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It may be easily supposed that this sort of inquisition was treated with contempt by the person whom it principally regarded; as, among all the rumors that were current, there was only one, and that as unfounded as the others, which had nevertheless some alliance to probability, and indeed might have proved in some degree true.

I allude to a report which ascribed a great part, or the whole, of these Novels to the late Thomas Scott, Esq., of the 70th Regiment, then stationed in Canada. Those who remember that gentleman will readily grant that, with general talents at least equal to those of his elder brother, he added a power of social humor and a deep insight into human character which rendered him an universally delightful member of society, and that the habit of composition alone was wanting to render him equally successful as a writer. The Author of Waverley was so persuaded of the truth of this, that he warmly pressed his brother to make such an experiment, and willingly undertook all the trouble of correcting and superintending the press. Mr. Thomas Scott seemed at first very well disposed to embrace the proposal, and had even fixed on a subject and a hero. The latter was a person well known to both of us in our boyish years, from having displayed some strong traits of character. Mr. T. Scott had determined to represent his youthful acquaintance as emigrating to America, and encountering the dangers and hardships of the New World, with the same dauntless spirit which he had displayed when a boy in his native country. Mr. Scott would probably have been highly successful, being familiarly acquainted with the manners of the native Indians, of the old French settlers in Canada, and of the Brulés or Woodsmen, and having the power of observing with accuracy what I have no doubt he could have sketched with force and expression. In short, the Author believes his brother would have made himself distinguished in that striking field in which, since that period, Mr. Cooper has achieved so many triumphs. But Mr. T. Scott was already affected by bad health, which wholly unfitted him for literary labor, even if he could have reconciled his patience to the task. He never, I believe, wrote a single line of the projected work; and I only have the melancholy pleasure of preserving in the Appendix* the simple anecdote on which he proposed to found it.

To this I may add, I can easily conceive that there may have been circumstances which gave a color to the general report of my brother being interested in these works; and in

* See Appendix No. III.


particular that it might derive strength from my having occasion to remit to him, in consequence of certain family transactions, some considerable sums of money about that period. To which it is to be added that if any person chanced to evince particular curiosity on such a subject, my brother was likely enough to divert himself with practising on their credulity.

It may be mentioned that, while the paternity of these Novels was from time to time warmly disputed in Britain, the foreign booksellers expressed no hesitation on the matter, but affixed my name to the whole of the Novels, and to some besides to which I had no claim.

The volumes, therefore, to which the present pages form Preface are entirely the composition of the author by whom they are now acknowledged, with the exception, always, of avowed quotations, and such unpremeditated and involuntary plagiarisms as can scarce be guarded against by any one who has read and written a great deal. The original manuscripts are all in existence, and entirely written (horresco referens) in the Author's own hand, excepting during the years 1818 and 1819, when, being affected with severe illness, he was obliged to employ the assistance of a friendly amanuensis.

The number of persons to whom the secret was necessarily intrusted, or communicated by chance, amounted, I should think, to twenty at least, to whom I am greatly obliged for the fidelity with which they observed their trust, until the derangement of the affairs of my publishers, Messrs. Constable & Co., and the exposure of their accompt books, which was the necessary consequence, rendered secrecy no longer possible. The particulars attending the avowal have been laid before the public in the introduction to the Chronicles of the Canongate.

The preliminary advertisement has given a sketch of the purpose of this edition. I have some reason to fear that the notes which accompany the tales, as now published, may be thought too miscellaneous, and too egotistical. It may be some apology for this, that the publication was intended to be posthumous, and still more that old men may be permitted to speak long, because they cannot in the course of nature have long time to speak. In preparing the present edition, I have done all that I can do to explain the nature of my materials, and the use I have made of them; nor is it probable that I shall again revise or even read these Tales. I was therefore desirous rather to exceed in the portion of new and explanatory matter which is added to this edition than that

the reader should have reason to complain that the information communicated was of a general and merely nominal character. It remains to be tried whether the public (like a child to whom a watch is shown) will, after having been satiated with looking at the outside, acquire some new interest in the object when it is opened and the internal machinery displayed to them.

That Waverley and its successors have had their day of favor and popularity must be admitted with sincere gratitude; and the Author has studied (with the prudence of a beauty whose reign has been rather long) to supply, by the assistance of art, the charms which novelty no longer affords. publishers have endeavored to gratify the honorable partiality of the public for the encouragement of British art, by illustrating this edition with designs by the most eminent living artists.


