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letters. Writing from Edinburgh to The air, my dear Mrs. Clephane, Mrs. Clephane in 1818, he says

which you did me the honor to request,

I have now the pleasure to send you. Our principal amusement here is It is not, I am told, quite perfect, but "Blackwood's Magazine,” which is very it is going where any of its defects (the clever, very rash, very satirical, and nature of which I don't understand) what is rather uncommon nowadays will be easily corrected, and its beauwhen such superlatives are going in- ties, if it has any, improved. It is very aristocratical and Pittite. The really a Highland air and sung by the conductors are John Wilson and John reapers, so I dare say it is no stranger Gibson Lockhart. The former, well to you, to whom all lays are known known by his poems, is very clever that were ever sung or harped in Celbut somewhat whimsical. Lockhart tic bower or hall. I need not say is a very clever fellow, well informed how much I was obliged by your kind in ancient and modern lore, has very remembrance of my request about the good manners, and is, I think, likely Borderer's lament. to make a very distinguished figure

Mrs. Scott is not so fortunate as to in society. They have made them- play much herself, but our eldest girl selves bated, but at the same time begins to sing and to practise a little feared, by the Edinburgh Whigs, wha on the pianoforte with some hopes of are so much accustomed to have all success. She is indulged with a copy the satire and fun their own way that of the ballad, for the beautiful original they stare a little at finding their own is reserved to be inserted in a precious batteries occupied and turned against volume of mine, in which I keep what them. I hate personal satire myself—

I value most. I have not heard of it is a clumsy weapon and seldom fails Miss Seward this long time, and grieve to recoil on those who use it. But at your account of her health. She yet those who have set the example in

has a

warm enthusiastic feeling of such a kind of warfare are not entitled poetry, and an excellent heart, which to consider themselves as ill-used when

is a better thing. I have some thoughts met by sharpshooters of their own de

of being in London in a few weeks, scription.

when I hope to see you, as I have a

world of questions to ask about HighIt was perhaps natural that Sir Wal- land song and poetry, which no one ter fell into the universal error that but you can answer. One day or other gave the conduct of the Magazine un

I hope to attempt a Highland poem, reservedly to Wilson and Lockhart.

as I am warmly attached both to the At no time did William Blackwood al

country and the character of its in

habitants. My father had many visit. low the supreme control to pass out of

ors from Argyllshire when I was a his own hands. It may be allowed

boy, chiefly old men who had been out that the young lions whom he had in 1745, and I used to hang upon their harnessed to his car had no little influ- tales with the utmost delight. ence in choosing the road to be fol

"You mention an air to Lochinvar, lowed, but they ever were made to

but, I believe, mean the enclosed. The

said Lochinvar has been lately well set feel that the reins were firmly held,

by Dr. Clark of Cambridge. I had no and, as the "Annals" record, "the veto

tune particularly in my view when was always in Blackwood's hands."

the ballad was written. To go back to the first of the letters. It is dated Edinburgh, February 5, The "War-Song of Lachlan, High 1809, and it is a very sufficient index Chief of Maclean,” has been published to the mutual pleasure that Mrs. Cle- among Sir Walter's miscellaneous phane and Sir Walter took in their in

poems, and is probably familiar to all tercourse about the subjects which students of his works; but it is interthey loved.

