, entreated them, with great signs of terror, to be quiet, if they did not mean that all in the house should be murdered.
He then hastened to the apartment of Lord Lacy whom he met dressed in a long furred gown and the knightly cap called a mortier, irritated at the noise, and demanding to know the cause which had disturbed the repose of the household.
"Noble sir," said the Franklin," one of the most formidable and bloody of the Scottish Border riders is at hand-he is never seen," added he, faltering with terror," so far from the hills, but with some bad purpose, and the power of accomplishing it; so hold yourself to your guard, for"— A loud crash here announced that the door was broken down, and the knight just descended the stair in time to prevent bloodshed betwixt his attendants and the intruders. They were three in number. Their chief was tall, bony, and athletic; his spare and muscular frame, as well as the hardness of his features, marked the course of his life to have been fatiguing and perilous. The effect of his appearance was aggravated by his dress, which consisted of a jack or jacket, composed of thick buff leather, on which small plates of iron of a lozenge form were stitched, in such a manner as to overlap each other, and form a coat of mail, which swayed with every motion of the wearer's body. This defensive armour covered a doublet of coarse grey cloth, and the Borderer had a few half-rusted plates of steel on his shoulders, a two-edged sword, with a dagger hanging beside it, in a buff belt; a helmet, with a few iron bars, to cover the face instead of a visor, and a lance of tremendous and uncommon length, completed his appointments. The looks of the man were as wild and rude as his attire- his keen black eyes never rested one moment fixed upon a single object, but constantly traversed all around, as if they ever sought some danger to oppose, some plunder to seize, or some insult to revenge. The latter seemed to be his present object, for, regardless of the dignified presence of Lord Lacy, he uttered the most incoherent threats against the owner of the house and his guests.
"We shall see-ay, marry shall we-if an English hound is to harbour and reset the Southrons here. Thank the Abbot of Melrose, and the good Knight of Coldingnow, that have so long kept me from your skirts. But those days are gone. by St Mary, and you shall find it!"
It is probable the enraged Borderer would not have long continued to vent his rage in empty me naces, had not the entrance of the four yeomen, with their bows bent, convinced him that the force was not at this moment on his own side.
Lord Lacy now advanced towards him. intrude upon my privacy, soldier; withdraw your self and your followers- there is peace betwixt
our nations, or my servants should chastise thy presumption."
"Such peace as ye give, such shall you have," answered the moss-trooper, first pointing with his lance towards the burned village, and then almost instantly levelling it against Lord Lacy. The squire drew his sword, and severed at one blow the steel head from the truncheon of the spear.
"Arthur Fitzherbert," said the Baron, "that stroke has deferred thy knighthood for one yearnever must that squire wear the spurs, whose unbridled impetuosity can draw unbidden his sword in the presence of his master. Go hence, and think on what I have said."
The squire left the chamber abashed.
"It were vain," continued Lord Lacy, " to expect that courtesy from a mountain churl which even my own followers can forget. Yet, before thou drawest thy brand (for the intruder laid his hand upon the hilt of his sword), thou wilt do well to reflect that I came with a safe-conduct from thy king, and have no time to waste in brawls with such as thou."
tion common to all nations, as the belief of the Mahomedans respecting their twelfth Imaum demonstrates.
Now, it chanced many years since, that there lived on the Borders a jolly, rattling horse-cowper, who was remarkable for a reckless and fearless temper, which made him much admired, and a little dreaded, amongst his neighbours. One moonlight night, as he rode over Bowden Moor, on the west side of the Eildon Hills, the scene of Thomas the Rhymer's prophecies, and often mentioned in his story, having a brace of horses along with him which he had not been able to dispose of, he met a man of venerable appearance, and singularly antique dress, who, to his great surprise, asked the price of his horses, and began to chaffer with him on the subject. To Canobie Dick, for so shall we call our Border dealer, a chap was a chap, and he would have sold a horse to the devil himself, without minding his cloven hoof, and would have probably cheated Old Nick into the bargain. The stranger paid the price they agreed on, and all that puzzled Dick in the transaction was, that the gold which he received was in unicorns, bonnet- pieces, and other ancient coins, which would have been invaluable to collectors, but were rather troublesome in modern, currency. It was gold, however, and therefore Dick contrived to get better value for the coin, than he perhaps gave to his customer. By the command of so good a merchant, he brought horses to the Having uttered these words, accompanied with a same spot more than once; the purchaser only stilowering glance from under his shaggy black eye-pulating that he should always come by night, and brows, he turned on his heel, and left the house with alone. I do not know whether it was from mere his two followers;- they mounted their horses, curiosity, or whether some hope of gain mixed with which they had tied to an outer fence, and vanished it, but after Dick had sold several horses in this way, in an instant. he began to complain that dry bargains were unlucky, and to hint, that since his chap must live in the neighbourhood, he ought, in the courtesy of dealing, to treat him to half a mutchkin.
