The Journal of Sir Walter Scott from the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford July, 1828
by Sir Walter Scott
"Up in the morning's no for me." 
 Burns's song.
Yet here I am up at five—no horses come from the North Ferry yet.
"O Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Mitchell,
Your promises and time keep stitch ill."
July I, [Edinburgh].—Got home, however, by nine, and went to the
Parliament House, where we were detained till four o'clock. Miss ———
dined with us, a professed lion-huntress, who travels the country to
rouse the peaceful beasts out of their lair, and insists on being hand
and glove with all the leonine race. She is very plain, besides
frightfully red-haired, and out-Lydia-ing even my poor friend Lydia
White. An awful visitation! I think I see her with javelin raised and
buskined foot, a second Diana, roaming the hills of Westmoreland in
quest of the lakers. Would to God she were there or anywhere but here!
Affectation is a painful thing to witness, and this poor woman has the
bad taste to think direct flattery is the way to make her advances to
friendship and intimacy.
July 2.—I believe I was cross yesterday. I am at any rate very ill
to-day with a rheumatic headache, and a still more vile hypochondriacal
affection, which fills my head with pain, my heart with sadness, and my
eyes with tears. I do not wonder at the awful feelings which visited men
less educated and less firm than I may call myself. It is a most
hang-dog cast of feeling, but it may be chased away by study or by
exercise. The last I have always found most successful, but the first is
most convenient. I wrought therefore, and endured all this forenoon,
being a Teind Wednesday. I am now in such a state that I would hardly be
surprised at the worst news which could be brought to me. And all this
without any rational cause why to-day should be sadder than yesterday.
Two things to lighten my spirits—First, Cadell comes to assure me that
the stock of 12mo novels is diminished from 3800, which was the quantity
in the publishers' hands in March 1827, to 600 or 700. This argues
gallant room for the publication of the New Series. Second, said Cadell
is setting off straight for London to set affairs a-going. If I have
success in this, it will greatly assist in extricating my affairs.
My aches of the heart terminated in a cruel aching of the
head—rheumatic, I suppose. But Sir Adam and Clerk came to dinner, and
laughed and talked the sense of pain and oppression away. We cannot at
times work ourselves into a gay humour, any more than we can tickle
ourselves into a fit of laughter; foreign agency is necessary. My
huntress of lions again dined with us. I have subscribed to her Album,
and done what was civil.
July 3.—Corrected proofs in the morning, and wrote a little. I was
forced to crop vol. i. as thirty pages too long; there is the less to
write behind. We were kept late at the Court, and when I came out I
bethought me, like Christian in the Castle of Giant Despair, "Wherefore
should I walk along the broiling and stifling streets when I have a
little key in my bosom which can open any lock in Princes Street Walks,
and be thus on the Castle banks, rocks, and trees in a few minutes?" I
made use of my key accordingly, and walked from the Castle Hill down to
Wallace's Tower,  and thence to the west end of Princes Street,
through a scene of grandeur and beauty perhaps unequalled, whether the
foreground or distant view is considered—all down hill, too. Foolish
never to think of this before. I chatted with the girls a good while
after dinner, but wrote a trifle when we had tea.
 Now called Wellhouse Tower.
July 4.—The two Annes set off to Abbotsford, though the weather was
somewhat lowering for an open carriage, but the day cleared up finely.
Hamilton is unwell, so we had a long hearing of his on our hands. It was
four ere I got home, but I had taken my newly discovered path by rock,
bush, and ruin. I question if Europe has such another path. We owe this
to the taste of James Skene. But I must dress to go to Dr. Hope's, who
makes chère exquise, and does not understand being kept late.
July 5.—Saturday, corrected proofs and wrought hard. Went out to
dinner at Oxenfoord Castle, and returned in the company of Lord Alloway,
Chief Baron, Clerk, etc., and Mr. Bouverie, the English Commissioner.
July 6.—A day of hard work. The second volume is now well
advanced—wellnigh one half. Dined alone, and pursued my course after
dinner. Seven pages were finished. Solitude's a fine thing for work, but
then you must lie by like a spider, till you collect materials to
continue your web. Began Simond's Switzerland—clever and intelligent,
but rather conceited, as the manner of an American Frenchman. I hope to
knock something out of him though.
July 7.—Williams seems in uncertainty again, and I can't guess what
he will be at. Surely it is a misery to be so indecisive; he will
certainly gain the ill word of both parties and might have had the good
word of all; and, indeed, deserves it. We received his resignation
to-day, but if the King's College are disposed to thrive, they will keep
eyes on this very able man.
July 8.—Hard work in the Court, the sederunts turn long and
burthensome. I fear they will require some abridgment of vacation.