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The Author of this collection of Works of Fiction would not have presumed to solicit for them Your Majesty's August Patronage, were it not that the perusal has been supposed, in some instances, to have succeeded in amusing hours of relaxation, or relieving those of languor, pain, or anxiety; and therefore must have 80 far aided the warmest wish of your Majesty's heart, by contributing, in however small a degree, to the happiness of your people.
They are therefore humbly dedicated to your Majesty, agreeably to your gracious permission, by
ABBOTSFORD, 1st January 1829.
WAVERLE Y NOVELS
ADVERTISEMENT TO EDITION 1829.
It has been the occasional occupation of the Author of Waverley, for several years past, to revise and correct the voluminous series of Novels which pass under that name; in order that, if they should ever appear as his avowed productions, he might render them in some degree deserving of a continuance of the public favour with which they have been honoured ever since their first appearance. For a long period, however, it seemed likely that the improved and illustrated edition which he meditated would be a posthumous publication. But the course of the events which occasioned the disclosure of the Author's name having in a great measure restored to him a sort of parental control over these Works, he is naturally induced to give them to the press in a corrected, and, he hopes, an improved form, while life and health permit the task of revising and illustrating them. Such being his purpose, it is necessary to say a few words on the plan of the proposed Edition.
In stating it to be revised and corrected, it is not to be inferred that any attempt is made to alter the tenor of the stories, the character of the actors, or the spirit of the dialogue. There is no doubt ample room for emendation in all these points,-- but where the tree falls it must lie. Any attempt to obviate criticism, however just, by altering a work already in the hands of the public, is generally unsuccessful. In the most improbable fiction, the reader still desires some air of vraisemblance, and does not relish that the incidents of a tale familiar to him should be altered to suit the taste of critics, or the caprice of the author himself. This process of feeling is so natural, that it may be observed even in children, who cannot endure that a nursery story should be repeated to them differently from the manner in which it was first told.
But without altering, in the slightest degree, either the story or the mode of telling it, the Author has taken this opportunity to correct errors of the press and slips of the pen. That such should exist cannot be wondered at, when it is considered that the Publishers found it their interest to hurry through the press a succession of the early editions of the various Novels, and that the Author had not the usual opportunity of revision. It is hoped that the present edition will be found free from Errors of that accidental kind.
The Author has also ventured to make some emendations of a different character, which, without being such apparent deviations from the original stories as to disturb the reader's old associations, sill, he thinks, add something to the spirit of the dialogue, narrative, or description. These consist in occasional pruning where the language is redundant, compression where the style is loose, infusion of vigour where it is languid, the exchange of less forcible for more appropriate epithets- slight alterations, in short, like the last touches of an artist, which contribute to heighten and finish the picture, though an inexperienced eye can hardly detect in what they consist.
The General Preface to the new Edition, and the Introductory Notices to each separate work, will contain an account of such circumstances attending the first publication of the Novels and Tales, as may appear interesting in themselves, or proper to be communicated to the public. The Author also proposes to publish, on this occasion, the various legends, family traditions, or obscure historical facts, which have formed the groundwork of these Novels, and to give some account of the places where the scenes are laid, when these are altogether, or in part, real; as well as a statement of particular incidents founded on fact ; together with a more copious Glossary, and Notes explanatory of the ancient customs, and popular superstitions, referred to in the Romances.
Upon the whole, it is hoped that the Waverley Novels, in their new dress, will not be found to have lost any part of their attractions in consequence of receiving illustrations by the Author, and undergoing his careful revision.
ABBOTSPORD, January 1829.