"From my king-from my king!" re-echoed the mountaineer. "I care not that rotten truncheon (striking the shattered spear furiously on the ground) for the King of Fife and Lothian. But Habby of Cessford will be here belive; and we shall soon know if he will permit an English churl to occupy his hostelrie."
"Who is this discourteous ruffian ?" said Lord Lacy to the Franklin, who had stood in the most violent agitation during this whole scene.
"His name, noble lord, is Adam Kerr of the Moat, but he is commonly called by his companions the Black Rider of Cheviot. I fear, I fear he comes hither for no good-but if the Lord of Cessford be near, he will not dare offer any unprovoked outrage."
"I have heard of that chief," said the Baron"let me know when he approaches, and do thou, Rodulph (to the eldest yeoman), keep a strict watch. Adelbert (to the page), attend to arm me." The page bowed, and the Baron withdrew to the chamber of the Lady Isabella, to explain the cause of the disturbance.
No more of the proposed tale was ever written; but the author's purpose was, that it should turn upon a fine legend of superstition, which is current in the part of the Borders where he had his residence; where, in the reign of Alexander III. of Scotland, that renowned person Thomas of Hersildoune, called the Rhymer, actually flourished. This personage, the Merlin of Scotland, and to whom
some of the adventures which the British bards assigned to Merlin Caledonius, or the Wild, have been transferred by tradition, was, as is well known, a magician, as well as a poet and prophet. He is alleged still to live in the land of Faery, and is expected to return at some great convulsion of society, in which he is to act a distinguished part-a tradi
"You may see my dwelling if you will," said the stranger; "but if you lose courage at what you see there, you will rue it all your life."
Dicken, however, laughed the warning to scorn, and having alighted to secure his horse, he followed the stranger up a narrow foot-path, which led them up the hills to the singular eminence stuck betwixt the most southern and the centre peaks, and called, from its resemblance to such an animal in its form, the Lucken Hare. At the foot of this eminence, which is almost as famous for witch meetings as the neighbouring wind-mill of Kippilaw, Dick was somewhat startled to observe that his conductor entered the hill side by a passage or cavern, of which he himself, though well acquainted with the spot, had never seen or heard.
"You may still return," said his guide, looking ominously back upon him;-but Dick scorned to show the white feather, and on they went. They entered a very long range of stables; in every stall stood a coal-black horse; by every horse lay a knight in coal-black armour, with a drawn sword in his hand; but all were as silent, hoof and limb, as if they had been cut out of marble. A great number of torches lent a gloomy lustre to the hall, which, like those of the Caliph Vathek, was of large dimensions. At the upper end, however, they at length arrived, where a sword and horn lay on an antique
he was the famous Thomas of Hersildoune, "shall, if his heart fail him not, be king over all broad Brithin. So speaks the tongue that cannot lie. But all depends on courage, and much on your taking the sword or the horn first."
Dick was much disposed to take the sword, but his bold spirit was quailed by the supernatural terrors of the hall, and he thought to unsheath the sword first, might be construed into defiance, and give offence to the powers of the Mountain. He took the bugle with a trembling hand, and a feeble note, but loud enough to produce a terrible answer. Thunder rolled in stunning peals through the immense hall; horses and men started to life; the steeds snorted, stamped, grinded their bits, and tossed on high their heads--the warriors sprung to their feet, clashed their armour, and brandished their swords. Dick's terror was extreme at seeing the whole army, which had been so lately silent as the grave, in uproar, and about to rush on him. He dropped the horn, and made a feeble attempt to seize the enchanted sword; but at the same moment a voice pronounced aloud the mysterious words:
"Woe to the coward, that ever he was born,
Who did not draw the sword before he blew the
At the same time a whirlwind of irresistible fury howled through the long hall, bore the unfortunate horse-jockey clear out of the mouth of the cavern, and precipitated him over a steep bank of loose stones, where the shepherds found him the next morning, with just breath sufficient to tell his fearful tale, after concluding which he expired.