To my distinguished countryman, David Wilkie, to Edwin Landseer, who has exercised his talents so much on Scottish subjects and scenery, to Messrs. Leslie and Newton, my thanks are due, from a friend as well as an author. Nor am I less obliged to Messrs. Cooper, Kidd, and other artists of distinction to whom I am less personally known, for the ready zeal with which they have devoted their talents to the same purpose.

Farther explanation respecting the Edition is the business of the publishers, not of the Author; and here, therefore, the latter has accomplished his task of Introduction and explanation. If, like a spoiled child, he has sometimes abused or trifled with the indulgence of the public, he feels himself entitled to full belief when he exculpates himself from the charge of having been at any time insensible of their kindness.

ABBOTSFORD, 1st January, 1829.


THE plan of this edition leads me to insert in this place some account of the incidents on which the Novel of Waverley is founded. They have been already given to the public by my late lamented friend, William Erskine, Esq. (afterwards Lord Kinneder), when reviewing the Tales of my Landlord for the Quarterly Review in 1817. The particulars were derived by the critic from the Author's information. Afterwards they were published in the Preface to the Chronicles of the Canongate. They are now inserted in their proper place.

The mutual protection afforded by Waverley and Talbot to each other, upon which the whole plot depends, is founded upon one of those anecdotes which soften the features even of civil war; and, as it is equally honorable to the memory of both parties, we have no hesitation to give their names at length. When the Highlanders, on the morning of the battle of Preston, 1745, made their memorable attack on Sir John Cope's army, a battery of four field-pieces was stormed and carried by the Camerons and the Stewarts of Appine. The late Alexander Stewart of Invernahyle was one of the charge, and observing an officer of the King's forces, who, scorning to join the flight of all around, remained with his sword in his hand, as if determined to the very last to defend the post assigned to him, the Highland gentleman commanded him to surrender, and received for reply a thrust, which he caught in his target. The officer was now defenceless, and the battle-axe of a gigantic Highlander (the miller of Invernahyle's mill) was uplifted to dash his brains out, when Mr. Stewart with difficulty prevailed on him to yield. He took charge of his enemy's property, protected his person, and finally obtained him liberty on his parole. The officer proved to be Colonel Whitefoord, an Ayrshire gentleman of high character and influence, and warmly attached to the House of Hanover; yet such was the confidence existing between these two honorable men, though of different political principles, that, while the civil war was raging, and straggling offi

cers from the Highland army were executed without mercy, Invernahyle hesitated not to pay his late captive a visit, as he returned to the Highlands to raise fresh recruits, on which occasion he spent a day or two in Ayrshire among Colonel Whitefoord's Whig friends, as pleasantly and as good-humoredly as if all had been at peace around him.

After the battle of Culloden had ruined the hopes of Charles Edward and dispersed his proscribed adherents, it was Colonel Whitefoord's turn to strain every nerve to obtain Mr. Stewart's pardon. He went to the Lord Justice Clerk, to the Lord Advocate, and to all the officers of state, and each application was answered by the production of a list in which Invernahyle (as the good old gentleman was wont to express it) appeared "marked with the sign of the beast!" as a subject unfit for favor or pardon.

At length Colonel Whitefoord applied to the Duke of Cumberland in person. From him, also, he received a positive refusal. He then limited his request, for the present, to a protection for Stewart's house, wife, children, and property. This was also refused by the Duke; on which Colonel Whitefoord, taking his commission from his bosom, laid it on the table before his Royal Highness with much emotion, and asked permission to retire from the service of a sovereign who did not know how to spare a vanquished enemy. The Duke was struck, and even affected. He bade the Colonel take up his commission, and granted the protection he required. It was issued just in time to save the house, corn, and cattle at Invernahyle from the troops, who were engaged in laying waste what it was the fashion to call "the country of the enemy." A small encampment of soldiers was formed on Invernahyle's property, which they spared while plundering the country around, and searching in every direction for the leaders of the insurrection, and for Stewart in particular. He was much nearer them than they suspected; for, hidden in a cave (like the Baron of Bradwardine), he lay for many days so near the English sentinels that he could hear their muster-roll called. His food was brought to him by one of his daughters, a child of eight years old, whom Mrs. Stewart was under the necessity of intrusting with this commission; for her own motions, and those of all her elder inmates, were closely watched. With ingenuity beyond her years, the child used to stray about among the soldiers, who were rather kind to her, and thus seize the moment when she was unobserved and steal into the thicket, when she deposited whatever small store of provisions she had in charge at some marked spot,

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