Having undertaken to give an Introductory Ac-solitary and romantic environs of Arthur's Seat, count of the compositions which are here offered to Salisbury Crags, Braid Hills, and similar places in the public, with Notes and Illustrations, the Author, the vicinity of Edinburgh; and the recollection of under whose name they are now for the first time those holidays still forms an oasis in the pilgrimage collected, feels that he has the delicate task of speak- which I have to look back upon. I have only to ing more of himself and his personal concerns, than add, that my friend still lives, a prosperous gentlemay perhaps be either graceful or prudent. In this man, but too much occupied with graver business, particular, he runs the risk of presenting himself to thank me for indicating him more plainly as a to the public in the relation that the dumb wife in confident of my childish mystery. the jest-book held to her husband, when, having When boyhood advancing into youth required spent half of his fortune to obtain the cure of her more serious studies and graver cares, a long illimperfection, he was willing to have bestowed the ness threw me back on the kingdom of fiction, as other half to restore her to her former condition. | if it were by a species of fatality. My indisposiBut this is a risk inseparable from the task which tion arose, in part at least, from my having broken the Author has undertaken, and he can only pro- a blood vessel; and motion and speech were for a mise to be as little of an egotist as the situation will long time pronounced positively dangerous. For permit. It is perhaps an indifferent sign of a dis- several weeks I was confined strictly to my bed, position to keep his word, that having introduced during which time I was not allowed to speak above himself in the third person singular, he proceeds in a whisper, to eat more than a spoonful or two of the second paragraph to make use of the first. But boiled rice, or to have more covering than one thin it appears to him that the seeming modesty con- counterpane. When the reader is informed that I nected with the former mode of writing, is over- was at this time a growing youth, with the spirits, balanced by the inconvenience of stiffness and appetite, and impatience of fifteen, and suffered, of affectation which attends it during a narrative of course, greatly under this severe regimen, which some length, and which may be observed less or the repeated return of my disorder rendered indismore in every work in which the third person is pensable, he will not be surprised that I was abanused, from the Commentaries of Cæsar, to the doned to my own discretion, so far as reading (my Autobiography of Alexander the Corrector. almost sole amusement) was concerned, and still
I must refer to a very early period of my life, less so, that I abused the indulgence which left my were I to point out my first achievements as a tale- time so much at my own disposal. teller - but I believe some of my old schoolfellows There was at this time a circulating library in can still bear witness that I had a distinguished Edinburgh, founded, I believe, by the celebrated character for that talent, at a time when the ap- Allan Ramsay, which, besides containing a most plause of my companions was my recompense for respectable collection of books of every description, the disgraces and punishments which the future was, as might have been expected, peculiarly rich romance-writer incurred for being idle himself, and in works of fiction. It exhibited specimens of every keeping others idle, during hours that should have kind, from the romances of chivalry, and the ponbeen employed on our tasks. The chief enjoyment derous folios of Cyrus and Cassandra, down to the of my holidays was to escape with a chosen friend, most approved works of later times. I was plunged who had the same taste with myself, and alternately into this great ocean of reading without compass or to recite to each other such wild adventures as we pilot; and unless when some one had the charity to were able to devise. We told, each in turn, inter-play at chiess with me, I was allowed to do nothing minable tales of knight-errantry and battles and save read, from morning to night. I was, in kindenchantments, which were continued from one day ness and pity, which was perhaps erroneous, howto another as opportunity offered, without our ever ever natural, permitted to select my subjects of study thinking of bringing them to a conclusion. As we at my own pleasure, upon the same principle that observed a strict secrecy on the subject of this the humours of children are indulged to keep them intercourse, it acquired all the character of a con- out of mischief. As my taste and appetite were cealed pleasure, and we used to select, for the gratified in nothing else, I indemnified myself by scenes of our indulgenoe, long walks through the becoming a glutton of books. Accordingly, I be
Leve I read almost all the romances, old plays, and at romantic composition by an author wno has since epic poetry, in that formidable collection, and no written so much in that department. And thoso doubt was unconsciously amassing materials for the who complain, not unreasonably, of the profusion of task in which it has been my lot to be so much em- the Tales which have followed Waverley, may bless ployed.
their stars at the narrow escape they have made, At the same time I did not in all respects abuse by the commencement of the inundation which had the license permitted me. Familiar acquaintance so nearly taken place in the first year of the cen. , with the specious miracles of fiction brought with it tury, being postponed for fifteen years later.
