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tinuation of the romance which I had commenced, antiquarian lore necessary for the purpose of comyet as I could not find what I had already written, posing the projected romance; and although the after searching such repositories as were within my manuscript bore the marks of hurry and incohe. reach, and was too indolent to attempt to write it rence natural to the first rough draught of the author, anew from memory, I as often laid aside all thoughts it evinced (in my opinion) considerable powers of of that nature.
imagination. Two circumstances, in particular, recalled my As the Work was unfinished, I deemed it my recollection of the mislaid manuscript. The first duty, as Editor, to supply such a hasty and inarwas the extended and well-merited fame of Miss tificial conclusion as could be shaped out from the Edgeworth, whose Irish characters have gone so story, of which Mr Strutt had laid the foundation. far to make the English familiar with the charac- This concluding chapter is also added to the present ter of their gay and kind-hearted neighbours of Ire- Introduction, for the reason already mentioned reland, that she may be truly said to have done more garding the preceding fragment. It was a step in towards completing the Union, than perhaps all my advance towards romantic composition; and to the legislative enactments by which it has been fol- preserve the traces of these is in a great measure lowed up.
the object of this Essay. Without being so presumptuous as to hope to Queen-Hoo-Hall was not, however, very successemulate the rich humour, pathetic tenderness, and ful. I thought I was aware of the reason, and supadmirable tact, which pervade the works of my ac- posed that, by rendering his language too ancient, complished friend, I felt that something might be and displaying his antiquarian knowledge too libeattempted for my own country, of the same kind with rally, the ingenious author had raised up an obstacle that which Miss Edgeworth so fortunately achieved to his own success. Every work designed for mere for Ireland ---something which might introduce her amusement must be expressed in language easily natives to those of the sister kingdom, in a more comprehended; and when, as is sometimes the case favourable light than they had been placed hither- in Queen-Hoo-Hall, the author addresses himself 1 to, and tend to procure sympathy for their virtues exclusively to the Antiquary, he must be content to and indulgence for their foibles. I thought also, be dismissed by the general reader with the critithat much of what I wanted in talent, might be cism of Mungo, in the Padlock, on the Mauritanian made up by the intimate acquaintance with the sub- music, “What signifies me hear, if me no under. ject which I could lay claim to possess, as having stand ?" travelled through most parts of Scotland, both High- I conceived it possible to avoid this error; and land and Lowland; having been familiar with the by rendering a similar work more light and obvious elder, as well as more modern race; and having had to general comprehension, to escape the rock on from my infancy free and unrestrained communi- which my predecessor was shipwrecked. But I was, cation with all ranks of my countrymen, from the on the other hand, so far discouraged by the indifScottish peer to the Scottish ploughinan. Such ideas ferent reception of Mr Strutt’s romance, as to beoften occurred to me, and constituted an ambitious come satisfied that the manners of the middle ages branch of my theory, however far short I may have did not possess the interest which I had conceived; fallen of it in practice.
and was led to form the opinion that a romance, But it was not only the triumphs of Miss Edge- founded on a Highland story, and more moderu worth which worked in me emulation, and disturbed events, would have a better chance of popularity my indolence. I chanced actually to engage in a than a tale of chivalry. My thoughts, therefore, work which formed a sort of essay piece, and gave returned more than once to the tale which I had me hope that I might in time become free of the actually commenced, and accident at length threw craft of Romance-writing, and be esteemed a toler- the lost sheets in my way. able workman.
I happened to want some fishing-tackle for the In the year 1807-8, I undertook, at the request use of a guest, when it occurred to me to search of John Murray, Esq. of Albemarle Street, to ar- the old writing-desk already mentioned, in which I range for publication some posthumous productions used to keep articles of that nature. I got access of the late Mr Joseph Strutt, distinguished as an to it with some difficulty; and, in looking for lines artist and an antiquary, amongst which was an un- and flies, the long-lost manuscript presented itself. finished romance, entitled “Queen-Hoo-Hall.” The I immediately set to work to complete it according scene of the tale was laid in the reign of Henry to my original purpose. And here I must frankly VI., and the work was written to illustrate the man- confess, that the mode in which I conducted the story ners, customs, and language of the people of Eng- scarcely deserved the success which the Romance land during that period. The extensive acquaintance afterwards attained. The tale of Waverley was put which Mr Strutt had acquired with such subjects together with so little care, that I cannot boast of in compiling his laborious "Horda Angel Cynnan," having sketched any distinct plan of the work. The his “Royal and Ecclesiastical Antiquities," and his whole adventures of Waverley, in his movements "Essay on the Sports and Pastimes of the People of England," had rendered him familiar with all the
