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from the instant I perceived the extreme curiosity manifested on the subject, I felt a secret satisfaction fin baffling it, for which, when its unimportance is considered, I do not well know how to account. My desire to remain concealed, in the character of the Author of these novels, subjected me occasionally to awkward embarrassments, as it sometimes happened that those who were sufficiently intimate with me would put the question in direct terms. In this case, only one of three courses could be followed. Either I must have surrendered my secret, -or have returned an equivocating answer, —or, finally, must have stoutly and boldly denied the fact. The first was a sacrifice which I conceive no one had a right to force from me, since I alone was concerned in the matter. The alternattive of rendering a doubtful answer must have left me open to the degrading suspicion that I was not unwilling to assume the merit (if there was any) which I dared not absolutely lay claim to ; or those who might think more justly of me, must have received such an equivocal answer as an indirect avowal. I therefore considered myself entitled, like an accused person put upon trial, to refuse giving my own evidence to my own conviction, and flatly to deny all that could not be proved against me. At the same time, I usually qualified my denial by stating, that, had I been the author of these works, I would have felt myself quite entitled to protect my secret by refusing my own evidence, when it was asked for to accomplish a discovery of what I desired to conceal. The real truth is, that I never expected or hoped to disguise my connection with these Novels from any one who lived on terms of intimacy with me. The number of coincidences which necessarily existed between narratives recounted, modes of expression, and opinions broached in these tales, and such as were used by their author in the intercourse of private life, must have been far too great to permit any of my familiar acquaintances to doubt the identity betwixt their friend and the Author of Waverley; and I believe they were all morally convinced of it. But while I was myself silent, their belief could not weigh much more with the world than that of others; their opinions and reasoning were liable to be taxed with partiality, or confronted with opposing arguments and opinions; and the question was not so much, whether I should be generally acknowledged to be the author, in spite of my own denial, as whether even my own avowal of the works, if such should be made, would be sufficient to put me in undisputed possession of that character. I have been often asked concerning supposed cases, in which I was said to have been placed on the verge of discovery; but as I maintained my point with the composure of a lawyer of thirty years' standing, I never recollect being in pain or confusion on the subject. In Captain Medwyn's Conversations of Lord Byron, the reporter states himself to have asked my noble and highly gifted friend, “If he was certain about these novels being Sir Walter Scott's '' To which Lord Byron replied, ‘Scott as much as owned himself the Author of Waverley to me in Murray's shop. I was talking to him about that novel, and lamented that its author had not carried back the story nearer to the time of the Revolution—Scott, entirely
off his guard, replied, “Ay, I might have done
so; but—” there he stopped. It was in vain to attempt to correct himself; he looked confused, and relieved his embarrassment by a precipitate retreat. I have no recollection whatever of this scene taking place, and I should have thought that I was more likely to have laughed than to appear confused, for I certainly never hoped to impose upon Lord Byron in a case of the kind; and from the manner in which he uniformly expressed himself, I knew his opinion was entirely formed, and that any disclamations of mine would only have savoured of affectation. I do not mean to insinuate that the incident did not happen, but only that tt could hardly have occurred exactly under the circumstances narrated, without my recollecting something positive on the subject. In another part of the same volume, Lord Byron is reported to have expressed a supposition that the cause of my not avowing myself the Author of Waverley may have been some surmise that the reigning family would have been displeased with the work. I can only say, it is the last apprehension I should have entertained, as indeed the inscription to these volumes sufficiently proves. The sufferers of that melancholy period have, during the last and present reign, been honoured both with the sympathy and protection of the reigning family, whose magnanimity can well pardon a sigh from others, and bestow one themselves to the memory of brave opponents, who did nothing in hate, but all in honour. While those who were in habitual intercourse with the real author had little hesitation in assignting the literary property to him, others, and those critics of no mean rank, employed themselves in tnvestigating with persevering patience any characteristic features which might seem to betray the origin of these novels. Amongst these, one gentleman, equally remarkable for the kind and liberal tone of his criticism, the acuteness of his reasoning, and the very gentlemanlike manner in which he conducted his inquiries, displayed not only powers of accurate investigation, but a temper of mind deserving to be employed on a subject of much greater importance; and I have no doubt made converts to his opinion of almost all who thought the point worthy of consideration." Of those letters, and other attempts of the same kind, the author could not complain, though his incognito was endangered. He had challenged the public to a game at bo-peep, and if he was discovered in his ‘hidinghole, he must submit to the shame of detection. Various reports were of course circulated in various ways; some founded on an accurate rehearsal of what may have been partly real, some on circumstances having no concern whatever with the subject, and others on the invention of some fimportunate persons, who might perhaps imagine, that the readiest mode of forcing the author to disclose himself, was to assign some dishonourable and discreditable cause for his silence. 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 rumours 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,
.* Letters on the Author of Waverley; Rodwell & Mar. tin, London, 1822.
