Sir Walter Scott The Journal of Sir Walter Scott from the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford
VOLUME I & II
Published by BURT FRANKLIN
235 East 44th St., New York, N.Y. 10017
Originally Published: 1890
Printed in the U.S.A.
Library of Congress Card Catalog No.: 73-123604
Burt Franklin: Research and Source Works Series 535
Essays in Literature and Criticism 82
On the death of Sir Walter Scott in 1832, his entire literary remains
were placed at the disposal of his son-in-law, Mr. John Gibson Lockhart.
Among these remains were two volumes of a Journal which had been kept by
Sir Walter from 1825 to 1832. Mr. Lockhart made large use of this
Journal in his admirable life of his father-in-law. Writing, however, so
short a time after Scott's death, he could not use it so freely as he
might have wished, and, according to his own statement, it was "by
regard for the feelings of living persons" that he both omitted and
altered; and indeed he printed no chapter of the Diary in full.
There is no longer any reason why the Journal should not be published in
its entirety, and by the permission of the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell-Scott it
now appears exactly as Scott left it—but for the correction of obvious
slips of the pen and the omission of some details chiefly of family and
The original Journal consists of two small 4to volumes, 9 inches by 8,
bound in vellum and furnished with strong locks. The manuscript is
closely written on both sides, and towards the end shows painful
evidence of the physical prostration of the writer. The Journal abruptly
closes towards the middle of the second volume with the following
entry—probably the last words ever penned by Scott—
by one of the old Pontiffs, but which, I forget, and so paraded the streets by moonlight to discover, if possible, some appearance of the learned Sir William Gell or the pretty Mrs. Ashley. At length we found our old servant who guided us to the lodgings taken by Sir William Gell, where all was comfortable, a good fire included, which our fatigue and the chilliness of the night required. We dispersed as soon as we had taken some food, wine, and water.
We slept reasonably, but on the next morning
In the annotations, it seemed most satisfactory to follow as closely as
possible the method adopted by Mr. Lockhart. In the case of those parts
of the Journal that have been already published, almost all Mr.
Lockhart's notes have been reproduced, and these are distinguished by
his initials. Extracts from the Life, from James Skene of Rubislaw's
unpublished Reminiscences, and from unpublished letters of Scott himself
and his contemporaries, have been freely used wherever they seemed to
illustrate particular passages in the Journal.
With regard to Scott's quotations a certain difficulty presented itself.
In his Journal he evidently quoted from memory, and he not unfrequently
makes considerable variations from the originals. Occasionally, indeed,
it would seem that he deliberately made free with the exact words of his
author, to adapt them more pertinently to his own mood or the impulse of
the moment. In any case it seemed best to let Scott's quotations appear
as he wrote them. His reading lay in such curious and unfrequented
quarters that to verify all the sources is a nearly impossible task. It
is to be remembered, also, that he himself held very free notions on the
subject of quotation.
I have to thank the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell-Scott for permitting me to retain
for the last three years the precious volumes in which the Journal is
contained, and for granting me access to the correspondence of Sir
Walter preserved at Abbotsford, and I have likewise to acknowledge the
courtesy of His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch for allowing me the use of
the Scott letters at Dalkeith. To Mr. W.F. Skene, Historiographer Royal
for Scotland, my thanks are warmly rendered for intrusting me with his
precious heirloom, the volume which contains Sir Walter's letters to his
father, and the Reminiscences that accompany them—one of many kind
offices towards me during the last thirty years in our relations as
author and publisher. I am also obliged to Mr. Archibald Constable for
permitting me to use the interesting Memorandum by James Ballantyne.
Finally, I have to express my obligation to many other friends, who
never failed cordially to respond to any call I made upon them.