1 See Appendix, No. II. p. 18.
| 1p and down the country with the Highland cateran eager enquirers as made the moet minute investi
Bean Lean, are managed without much skill. It gation, was entirely at fault. sited best, however, the road I wanted to travel, But although the cause of concealing the anthor's and permitted me to introduce some descriptions name in the first instance, when the reception of of scenery and manners, to which the reality gave Waverley was doubtful, was natural enough, it is an interest which the powers of the author might more difficult, it may be thought, to account for the have otherwise failed to attain for them. And same desire for secrecy during the subsequent edithough I have been in other instances a sinner in tions, to the amount of betwixt eleven and twelve this sort, I do not recollect any of these novels, in thousand copies, which followed each other close, which I have transgressed so widely as in the first and proved the success of the work. I am sorry I of the series.
can give little satisfaction to queries on this subject. Among other unfounded reports, it has been said I have already stated elsewhere, that I can render that the copyright of Waverley was, during the little better reason for choosing to remain anonybook's progress through the press, offered for sale mous, than by saying with Shylock, that such was to various booksellers in London at a very inconsi- / my humour. It will be observed, that I had not derable price. This was not the case. Messrs Con- the usual stimulus for desiring personal reputation, stable and Cadell, who published the work, were the the desire, namely, to float amidst the conversaonly persons acquainted with the contents of the tion of ..en. Of literary fame, whether merited or publication, and they offered a large sum for it undeserved, I had already as much as might have while in the course of printing, which, however, was contented a mind more ambitious than mine; and declined, the author not choosing to part with the in entering into this new contest for reputation, I copyright.
might be said rather to endanger what I had, than The origin of the story of Waverley, and the par- to have any considerable chance of acquiring more. ticular facts on which it is founded, are given in the I was affected, too, by none of those motives which, | separate Introduction prefixed to that romance in at an earlier period of life, would doubtless have this edition, and require no notice in this place. operated upon me. My friendships were formed,
Warerley was published in 1814, and as the title- my place in society fixed--my life had attained its page was without the name of the author, the work middle course. My condition in society was higher was left to win its way in the world without any of perhaps than I deserved, certainly as high as I the usual recommendations. Its progress was for wished, and there was scarce any degree of literary some time slow; but after the first two or three success which could have greatly altered or improved months, its popularity had increased in a degree my personal condition. which must have satisfied the expectations of the I was not, therefore, touched by the spur of amAuthor, had these been far more sanguine than he i bition, usually stimulating on such occasions; and ever entertained.
yet I ought to stand exculpated from the charge Great anxiety was expressed to learn the name of ungracious or unbecoming indifference to public of the author, but on this no authentic information applause. I did not the less feel gratitude for the csauld be attained. My original motive for publish- public favour, although I did not proclaim it, -as ing the work anonymous, was the consciousness the lover who wears his mistress's favour in his bothat it was an experiment on the public taste which som, is as proud, though not so vain of possessing might very probably fail, and therefore there was it, as another who displays the token of her grace no occasion to take on myself the personal risk of upon his bonnet. Far from such an ungracious discomfiture. For this purpose considerable pre- state of mind, I have seldom felt more satisfaction cautions were used to preserve secrecy. My old than when, returning from a pleasure voyage, I I friend and schoolfellow, Mr James Ballantyne, who found Waverley in the zenith of popularity, and printed these Novels, had the exclusive task of cor- public curiosity in full cry after the name of the responding with the Author, who thus had not only author. The knowledge that I had the public apthe advantage of his professional talents, but also of probation, was like having the property of a hidden nis crítical abilities. The original manuscript, or, as treasure, not less gratifying to the owner than if it is technically called, copy, was transcribed under all the world knew that it was his own. Anothe: Mr Ballantyne's eye by confidential persons ; nor advantage was connected with the secrecy which I Fas there an instance of treachery during the many observed. I could appear, or retreat from the stage years in which these precautions were resorted to, at pleasure, without attracting any personal notice although various individuals were employed at dif- or attention, other than what might be founded on ferent times. Double proof-sheets were regularly suspicion only. In my own person also, as a sucprinted off. One was forwarded to the Author by cessful author in another dopartment of literature, Mr Ballantyne, and the alterations which it received I might have been charged with too frequent inHere, by his own hand, copied upon the other proof-trusions on the public patience; but the author op sheet for the use of the printers, so that even the Waverley was in this respect as impassible to the aurrected proofs of the author were never seen in critic, as the Ghost of Hamlet to the partisan of the printing-office; and thus the curiosity of such | Marcellus. Perhaps the curiosity of the public, ir
ritavad by the existence of a secret, and kept atioat | I usually qualified my denial by stating, that, had by the discussions which took place on the subject I been the author of these works, I would have felt from time to time, went a good way to maintain an myself quite entitled to protect my secret by refusing unabated interest in these frequent publications. my own evidence, when it was asked for to accomThere was a mystery concerning the author, which plish a discovery of what I desired to conceal. each new novel was expected to assist in unravel- The real truth is, that I never expected or hoped ling, although it might in other respects rank lower to disguise my connexion with these Novels froin than its predecessors.