or the whole, of these novels to the late Thomas | was obliged to employ the assistance of a friendly Scott, Esq., of the 70th Regiment, then stationed amanuensis. in Canada. Those who remember that gentleman The number of persons to whom the secret was will readily grant, that, with general talents at necessarily entrusted, or communicated by chance, least equal to those of his elder brother, he added amounted I should think to twenty at least, to a power of social humour, and a deep insight into whom I am greatly obliged for the fidelity with human character, which rendered him an uni which they observed that trust, until the derangeversally delightful member of society, and that the ment of the affairs of my publishers, Messrs. habit of composition alone was wanting to render Constable and Co., and the exposure of their him equally successful as a writer. T'he Author accompt-books, which was the necessary consequence, of Waverley was so persuaded of the truth of this, rendered secrecy no longer possible. The particuthat he warmly pressed his brother to make such lars attending the avowal have been laid before an experiment, and willingly undertook all the the public in the Introduction to the Chronicles trouble of correcting and superintending the press of the Canongate. Mr. Thomas Scott seemed at first very well dis- The preliminary advertisement has given a posed to embrace the proposal, and had even fixed sketch of the purpose of this edition. I have some on a subject and a hero. The latter was a person reason to fear that the notes which accompany the well known to both of us in our boyish years, from tales, as now published, may be thought too miscelhaving displayed some strong traits of character. laneous and too egotistical. It may be some Mr. 1. Scott had determined to represent his apology for this, that the publication was intended youthful acquaintance as emigrating to America, to be posthumous, and still more, that old men and encountering the dangers and hardships of may be permitted to speak long, because they cannot the New World, with the same dauntless spirit in the course of nature have long time to speak. which he had displayed when a boy in his native In preparing the present edition, I have done all country. Mr. Scott would probably have been that I can do to explain the nature of my materials, highly successful, being familiarly acquainted and the use I have made of them ; nor is it prowith the manners of the native Indians, of the old bable that I shall again revise or even read these French settlers in Canada, and of the Brulés or tales. I was therefore desirous rather to exceed in Woodsmen, and having the power of observing the portion of new and explanatory matter which with accuracy what, I have no doubt, he could is added to this edition, than that the reader should have sketched with force and expression. In short, have reason to complain that the information comthe Author believes his brother would have made municated was of a general and merely nominal himself distinguished in that striking field, in character. It remains to be tried whether the public which, since that period, Mr. Cooper has achieved (like a child to whom a watch is shown) will, 80 many triumphs. But Mr. T. Scott was already after having been satiated with looking at the outaffected by bad health, which wholly unfitted him side, acquire some new interest in the object when for literary labour, even if he could have reconciled it is opened, and the internal machinery displayed his patience to the task. He never, I believe, wrote to them. a single line of the projected work ; and I only ! That Waverley and its successors have had their have the melancholy pleasure of preserving in the day of favour and popularity must be admitted with Appendix (No. III.), the simple anecdote on which sincere gratitude; and the Author has studied he proposed to found it.
(with the prudence of a beauty whose reign has To this I may add, I can easily conceive that been rather long) to supply, by the assistance of art, there may have been circumstances which gave a the charms which novelty no longer affords. The colour to the general report of my brother being publishers have endeavoured to gratify the honourinterested in these works; and in particular that able partiality of the public for the encouragement it might derive strength from my having occasion of British art, by illustrating this edition (1829 to remit to him, in consequence of certain family with designs by the most eminent living artists. transactions, some considerable sums of money To my distinguished countryman, David about that period. To which it is to be added, that Wilkie, to Edwin Landseer, who has exercised his if any person chanced to evince particular curiosity | talents so much on Scottish subjects and scenery, to on such a subject, my brother was likely enough to Messrs. Leslie and Newton, my thanks are due, divert himself with practising on their credulity. I from a friend as well as an author. Nor am I less
It may be mentioned, that while the paternity | obliged to Messrs. Cooper, Kidd, and other artists of these novels was from time to time warmly dis of distinction to whom I am less personally known, puted in Britain, the foreign booksellers expressed for the ready zeal with which they have devoted no hesitation on the matter, but affixed my name their talents to the same purpose. to the whole of the novels, and to some besides to further explanation respecting the Edition is which I had no claim.