esting to know that it was, in the first

a

instance, written for and sent to Mrs. the play which had been submitted to Clephane, an enthusiastic clans woman him by the authoress. He says: “I of Maclean, who, with her daughters, have promised to do my possible to is asked to "accept my attempt" (to bring it out at Edinburgh, and have versify the Maclean's song) “as a tri- no doubt of its success, but I wish to fling expression of my respect for the consult you about 'a commodity of clan, and my gratitude for the pleasure good names' for the chieftains intro. I have received in your society partic- duced, for Miss Baillie has not been ularly.” And it is a signal instance of fortunate in that particular." Mrs. the rapidity with which the author's Clephane must have been able to supteeming brain shed its fruits, even amid ply the names required, and the eventdistracting and uninspiring surround- ual representation of the play was ings. The letter containing the song triumphant success. Probably it owed is dated Half-Moon Street, 1809, and as much to Sir Walter's interest and in it Scott says: “On my return home exertions as to its own merit. As before dinner, finding I had half-an- Lockhart says, "Scott appears to have hour good, I employed it in an attempt exerted himself most indefatigably in to versify the Maclean's song.” This its behalt. He was consulted about was when he was visiting London for all the minutiæ of costume, attended the first time since his fame had been every rehearsal, and supplied the procrowned by "Marmion," and he was in logue. The play was better received all the whirl of a society that was than any other which the gifted aueager to offer him homage, besides be- thoress has since submitted to the same ing desired to be in town by the Lord experiment." Advocate with reference to some cir- In a letter dated October 1809, a cumstances in the procedure of the forecast was given to Mrs. Clephane of Scottish Law Commission, which had "The Lady of the Lake.” the poet for its secretary. It may be

It is neither Ingratitude nor Forgetremarked that the first draft of the

fulness, my dear Mrs. Clephane, which song, as sent to Mrs. Clephane, differs

has kept me so long silent, but that in some small details from the pub- foul fiend Procrastination, which has lished version. Whether Sir Walter soinetimes the aspect of the first and himself made the alterations, always the laziness of the other, withwhether they have crept in by the

out, I hope, the more odious qualities

of either. Why we should wish to put pains of an editor, cannot be said. The

off till to-morrow that which most we first draft seems to a humble critic to

wish to do would be something diffibe almost more vigorous than the pub

cult to conjecture, were there not ridlished version.

dles in our nature more worth solving As is sufficiently well known, Sir and as difficult to answer. I will flatWalter was always ready to give any.

ter myself, however, that you and my body a helping hand, especially in lit

dear young friends sometimes think of

me, and without more anger than may erature, and was never more happy

justly be bestowed upon a very lazy than when doing so. In 1809 he was fellow who is daily thinking of your much interested in making a success fireside, without having resolution to of Joanna Baillie's first drama, “The embody his enquiries and kind wishes Family Legend," founded upon the in a piece of square folded paper. I story of the Lady's Rock,' and we find

have little to plead from serious occuhim inviting himself to tea with Mrs.

pation, for my autumn has been idly

enough spent, heaven knows. I wanClephane and proposing to read to her

dered, however, as far as Loch Lo· See Thomas Campbell's ballad, “Glenara.” mond, and with difficulty checked my.

or

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self from wandering farther and far- letters addressed to different friends,
ther. I think the main drag-chain and, for that reason, it is unnecessary
was that I could not hope to find you

to notice some of the letters now be-
in Mull, and consequently must forego

fore us. It seems wonderful, how-
all hopes of learning Gaelic and ac-

ever, that in the masses of his letters
quiring the traditional information with
which I should otherwise expect to be

which have been brought to light, so
delighted. I have besides my High- , few should be found to overlap each
land epic still in view. I have indeed other in ideas and expression, even
begun to skirmish a little upon the when the original recipients were peo-
frontiers of Perthshire and Lennox, ple not likely to meet, and who might
into which I was led by the romantic

well have been fobbed off with du-
scenery, the number of strange stories
connected with it, and above all by the plicate epistles.
inveterate habit of coupling the lines

In a letter of January 18, 1812, there
together by jingling rhymes, as I used is an expression of Sir Walter's de-
to couple spaniels in sporting days. light in his new purchase, Abbotsford,
But I reserve my grand effort till I

and of his consciousness that his brain
should know a little more of the lan-

must be called upon to pay the ex-
guage, and above all till I can have
the honor of visiting you in your lovely

penses which he contemplated.
isle.
The Douglases enter a good deal

I have not only been planting and
into my present sketches, which I have

enclosing and gallantly battling nature some thoughts of working into a ro

for the purpose of converting a barren mance, or romantic poem, to be called

brae and haugh into a snug situation The Lady of the Lake. It will, should

for a cottage, but, moreover, I have I find time to continue my plan, con- got the prettiest plan you ever saw, tain a good many lyrical pieces. As

and everything, in short, excepting a to the rest, I have been idle as com

great pouchful of money, which is the fortably as a man can be, when there

most necessary thing of all. I am teris no sun on the brae and no fire in the

ribly afraid I must call in the aid of
chimney, one or other of which I hold

Amphion and his harp, not indeed to
to be indispensable to the pleasures of build a city, but if it can rear a cot-
indolence. Among other attempts to tage, it will be very fair for a modern
supply the want of their exhilarating lyre.
influence, one of the happiest has been
to let my little Sophia croon over Mon-