any one who lived on terms of intimacy with me. I may perhaps be thought guilty of affectation, The number of coincidences which necessarily exshould I allege as one reason of my silence, a secret isted between narratives recounted, modes of exdislike to enter on personal discussions concerning pression, and opinions broached in these Tales, and my own literary labours. It is in every case a dan- such as were used by their author in the intercourse gerous intercourse for an author to be dwelling of private life, must have been far too great to continually among those who make his writings a permit any of my familiar acquaintances to doubt frequent and familiar subject of conversation, but the identity betwixt their friend and the Author of who must necessarily be partial judges of works Waverley; and I believe, they were all morally concomposed in their own society. The habits of self- vinced of it. But while I was myself silent, their importance, which are thus acquired by authors, belief could not weigh much more with the world are highly injurious to a well-regulated mind; for than that of others; their opinions and reasoning the cup of flattery, if it does not, like that of Circe, were liable to be taxed with partiality, or confronted reduce men to the level of beasts, is sure, if eagerly with opposing arguments and opinions; and the drained, to bring the best and the ablest down to question was not so much, whether I should be ge- | that of fools. This risk was in some degree pre- nerally acknowledged to be the author, in spite of vented by the mask which I wore; and my own my own denial, as whether even my own avowal of stores of self-conceit were left to their natural the works, if such should be made, would be sufficourse, without being enhanced by the partiality cient to put me in undisputed possession of that of friends, or adulation of flatterers.
character. If I am asked further reasons for the conduct I I have been often asked concerning supposed have long observed, I can only resort to the expla, cases in which I was said to have been placed on nation supplied by a critic as friendly as he is in the verge of discovery; but, as I maintained my telligent; namely, that the mental organization of point with the composure of a lawyer of thirty years' the Novelist must be characterised, to speak cranio- standing, I never recollect being in pain or confusion logically, by an extraordinary developement of the on the subject. In Captain Medwyn’s Conversations passion for delitescency! I the rather suspect some of Lord Byron, the reporter states himself to have natural disposition of this kind; for, from the in- asked my noble and highly-gifted friend, “ If he stant I perceived the extreme curiosity manifested was certain about these Novels being Sir Walter on the subject, I felt a secret satisfaction in baffling Scott's ?" To which Lord Byron replied, “ Scott as it, for which, when its unimportance is considered, much as owned himself the Author of Waverley to I do not well know how to account.
me in Murray's shop. I was talking to him about that My desire to remain concealed, in the character novel, and lamented that its author bad not carried of the Author of these Novels, subjected me occa- back the story nearer to the timno of the Revolution sionally to awkward embarrassments, as it some--Scott, entirely off his guard, replied, 'Ay, I might times happened that those who were sufficiently have done so; but—' there he stopped. It was in intimate with me, would put the question in direct vain to attempt to correct himself ; he looked con
terms. In this case, only one of three courses could fused, and relieved his embarrassment by a preci• be followed. Either I must have surrendered my pitate retreat.” I have no recollection whatever of secret,-or have returned an equivocating answer, this scene taking place, and I should have thought
-or, finally, must have stoutly and boldly denied that I was more likely to have laughed than to apthe fact. The first was a sacrifice which I conceive pear confused, for I certainly never hoped to impose no one had a right to force from me, since I alone upon Lord Byron in a case of the kind; and from was concerned in the matter. The alternative of the manner in which he uniformly expressed himrendering a doubtful answer must have left me open self, I knew his opinion was entirely formed, and to the degrading suspicion that I was not unwill- that any disclamations of mine would only have ing to assume the merit (if there was any) which I savoured of affectation. I do not mean to insinuate dared not absolutely lay claim to; or those who might that the incident did not happen, but only that it think more justly of me, must have received such could hardly have occurred exactly under the cir. an equivocal answer as an indirect avowal. I there- cumstances narrated, without my recollecting somefore considered myself entitled, like an accused per- thing positive on the subject. In another part of Bon put upon trial, to refuse giving my own evidence the same volume, Lord Byron is reported to have to my own conviction, and flatly to deny all that expressed a supposition that the cause of my not could not be proved against me. At the same time avowing myself the Author of Waverley may have
ten some surmise that the reigning family would successful as a writer. The Author of Waverley have been displeased with the work. I can only was so persuaded of the truth of this, that he warmly sy, it is the last apprehension I should have enter-pressed his brother to make such an experiment, and tained, as indeed the inscription to these volumes willingly undertook all the trouble of correcting and sufficiently proves. The sufferers of that melan- superintending the press. Mr Thomas Scott seemed choly period have, during the last and present reign, at first very well disposed to embrace the proposal, been honoured both with the sympathy and pro- and had even fixed on a subject and a hero. The tection of the reigning family, whose magnanimity latter was a person well known to both of us in our can well pardon a sigh from others, and bestow one boyish years, from having displayed some strong themselves, to the memory of brave opponents, who traits of character. Mr T. Scott had determined to did nothing in hate, but all in honour.