the business of the publishers, not of the Author; The volumes, therefore, to which the present and here, therefore, the latter has accomplished his pages form a Preface, are entirely the composition task of Introduction and explanation.* If, like of the Author by whom they are now acknowledged, a spoiled child, he has sometimes abused or trifled with the exception, always, of avowed quotations, with the indulgence of the public, he feels himself and such unpremeditated and involuntary plagi entitled to full belief, when he exculpates himself arisms as can scarce be guarded against by any from the charge of having been at any time inone who has read and written a great deal. The sensible of their kindness. original manuscripts are all in existence, and entirely written (horresco referens) in the Author's
ABBOTSFORD, 1st January 1829. own hand, excepting during the years 1818 and ! * The publication of Waverley, and Author's Dedication, 1819, when, being affected with severe illness, he see Appendix No. VI. p. 187.
THE title of this work has not been chosen without the grave and solid deliberation which matters of importance demand from the prudent. Even its first, or general denomination, was the result of no common research or selection, although, according to the example of my predecessors, I had only to seize upon the most sounding and euphonic surname £ English history or topo. graphy affords, and elect it at once as the title of my work, and the name of my hero. But alas ! what could my readers have expected from the chivalrous £ of Howard, Mordaunt, Mortimer, or Stanley, or from the softer and more sentimental sounds of Belmour, Belville, Belfield, and Belgrave, but pages of inanity, similar to those which have been so christened for half a century past? I must modestly admit I am too diffident of my own merit to place it in unnecessary opposition to preconceived associations; I have, therefore, like a maiden knight with his white shield, assumed for my hero, WAVERLEY, an uncontaminated name, bearing with its sound little of good or evil, excepting what the reader shall hereafter be pleased to affix to it. But my second or supplemental title was a matter of much more difficult election, since that, short as it is, may be held as pledging the author to some special mode of laying his scene, drawing his characters, and managing his adventures. # I, for example, announced in my frontispiece, ‘Waverley, a Tale of other Days, must not every novel-reader have anticipated a castle scarce i: than that of Udolpho, of which the eastern wing had long been uninhabited, and the keys either lost, or consigned to the care of some aged butler or housekeeper, whose trembling steps, about the middle of the second volume, were doomed to guide the hero, or heroine, to the ruinous precincts? Would not the owl have shrieked and the cricket cried in # very title-page? and could it have been possible for me, with a moderate attention to decorum, to introduce any scene more lively than might be produced by the jocularity of a clownish but # valet, or the garrulous narrative of the heroine's fille-de-chambre, when rehearsing the stories of blood and horror which
THE ENvoy FROM
she had heard in the servants' hall ? Again,
and that my damsels will neither be clothed ‘in and knocked him on the head as he endeavoured purple and in pall,' like the Lady Alice of an old to escape from the conflagration. It is from the ballad, nor reduced to the primitive nakedness great book of Nature, the same through a thouof a modern fashionable at a rout. From this sand editions, whether of black-letter, or wiremy choice of an era the understanding critic may wove and hot-pressed, that I have venturously farther presage, that the object of my tale is essayed to read a chapter to the public. Some more a description of men than manners. A tale favourable opportunities of contrast have been of manners, to be interesting, must either refer afforded me, by the state of society in the to antiquity so great as to have become vener northern part of the island at the period of my able, or it must bear a vivid reflection of those history, and may serve at once to vary and to scenes which are passing daily before our eyes, illustrate the moral lessons, which I would and are interesting from their novelty. Thus willingly consider as the most important part of the coat-of-mail of our ancestors, and the triple- my plan ; although I am sensible how short furred pelisse of our modern beaux, may, though these will fall of their aim, if I shall be found for very different reasons, be equally fit for the unable to mix them with amusement,—a task array of a fictitious character; but who, meaning not quite so easy in this critical generation as it the costume of his hero to be impressive, would was "Sixty Years since.' willingly attire him in the court dress of George the Second's reign, with its no collar, large sleeves, and low pocket-holes? The same may be urged, with equal truth, of the Gothic hall,
CHAPTER II. which, with its darkened and tinted windows, its elevated and gloomy roof, and massive oaken WAVERLEY-HONOUR.--A RETROSPECT. table garnished with boar's-head and rosemary, pheasants and peacocks, cranes and cygnets, has Iris, then, sixty years since+ Edward Waverley, an excellent effect in fictitious description. Much the hero of the following pages, took leave of his may also be gained by a lively display of a modern family, to join the regiment of dragoons in which fête, such as we have daily recorded in that part he had lately obtained a commission. It was a of a newspaper entitled the Mirror of Fashion, if melancholy day at Waverley-Honour when the we contrast these, or either of them, with the young officer parted with Sir Everard, the affecsplendid formality of an entertainment given tionate old uncle to whose title and estate he was Sixty Years since ; and thus it will be readily | presumptive heir. seen how much the painter of antique or of A difference in political opinions had early fashionable manners gains over him who de separated the Baronet from his younger brother lineates those of the last generation.