This legend, with several variations, is found in many parts of Scotland and England-the scene is sometimes laid in some favourite glen of the Highlands, sometimes in the deep coal-mines of Northumberland and Cumberland, which run so far beneath the ocean. It is also to be found in Reginald Scott's book on Witchcraft, which was written in the 16th century. It would be in vain to ask what was the original of the tradition. The choice between the horn and sword may, perhaps, include as a moral, that it is fool-hardy to awaken danger before we have arms in our hands to resist it.
Although admitting of much poetical ornament, it is clear that this legend would have formed but an unhappy foundation for a prose story, and must have degenerated into a mere fairy tale. Dr John Leyden has beautifully introduced the tradition in his Scenes of Infancy:
Mysterious Rhymer, doom'd by fate's decree,
In the same cabinet with the preceding fragment, the following occurred among other disjecta membra. It seems to be an attempt at a tale of a different description from the last, but was almost instantly abandoned. The introduction points out the time of the composition to have been about the end of the 18th century.
THE LORD OF ENNERDALE.
IN A FRAGMENT OF A LETTER FROM JOHN B, OF THAT ILK, TO WILLIAM G——, F.R.S.E. "FILL a bumper," said the Knight; "the ladies may spare us a little longer-Fill a bumper to the Archduke Charles."
The company did due honour to the toast of their landlord.
"The success of the Archduke," said the muddy Vicar, "will tend to further our negotiation at Paris; and if”—
"Pardon the interruption, Doctor," quoth a thin emaciated figure, with somewhat of a foreign accent; "but why should you connect those events unless to hope that the bravery and victories of our allies may supersede the necessity of a degrading treaty?" "We begin to feel, Monsieur L'Abbé," answered the Vicar, with some asperity, "that a continental war entered into for the defence of an ally who was unwilling to defend himself, and for the restoration of a royal family, nobility, and priesthood, who tamely abandoned their own rights, is a burden too much even for the resources of this country."
"And was the war then on the part of Great Britain," rejoined the Abbé, "a gratuitous exertion of generosity? Was their no fear of the wide-wasting spirit of innovation which had gone abroad? Did not the laity tremble for their property, the clergy for their religion, and every loyal heart for the constitution? Was it not thought necessary to destroy the building which was on fire, ere the conflagration spread around the vicinity?"
"Yet, if upon trial," said the Doctor, "the walls were found to resist our utmost efforts, 1 see no great prudence in persevering in our labour amid the smouldering ruins.”
"What, Doctor," said the Baronet, " must I call to your recollection your own sermon on the late general fast?-did you not encourage us to hope that the Lord of Hosts would go forth with our armies, and that our enemies, who blasphemed him, should be put to shame?"
"It may please a kind father to chasten even his beloved children," answered the Vicar.
"I think," said a gentleman near the foot of the table, "that the Covenanters made some apology of the same kind for the failure of their prophecies at the battle of Dunbar, when their mutinous preachers compelled the prudent Lesley to go down against the Philistines in Gilgal."
The Vicar fixed a scrutinizing and not a very complacent eye upon this intruder. He was a young man of mean stature, and rather a reserved appearance. Early and severe study had quenched in his features the gaiety peculiar to his age, and impressed upon them a premature cast of thoughtfulHis eye had, however, retained its fire, and his gesture its animation. Had he remained silent, he would have been long unnoticed; but when he spoke, there was something in his manner which
"Who is this young man?" said the Vicar in a low voice, to his neighbour.
"A Scotchman called Maxwell, on a visit to Sir Henry," was the answer.
"I thought so, from his accent and his manners,” said the Vicar.
It may be here observed, that the Northern English retain rather more of the ancient hereditary