represent his youthful acquaintance as emigrating While those who were in habitual intercourse to America, and encountering the dangers and hardwith the real author had little hesitation in assign- ships of the New World, with the same dauntless ing the literary property to him, others, and those spirit which he had displayed when a boy in his critics of no mean rank, employed themselves in native country. Mr Scott would probably have investigating with persevering patience any cha- been highly successful, being familiarly acquainted racteristic features which might seem to betray the with the manners of the native Indians, of the old origin of these Novels. Amongst these, one gentle French settlers in Canada, and of the Brulés or man, equally remarkable for the kind and liberal Woodsmen, and having the power of observing tone of his criticism, the acuteness of his reasoning, with accuracy what, I have no doubt, he could have and the very gentlemanlike manner in which he sketched with force and expression. In short, the conducted his enquiries, displayed not only powers author believes his brother would have made himof aecurate investigation, but a temper of mind de- self distinguished in that striking field, in which, serving to be employed on a subject of much greater since that period, Mr Cooper has achieved so many importance; and I have no doubt made converts to triumphs. But Mr T. Scott was already affected by his opinion of almost all who thought the point bad health, which wholly unfitted him for literary worthy of consideration. Of those letters, and other labour, even if he could have reconciled his patience attempts of the same kind, the author could not to the task. He never, I believe, wrote a single line complain, though his incognito was endangered. of the projected work; and I only have the melanHe had challenged the public to a game at bo-peep, choly pleasure of preserving in the Appendix, the and if he was discovered in his “hiding-hole,” he simple anecdote on which he proposed to found it. must submit to the shame of detection.
To this I may add, I can easily conceive that Various reports were of course circulated in there may have been circumstances which gave a various ways; some founded on an inaccurate re- colour to the general report of my brother being hearsal of what may have been partly real, some on interested in these works; and in particular that it circumstances having no concern whatever with the might derive strength from my having occasion to subject, and others on the invention of some im- remit to him, in consequence of certain family transportunate persons, who might perhaps imagine, that actions, some considerable sums of money about the readiest mode of forcing the author to disclose that period. To which it is to be added, that if himself, was to assign some dishonourable and dis- any person chanced to evince particular curiosity creditable cause for his silence.
on such a subject, my brother was likely enough to It may be easily supposed that this sort of in- divert himself with practising on their credulity. quisition was treated with contempt by the person It may be mentioned, that while the paternity of whom it principally regarded; as, among all the these Novels was from time to time warmly disrumours that were current, there was only one, and puted in Britain, the foreign booksellers expressed that as unfounded as the others, which had never- no hesitation on the matter, but affixed my name theless some alliance to probability, and indeed to the whole of the Novels, and to some besides to might have proved in some degree true.
which I had no claim. I allude to a report which ascribed a great part, The volumes, therefore, to which the present pages or the whole, of these Novels, to the late Thomas form a Preface, are entirely the composition of Scott, Esq., of the 70th Regiment, then stationed the Author by whom they are now acknowledged, in Canada. Those who remember that gentleman with the exception, always, of avowed quotations, will readily grant, that, with general talents at least and such unpremeditated and involuntary plagiarequal to those of his elder brother, he added a power isms as can scarce be guarded against by any one of social humour, and a deep insight into human who has read and written a great deal. The oricharacter, which rendered him an universally, de- ginal manuscripts are all in existence, and entirely lightful member of society, and that the habit of written (horresco referens ) in the Author's own hand, composition alone was wanting to render him equally excepting during the years 1818 and 1819, when,
. Sec Appendix, No. III. p. 18.