some degree of satiety, and I began, by degrees, to This particular subject was never resumed, but seek in histories, memoirs, voyages and travels, and I did not abandon the idea of fictitious composition the like, events nearly as wonderful as those which in prose, though I determined to give another turn were the work of imagination, with the additional to the style of the work. advantage that they were at least in a great mea- My early recollections of the Highland scenery sure true. The lapse of nearly two years, during and customs made so favourable an impression in which I was left to the exercise of my own free the poem called the Lady of the Lake, that I was will, was followed by a temporary residence in the induced to think of attempting something of the country, where I was again very lonely but for the same kind in prose. I had been a good deal in the amusement which I derived from a good though old- Highlands at a time when they were much less acfashioned library. The vague and wild use which cessible, and much less visited, than they have been I made of this advantage I cannot describe better of late years, and was acquainted with many of the than by referring my reader to the desultory studies old warriors of 1745, who were, like most veterans, of Waverley in a similar situation; the paseages easily induced to fight their battles over again, for concerning whose course of reading were imitated the benefit of a willing listener like myself. It natufrom recollections of my own.— It must be under- rally occurred to me, that the ancient traditions and stood that the resemblance extends no farther. high spirit of a people, who, living in a civilized age
Time, as it glided on, brought the blessings of and country, retained so strong a tincture of manconfirmed health and personal strength, to a degree ners belonging to an early period of society, must which had never been expected or hoped for. The afford a subject favourable for romance, if it should severe studies necessary to render me fit for my not prove a curious tale marred in the telling. profession occupied the greater part of my time; It was with some idea of this kind, that, about and the society of my friends and companions who the year 1805, I threw together about one-third part were about to enter life along with me, filled up the of the first volume of Waverley. It was advertised interval with the usual amusements of young men. to be published by the late Mr John Ballantyne, | I was in a situation which rendered serious labour bookseller in Edinburgh, under the name of “Waindispensable; for, neither possessing, on the one verley, or 'tis Fifty Years since,"<a title afterwards hand, any of those peculiar advantages which are altered to “ 'Tis Sixty Years since,” that the actual supposed to favour a hasty advance in the profes- date of publication might be made to correspond sion of the law, nor being, on the other hand, ex- with the period in which the scene was laid. Having posed to unusual obstacles to interrupt my progress, proceeded as far, I think, as the Seventh Chapter, I might reasonably expect to succeed according to I showed my work to a critical friend, whose opinion the greater or less degree of trouble which I should was unfavourable; and having then some poetical take to qualify myself as a pleader.
reputation, I was unwilling to risk the loss of it by It makes no part of the present story to detail attempting a new style of composition. I therefore how the success of a few ballads had the effect of threw aside the work I had commenced, without changing all the purpose and tenor of my life, and either reluctance or remonstrance. I ought to add, of converting a pains-taking lawyer of some years' that though my ingenious friend's sentence was afstanding into a follower of literature. It is enough terwards reversed, on an appeal to the public, it
say, that I had assumed the latter character for cannot be considered as any imputation on his good several years before I seriously thought of attempt taste ; for the specimen subjected to his criticism ing a work of imagination in prose, although one did not extend beyond the departure of the hero for or two of my poetical attempts did not differ from Scotland, and, consequently, had not entered upon romances otherwise than by being written in verse. the part of the story which was finally found most But yet, I may observe, that about this time (now, interesting. alas! thirty years since) I had nourished the am- Be that as it may, this portion of the manuscript bitious desire of composing a tale of chivalry, which was laid aside in the drawers of an old writing desk, was to be in the style of the Castle of Otranto, with which, on my first coming to reside at Abbotsford, plenty of Border characters, and supernatural inci- in 1811, was placed in a lumber garret, and entirely dent. Having found unexpectedly a chapter of this forgotten. Thus, though I sometimes, among other intended work among some old papers, I have sub- literary avocations, turned my thoughts to the conjoined it to this introductory essay, thinking some readers may account as curious, the first attempts " See the Fragment pluded to, in the Appendix, No. L p. 8