- 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

[From May 25th to October 9th there are no dates in the Journal, but the entry beginning "I have been very ill" must have been made about the middle of September. "In the family circle," says Mr. Lockhart, "he seldom spoke of his illness at all, and when he did, it was always in a hopeful strain." "In private, to Laidlaw and myself, his language corresponded exactly with the tone of the Diary. He expressed his belief that the chances of recovery were few—very few—but always added that he considered it his duty to exert what faculties remained to him for the sake of his creditors to the very last.—'I am very anxious,' he repeatedly said to me, 'to be done one way or other with this Count Robert, and a little story about the Castle Dangerous—which also I had long in my head—but after that I will attempt nothing more, at least not until I have finished all the notes for the Novels,'" etc.

On the 18th July he set out in company with Mr. Lockhart to visit Douglas Castle, St. Bride's Church and its neighbourhood, for the purpose of verifying the scenery of Castle Dangerous, then partly printed, returning on the 20th.

He finished that book and Count Robert before the end of August.

In September, Mr. Lockhart, then staying at Chiefswood, and proposing to make a run into Lanarkshire for a day or two, mentioned overnight at Abbotsford that he intended to take his second son, then a boy of five or six years of age, and Sir Walter's namesake, with him on the stage-coach.

Next morning the following affectionate billet was put into his hands:—

To J.G. LOCKHART, Esq., Chiefswood.

"DEAR DON, or Doctor Giovanni,

"Can you really be thinking of taking Wa-Wa by the coach—and I think you said outside? Think of Johnny, and be careful of this little man. Are you par hazard something in the state of the poor capitaine des dragons that comes in singing:—
'Comment? Parbleu! Qu'en pensez vous,
Bon gentilhomme, et pas un sous'?

"If so, remember 'Richard's himself again,' and make free use of the enclosed cheque on Cadell for £50. He will give you the ready as you pass through, and you can pay when I ask.

"Put horses to your carriage, and go hidalgo fashion. We shall all have good days yet.
'And those sad days you deign to spend
With me I shall requite them all;
Sir Eustace for his friends shall send
And thank their love in Grayling Hall!' >[462]
"W.S." [463]
[462] See Crabbe's Sir Eustace Grey.

[463] Life, vol. x. pp. 100-1.
On the 15th September he tells the Duke of Buccleuch, "I am going to try whether the air of Naples will make an old fellow of sixty young again."

On the 17th the old splendour of the house was revived. Col. Glencairn Burns, son of the poet, then in Scotland, came
"To stir with joy the towers of Abbotsford."

The neighbours were assembled, and, having his son to help him, Sir Walter did the honours of the table once more as of yore.

On the 19th the poet Wordsworth arrived, and left on the 22d.

On the 20th, Mrs. Lockhart set out for London to prepare for her father's reception there, and on the 23d Sir Walter left Abbotsford for London, where he arrived on the 28th. [464]]
[464] See Life, vol. x. pp. 76-106.

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