· Letters on the Author of Waverley; Rodwell and Mar.
veing affected with severe illness, he was obligel to new interest in the object, when it is opened, wit employ the assistance of a friendly amanuensis. the internal machinery displayed to them.
The number of persons to whom the secret was That Waverley and its successors have had their necessarily intrusted, or communicated by chance, day of favour and popularity must be admitted with amounted I should think to twenty at least, to whom sincere gratitude; and the Author has studied (with I am greatly obliged for the fidelity with which the prudence of a beauty whose reign has been rathey observed their trust, until the derangement of ther long) to supply, by the assistance of art, the the affairs of my publishers, Messrs Constable & charms which novelty no longer affords. The pubCo., and the exposure of their accompt books, which lishers have endeavoured to gratify the honourable was the necessary consequence, rendered secrecy partiality of the public for the encouragement of no longer possible. The particulars attending the Britislı art, by illustrating this edition with designs avowal have been laid before the public in the In- by the most eminent living artists.? troduction to the Chronicles of the Canongate. To my distinguished countryman, David Wilkie,
The preliminary advertisement has given a sketch to Edwin Landseer, who has exercised his talents of the purpose of this edition. I have some reason so much on Scottish subjects and scenery, to Messrs to fear that the notes which accompany the tales, as Leslie and Newton, my thanks are due, from a friend ! now published, may be thought too miscellaneous as well as an author. Nor am I less obliged and too egotistical. It may be some apology for Messrs Cooper, Kidd, and other artists of distinction this, that the publication was intended to be post- to whom I am less personally known, for the ready humous, and still more, that old men may be per- zeal with which they have devoted their talents to mitted to speak long, because they cannot in the the same purpose. course of nature have long time to speak. In pre- Farther explanation respecting the Edition, is the paring the present edition, I have done all that I business of the publishers, not of the author; and can do to explain the nature of my materials, and here, therefore, the latter has accomplished his task the use I have made of them; nor is it probable that of introduction and explanation. If, like a spoiled I shall again revise or even read these tales. I was child, he has sometimes abused or trifled with the therefore desirous rather to exceed in the portion of indulgence of the public, he feels himself entitled new and explanatory matter which is added to this to full belief, when he exculpates himself from the edition, than that the reader should have reason to charge of having been at any time insensible of | complain that the information communicated was their kindness. of a general and merely nominal character. It ABBOTSFORD, remains to be tried whether the public (like a child
1st January 1829. to whom a watch is shown) will, after having been satiated with looking at the outside, acquire some
1 This refers to the Edition of 1829, in 48 vols., with 96 Engravings.
APPENDIX TO GENERAL PREFACE.
ooitea. The bushes and brambles which grew around
and had even insinuated their branches beneath the FRAGMENT OF A ROMANCE WHICH WAS TO HAVE
gate, plainly showed that it must have been many BEEN ENTITLED,
years since it had been opened. While the cottages
around lay in smoking ruins, this pile, deserted and THOMAS THE RHYMER, desolate as it seemed to be, had suffered nothing
1 from the violence of the invaders; and the wretched CHAPTER I.
beings who were endeavouring to repair their mi
serable huts against nightfall, seemed to neglect The sun was nearly set behind the distant moun the preferable shelter which it might have afforded tains of Liddesdale, when a few of the scattered and them, without the necessity of labour. terrified inhabitants of the village of Hersildoun, Before the day had quite gone down, a knight, which had four days before been burned by a pre- richly armed, and mounted upon an ambling hackdatory band of English Borderers, were now busied ney, rode slowly into the village. His attendants in repairing their ruined dwellings. One high tower were a lady, apparently young and beautiful, who in the centre of the village alone exhibited no ap- rode by his side upon a dappled palfrey; his squire, pearance of devastation. It was surrounded with who carried his helmet and lance, and led his battlecourt walls, and the outer gate was barred and horse, a noble steed, richly caparisoned. A page
3 It is not to be supposed that these fragments are given etchings of a plate, which are accounted interesting to As possessing any intrinsic value of themselves; but there those who have, in any degree, been interested in the mor may be some curiosity attached to them, as to the first finished works of the artist.