And in a later letter he again tells
trose's lines, and hope I might one day in classical analogy how he looks to
introduce her to the young songstresses ineeting the expenses of his property
who introduced them to me in their by the harvest of his brain-
musical dress.

I continued to be at Abbotsford for
The same letter goes on to tell of his ten days in the vacation after Christ.
eldest son Walter's entrance at the

mas, and kept the moor gallantly from High School, and of his own feelings

ten in the morning till four in the af.

ternoon, working away at my new terri. being like those of Leontes in "A Win

tories, which now embrace all the ter's Tale." But the same sentiments

beautiful bogs and springs which we are expressed, and the same quotation passed so wearily upon Sunday foreis referred to, in a letter to Joanna noon in the last autumn. It promises Baillie, already published by Lockhart,

me as much work as ever the bog of so they need not now be repeated. In

Ballygalley, &c., gave to the succes. a voluminous correspondence, such as

sive lords of Castle Rackrent-only,

God forbid I should have a lawsuit that of Sir Walter, it is inevitable that

about it. I would not for a penny the same train of thought and almost

that people in general knew how much identical passages should be found in I would give up rather than defend

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myself at the law. But I shall be half- the result, for in April 1815 we find ruined with drains, dykes, and plant him in London writing to Lady Ibering accompts, only that by good luck

corn: "I am tied to this town just now my farm on the verge of Parnassus

as l'homme de confiance of a fair Scotch has been so productive as to make

woman who is about to be married into amends for the losses which I must sustain by my possessions on terra

your high circle, and so we are up to firma, for by good luck, like the nobil- the ears in settlements, &c., but for ity of Laputa, I have possessions both which circumstance I would have ofin the flying island of my imagination

fered my personal respects at the and the bogs and brambles of earthly

Priory." How great was the affection mainland.

felt by the bride-elect towards her One is not accustomed to look upon

guardian is shown by a letter that she Sir Walter Scott as a matchmaker, ex

wrote announcing her engagement. In cept in dealing with his heroes and

it she says: "Do you know, through it

all, who has been father, brother, heroines in fiction, but once at least he appears in that character, whether

everything to me?-Mr. Scott.” And or not of conscious purpose may not

she also very clearly saw and appre

ciated Sir Walter's intellectual magperhaps be absolutely certain.

In 1815 he begs “to introduce to your"

netisın, for she tells elsewhere how she

had been meeting a very dull man: (Mrs. Clephane) "kind notice and hos

"When I met him before, at Mr. pitality two young friends, of whom, both by our friend Morritt's report and

Scott's, I did not think him dull, but from the little I have seen, I am in

he inspires and enlivens everybody who

comes within his reach." clined to think very well: the one is

Another instance presents itself of Earl Compton, son of Lord Northampton, the other Mr. Pemberton—they are

Sir Walter generously devoting his well acquainted with some friends of

great powers to the assistance of a

more humble toiler in the same fields yours.” An ulterior design might be

with himself. Alexander Campbell's surmised in the succeeding words: “Lord C. will give Margaret a book

“Albyn's Anthology,” once very popu

lar, is little known nowadays, but Sir with my kind compliments. It contains a very pretty panegyric upon

