- The Journal of Sir Walter Scott from the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford (Editor's Note) by Sir Walter Scott
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The Journal of Sir Walter Scott from the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford
Editor's Note

by Sir Walter Scott

NOTE.—From July 20th, 1329, to May 23d, 1830, there are no entries in the Journal, but during that time Sir Walter met with a sad loss. He was deprived of his humble friend and staunch henchman, Thomas Purdie. The following little note to Laidlaw shows how keenly he felt his death:—

"MY DEAR WILLIE,—I write to tell you the shocking news of poor Tom Purdie's death, by which I have been greatly affected. He had complained, or rather spoken, of a sore throat; and the day before yesterday, as it came on a shower of rain, I wanted him to walk fast on to Abbotsford before me, but you know well how impossible that was. He took some jelly, or trifle of that kind, but made no complaint. This morning he rose from bed as usual, and sat down by the table with his head on his hand; and when his daughter spoke to him, life had passed away without a sigh or groan. Poor fellow! There is a heart cold that loved me well, and, I am sure, thought of my interest more than his own. I have seldom been so much shocked. I wish you would take a ride down and pass the night. There is much I have to say, and this loss adds to my wish to see you. We dine at four. The day is indifferent, but the sooner the better.—Yours very truly,

[359] Abbotsford Notanda, p. 175.
"31st (sic) October," Qy. 29th.

To Mr. Cadell, a few days later, he says, "I have lost my old and faithful servant, my factotum, and am so much shocked that I really wish to be quit of the country. I have this day laid him in the grave."

On coming to Edinburgh, Sir Walter found that his old friend and neighbour Lady Jane Stuart [360] was no longer there to welcome him. She also had died somewhat suddenly on October 28th, and was buried at Invermay on November 4th.
[360] Eldest daughter of David, sixth Earl of Leven and fifth of Melville, and widow of Sir John Wishart Belsches Stuart, Bart., of Fettercairn. See ante, vol. i. p. 404; vol. ii. pp. 55, 62.

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