Richard Waverley, the father of our hero. Sir Considering the disadvantages inseparable Everard had inherited from his sires the whole from this part of my subject, I must be under train of Tory or high-church predilections and stood to have resolved to avoid them as much prejudices, which had distinguished the house of as possible, by throwing the force of my narrative Waverley since the Great Civil War. Richard, upon the characters and passions of the actors ; on the contrary, who was ten years younger, those passions common to men in all stages of beheld himself born to the fortune of a second society, and which have alike agitated the human brother, and anticipated neither dignity nor heart, whether it throbbed under the steel corslet entertainment in sustaining the character of of the fifteenth century, the brocaded coat of the Will Wimble. He saw early, that, to succeed eighteenth, or the blue frock and white dimity in the race of life, it was necessary he should waistcoat of the present day.* Upon these carry as little weight as possible. Painters talk passions it is no doubt true that the state of of the difficulty of expressing the existence of manners and laws casts a necessary colouring ; | compound passions in the same features at the but the bearings, to use the language of heraldry, same moment: it would be no less difficult for remain the same, though the tincture may be the moralist to analyze the mixed motives not only different, but opposed in strong contra which unite to form the impulse of our actions. distinction. The wrath of our ancestors, for Richard Waverley read and satisfied himself, example, was coloured gules; it broke forth in from history and sound argument, that, in the acts of open and sanguinary violence against the words of the old song, objects of its fury. Our malignant feelings, which must seek gratification through more in
Passive obedience was a jest,
And pshaw! was non-resistance ; direct channels, and undermine the obstacles which they cannot openly bear down, may be
yet reason would have probably been unable to rather said to be tinctured sable. But the deep
combat and remove hereditary prejudice, could ruling impulse is the same in both cases ; and
Richard have anticipated that his elder brother, the proud peer who can now only ruin his Sir Everard, taking to heart an early disneighbour according to law, by protracted suits,
appointment, would have remained a bachelor is the genuine descendant of the baron who at seventy-two. The prospect of succession, wrapped the castle of his competitor in flames,
however remote, might in that case have led
him to endure dragging through the greater * Alas! that attire, respectable and gentlemanlike in
part of his life as Master Richard at the 1805, or thereabouts, is now as antiquated as the Author of Waverley has himself become since that period! The reader of fashion will please to fill up the costume with an + The precise date (1745) was withheld from the original embroidered waistcoat of purple velvet or silk, and a coat edition, lest it should anticipate the nature of the tale by of whatever colour he pleases.
announcing so remarkable an era.