Walter furnished the words of several your father." Apparently Mrs. Cle

of the songs and ballads contained in phane and her daughters were living

it, notably the "Macgregor's Gather

ing," "Nora's Vow," and the last three in Edinburgh at the time, for soon af. terwards a note was sent: “My dear

verses of “Jock o' Hazeldean," and these

have since been included in collections Mrs. Clephane-Lord C. dines with me

of his poetry. There is a short mento-morrow, chiefly that I may introduce him to our little friend Donald

tion of Campbell in a letter written son. Will you and the young ladies

to Lady Abercorn and published in Sir

Walter's "Familiar Letters,” in which look in in the evening at eight o'clock, and if Miss Clephane can come, I hope

he calls him “a poor man, a decayed she will prevail on Miss Dalrymple to

artist and musician, who tried to teach

me music many years ago." The honor us. I think Lady Hood and

fuller references to Sir Walter's conMiss Frances Mackenzie will be with

nection with Campbell, occurring in us, and no one else, unless perchance

letters to Miss Clephane, are of great Will. Erskine." If Sir Walter had a

interest. definite benevolent purpose in introducing two young people to each other,

It was, I believe, during your abhe must have had much satisfaction in sence from Mull that Alexander Camp9 bell, the publisher of a new and ample most efforts could not recall it to my collection of Highland and Scottish memory. Pray send me a correct tunes, made his rounds in the Western copy, for “Albyn's Anthology" (blessIsles. He has been very successful ings on their harmony who gave so aband has recovered some beautiful airs, surd a name) is thriving like a green which he gives nearly as you would bay tree, and we shall have a new sing them, that is, in their own sim- edition forthwith. plicity, with no other ornament than the taste of the performer can give, It will always be a curious matter and a few notes of characteristic sym- of speculation why Sir Walter Scott phony. I have taken the liberty to

was careful to conceal for so long a put your name down as a subscriber,

time the fact that he was the author as I think you would like to encourage

of the Waverley Novels, going so far the undertaking. Campbell is half musician, half poet, and, in right of

on several occasions as to deny cateboth capacities, half mad. If he trav.

gorically that he had written themels again this year, I will send him to . 0., in a letter from him to Mrs. Torloisk. I assure you he travels like

Hughes, “I really assure you I am a Highland Bhaird in his complete tar

not the author of the novels which the tans, "with dirk and pistol by his side,"

world ascribes to me so pertinaciously. like Master Frog when he went a-w00ing. I wish you very much to give

If I were, what good reason should I him your advice and assistance in his

have for concealing, being such a hacklabors, that is, if you approve of what

neyed scribbler as I am ?" He said he has already done. He is a thor- in the famous speech at the theatrical ough-bred musician, and can take down

dinner in 1827, when he at last acmusic readily from hearing it sung.

knowledged the authorship, "Perhaps Some of his tunes are really very pret

caprice might have considerable tily arranged, and I am beginning to give him words for them. One tune

share in the matter," but it is hard to I am quite engoué about. It is de

believe that such a marvellous abnegacidedly an old Scottish air, but is en- tion of literary renown, and perhaps tirely new to me. The only words advantage, is to be attributed to caprice which were remembered by the young alone. Dear and intimate friends as woman (a Miss Pringle) who sang it

the Clephanes were, they were deliberwere these.

ately mystified by Sir Walter, equally Here follows the first verse of "Jock with others. But in their case it was O'Hazeldean." Sir Walter eventually only mystification of a most legitimate composed and added the three suc- kind that was practised, and we do ceeding verses which complete the not encounter the blunt denial, which well-known song. In a later letter- somehow always jars a little upon us

when we meet it elsewhere. Writing I am unbappily answerable and most to Miss Clephane in 1816 Sir Walter reluctantly so for the imperfections

saysof Allan Moidart. The truth is, that I had promised Campbell to get him I will take care that you get a curia proper sett of words, and always for- ous and interesting work, which, notgot to write for them, till the man of withstanding an affected change of music, who is a kind of warrior, came publishers, &c., and a total silence conand besieged me with account of press cerning former adventures in literastopping, and Lord in heaven know's ture, I believe you will agree with me what of grievance and vexation, till can only be by the author of "Waverbetween hope and despair I ran down ley." They call it “Tales of my Landand dictated the verses I remembered, lord," and I have not laughed so much and as I remembered them. One verse this some time as at parts of the secI was sensible I omitted, but my ut- ond tale. The first is hurried and I

a

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