« AnteriorContinuar »
man compact of honour and the exemplary qualities, cannot stand in the day of judgment by the side of Fergus, who Scott more than hints was a typical Gael with the un-English easy virtue of the Gael.
Scott, however, designed in "Waverley" to range impartially over Highlands and Lowlands and all the wide domain of Scottish history and tradition. It is hardly a novel in the ordinary sense; it is a picture of Scott's ample mind, and of the fair and manifold intellectual heritage that was his, in the day before the railway, the great romance-destroyer, had reached Scotland, and before the Bodach-glas or the Bodach-an-dun had vanished from the House of Fergus or of Rothiemurchus.
Scott himself has given in some detail the account of how he came to begin "Waverley" in 1805, resume it five or six years later, and finish it at last in 1814; and as this is reproduced in the following pages, it need not be summarized here. But there is one story of the writing of the novel, told by Lockhart, which gives a very remarkable and almost uncanny picture of the great improvisator at work on a summer's evening, and which, once read, can never after be dissociated from the pages of "Waverley." Lockhart describes how, "happening to pass through Edinburgh in June, 1814, he dined one day with a friend who became the Honourable William Menzies, one of the Supreme Judges at the Cape of Good Hope, and whose residence was then in George Street, situated very near to, and at right angles with, North Castle Street. It was a party of very young persons, most of them, like Menzies and myself, destined for the Bar of Scotland, all gay and thoughtless, enjoying the first flush of manhood, with little remembrance of the yesterday, or care of the morrow. When my companion's worthy father and uncle, after seeing two or three bottles go round, left the juveniles to themselves, the weather being hot, we adjourned to a library which had one large window looking northwards. After carousing here for an hour or more, I observed that a shade had come over the aspect of my friend, who happened to be placed immediately opposite to myself, and said something that intimated a fear of his being unwell. 'No, said he, 'I shall be well enough presently, if you will only let me sit where you are, and take my chair; for there is a confounded hand in sight of me here, which has often bothered me before, and now it won't let me fill my glass with a good will.' I rose to change places with him accordingly, and he pointed out to me this hand which, like the writing on Belshazzar's wall, disturbed
his hour of hilarity. 'Since we sat down,' he said, 'I have been watching it—it fascinates my eye-it never stops-page after page is finished and thrown on that heap of MS. and still it goes on unwearied-and so it will be till candles are brought in, and God knows how long after that. It is the same every night-I can't stand a sight of it when I am not at my books.'-'Some stupid, dogged, engrossing clerk, probably,' exclaimed myself, 'or some other giddy youth in our society.' 'No, boys,' said our host, 'I well know what hand it is 'tis Walter Scott's.' This was the hand that, in the evenings of three summer weeks, wrote the two last volumes of 'Waverley.""
The following is a list of the works of Sir Walter Scott, 17711832
"Disputatio Juridica," etc., 1792 (Exercise on being called to the Bar); The Chase, and William and Helen (from German of Bürger), 1796; Goetz of Berlichingen (translation of Goethe's Tragedy); Apology for Tales of Terror (includes some of Author's ballads), privately printed, 1799; The Eve of St. John: A Border Ballad, 1800; Ballads in Lewis's "Tales of Wonder," 1801; Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders, 1802, 1803; Lay of the Last Minstrel, 1805; Ballads and Lyrical Pieces, 1806; Marmion: a Tale of Flodden Field, 1808; Life of Dryden; The Lady of the Lake, 1810; Vision of Don Roderick, 1811; Rokeby, 1813; The Bridal of Triermain, 1813; Abstract of Eyrbiggia Saga, in Jamieson's "Northern Antiquities," 1814; Waverley, or 'Tis Sixty Years Since, 1814; Life of Swift (prefixed to works), 1814; The Lord of the Isles, 1815; Guy Mannering, 1815; The Field of Waterloo, 1815; Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk, 1815; The Antiquary, 1816; Tales of my Landlord (Black Dwarf, Old Mortality), 1817 (1816); Harold the Dauntless, 1817; The Search after Happiness, or the Quest of Sultan Solimaun, 1817; Rob Roy, 1818; Tales of my Landlord (Heart of Midlothian), 1818; The Bride of Lammermoor, 1819; Description of the Regalia of Scotland, 1819; Ivanhoe, 1820; The Monastery, 1820; The Abbot, 1820; Kenilworth, 1821; Biographies in Ballantyne's "Novelists," 1821; Account of George IV's Coronation, 1821; The Pirate, 1822; Halidon Hill, 1822; Macduff's Cross (Joanna Baillie's Poetical Miscellanies), 1822; The Fortunes of Nigel, 1822; Peveril of the Peak, 1822; Quentin Durward, 1823; St. Ronan's Well, 1824; Redgauntlet, 1824; Tales of the Crusaders; The Betrothed; The Talisman, 1825; Woodstock, or the Cavaliers: A Tale of 1651, 1826; Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, 1827; Chronicles of the Canongate; The Two Drovers; The Highland Widow; The Surgeon's Daughter, 1827; Tales of a Grandfather, Ist Series, 1828; 2nd Series, 1829; 3rd Series, 1830; 4th Series, 1830; Chronicles of the Canongate ; St. Valentine's Day, or The Fair Maid of Perth, 1828; My Aunt Margaret's Mirror; The Tapestried Chamber; The Laird's Jock (Keepsake, 1828); Religious Discourses, by a Layman, 1828; Anne of Geierstein, 1829; History of Scotland (Lardner's "Cabinet Cyclopædia "), 1830; Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft, 1830; House of Aspen (Keep sake, 1830); Doom of Devorgoil; Auchindrane, or the Ayrshire Tragedy,
1830; Essays on Ballad Poetry, 1830; Tales of My Landlord: Count Robert of Paris; Castle Dangerous, 1832.
Letters and Articles were contributed to Encyclopædia Britannica, 1814 (Chivalry; Drama); "Provincial Antiquities of Scotland," 1819-1826; "Edinburgh Weekly Journal," 1820, 1826; as well as frequent articles to the "Edinburgh" and "Quarterly" Reviews, and "Edinburgh Annual Register."
Collected Poems: 1820, 1821, 1823, 1830 (with Author's Prefaces); 1834 (Lockhart).
Collected Novels: 1820 (Novels and Tales); 1822 (Historical Romances); 1824 (Historical Romances), 26 vols. With Author's Notes, 1829-33, 48 vols. People's Edition, 1844-8; Abbotsford, 1842-7; Roxburghe, 1859-61; Dryburgh, 1892-4; Border (A. Lang), 1892-4; The Temple Edition (C. K. Shorter), 1897-9.
Waverley continnes at Glennaquoich
XXVIII. A Letter from Tully-Veolan
XXIX. Waverley's Reception in the Lowlands after his High-