Hall, the baronet's brother, in the hope that ere its conclusion he should be distinguished as Sir Richard Waverley of Waverley-Honour, successor to a princely estate, and to extended political connections as head of the county interest in the shire where it lay. But this was a consummation of things not to be expected at Richard's outset, when Sir Everard was in the prime of life, and certain to be an acceptable suitor in almost any family, whether wealth or beauty should be the object of his pursuit, and when, indeed, his speedy marriage was a report which regularly amused the neigh£ once a year. His younger brother saw no practicable road to independence save that of relying upon his own exertions, and adopting a political creed more consonant both to reason and his own interest than the hereditary faith of Sir Everard in high-church and in the house of Stuart. He therefore read his recantation at the beginning of his career, and entered life as an avowed Whig, and friend of the Hanover SucceSS1On. The ministry of George the First's time were prudently anxious to diminish the phalanx of opposition. The Tory nobility, depending for their reflected lustre upon the sunshine of a court, had for some time been gradually reconciling themselves to the new dynasty. But the wealthy country gentlemen of England, a rank which retained, with much of ancient manners and primitive integrity, a great proportion of obstinate and unyielding prejudice, stood aloof in haughty and sullen opposition, and cast many a look of mingled regret and hope to Bois le Duc, Avignon, and Italy.” The accession of the near relation of one of those steady and inflexible opponents was considered as a means of bringing over more converts, and therefore Richard Waverley met with a share of ministerial favour, more than proportioned to his talents or his political imrtance. It was, however, discovered that he ad respectable talents for public business, and the first admittance to the minister's levee being negotiated, his success became rapid. Sir Everard learned from the public News-Letter, —first, that Richard Waverley, Esquire, was returned for the ministerial borough of Barterfaith; next, that Richard Waverley, Esquire, had taken a distinguished part in the debate upon the Excise '' the support of government; and, lastly, that Richard Waverley, Esquire, had been honoured with a seat at one of those boards, where the pleasure of serving the country is combined with other important gratifications, which, to render them the more acceptable, occur regularly once a quarter. Although these events followed each other so closely that the sagacity of the editor of a modern newspaper would have presaged the last two even while he announced the first, yet they came upon Sir Everard gradually, and drop by drop, as it were, £ through the cool and procrastinating alembic of Dyer's Weekly
"Where the Chevalier Saint George, or, as he was termed, the Old Pretender, held his exiled court, as his situation compelled him to shift his place of residence.
Letter.t. For it may be observed in passing, that instead of those mail-coaches, by means of which every mechanic at his sixpenny club may nightly learn from twenty contradictory channels the yesterday's news of the capital, a weekly st brought, in those days, to Waverleyonour, a Weekly Intelligencer, which, after it had gratified Sir Everard's curiosity, his sister's, and that of his aged butler, was regularly transferred from the Hall to the Rectory, from . the Rectory to Squire Stubbs' at the Grange, s. from the Squire to the Baronet's steward at his neat white house on the heath, from the steward to the bailiff, and from him through a huge circle of honest dames and gaffers, by whose hard and horny hands it was generally worn to pieces in about a month after its arrival. This slow succession of intelligence was of some advantage to Richard Waverley in the case before us; for, had the sum total of his enormities reached the ears of Sir Everard at once, there can be no doubt that the new commissioner would have had little reason to pique himself on the success of his politics. '. Baronet, although the mildest of human beings, was not without sensitive points in his character; his brother's conduct had wounded these deeply; the Waverley estate was fettered by no entail (for it had never entered into the head of any of its former possessors that one of their progeny could be guilty of the atrocities laid by Dyer's Letter to the door of Richard), and if it had, the marriage of the proprietor might have been fatal to a collateral heir. These various ideas floated through the brain of Sir Everard, without, however, producing any determined conclusion. . He examined the tree of his genealogy, which, emblazoned with many an £ mark of honour and heroic achievement, hung upon the well-varnished wainscot of his hall. e nearest descendants of Sir Hildebrand Waverley, failing those of his eldest son Wilfred, of whom Sir Everard and his brother were the only representatives, were, as this honoured register informed him (and, indeed, as he himself well knew), the Waverleys of Highley Park, com. Hants; with whom the main branch, or rather stock, of the house had renounced all connexion, since the great lawsuit in 1670. This degenerate scion had committed a farther offence against the head and source of their gentility, by the intermarriage of their representative with Judith, heiress of Oliver Bradshawe, of Highley Park, whose arms, the same with those of Bradshawe, the regicide, they had quartered with the ancient coat of Waverley. These offences, however, had vanished from Sir Everard's recollection in the heat of his resentment; and had Lawyer Clippurse, for whom his groom was despatched express, arrived but an hour earlier, he might have had the benefit of drawing a new settlement of the lordship and manor of Waverley
t Long the oracle of the country gentlemen of the high Tory party. The ancient News-Letter was written in manuscript and copied by clerks, who addressed the copies to the subscribers. The politician by whom they were compiled picked up his £ at coffee-houses, and often pleaded for an additional gratuity, in consideration of the extra expense attached to frequenting such places of fashionable resort.