« AnteriorContinuar »
from the instant I perceived the extreme curiosity | so; but,” there he stopped. It was in vain to manifested on the subject, I felt a secret satisfaction attempt to correct himself; he looked confused, in bafling it, for which, when its unimportance is and relieved his embarrassment by a precipitate considered, I do not well know how to account. retreat. I have no recollection whatever of this
My desire to remain concealed, in the character scene taking place, and I should have thought that of the Author of these novels, subjected me occa- I was more likely to have laughed than to appear sionally to awkward embarrassments, as it some- confused, for I certainly never hoped to impose times happened that those who were sufficiently upon Lord Byron in a case of the kind ; and from intimate with me would put the question in direct the manner in which he uniformly expressed himterms. In this case, only one of three courses self, I knew his opinion was entirely formed, and could be followed. Either I must have surrendered that any disclamations of mine would only have my secret, -or have returned an equivocating savoured of affectation. I do not mean to insinuanswer,-or, finally, must have stoutly and boldly ate that the incident did not happen, but only that denied the fact. The first was a sacrifice which I it could hardly have occurred exactly under the conceive no one had a right to force from me, since circumstances narrated, without my recollecting I alone was concerned in the matter. The alternat- something positive on the subject. In another part ive of rendering a doubtful answer must have left of the same volume, Lord Byron is reported to me open to the degrading suspicion that I was not have expressed a supposition that the cause of my unwilling to assume the merit (if there was any)not avowing myself the Author of Waverley may which I dared not absolutely lay claim to; or have been some surmise that the reigning family those who might think more justly of me, must have would have been displeased with the work. 1 received such an equivocal answer as an indirect can only say, it is the last apprehension I should avowal. I therefore considered myself entitled, have entertained, as indeed the inscription to these like an accused person put upon trial, to refuse volumes sufficiently proves. The sufferers of that giving my own evidence to my own conviction, and melancholy period have, during the last and present flatly to deny all that could not be proved against reign, been honoured both with the sympathy and
At the same time, I usually qualified my protection of the reigning family, whose magnadenial by stating, that, had I been the author of nimity can well pardon a sigh from others, and these works, I would have felt myself quite entitled bestow one themselves to the memory of brave opponto protect my secret by refusing my own evidence, ents, who did nothing in hate, but all in honour. when it was asked for to accomplish a discovery of
While those who were in habitual intercourse what I desired to conceal.
with the real author had little hesitation in assignThe real truth is, that I never expected or hoped ing the literary property to him, others, and those to disguise my connection with these Novels from critics of no mean rank, employed themselves in any one who lived on terms of intimacy with me. investigating with persevering patience any chaThe number of coincidences which necessarily racteristic features which might seem to betray the existed between narratives recounted, modes of ex- origin of these novels. Amongst these, one gentlepression, and opinions broached in these tales, man, equally remarkable for the kind and liberal and such as were used by their author in the tone of his criticism, the acuteness of his reasoning, intercourse of private life, must have been far too and the very gentlemanlike manner in which he great to permit any of my familiar acquaintances conducted his inquiries, displayed not only powers to doubt the identity betwixt their friend and the of accurate investigation, but a temper of mind Author of Waverley; and I believe they were all deserving to be employed on a subject of much morally convinced of it. But while I was myself greater importance; and I have no doubt made silent, their belief could not weigh much more with converts to his opinion of almost all who thought the the world than that of others ; their opinions and point worthy of consideration. * Of those letters, reasoning were liable to be taxed with partiality, and other attempts of the same kind, the author or confronted with opposing arguments and could not complain, though his incognito was enopinions ; and the question was not so much, dangered. He had challenged the public to a game whether I should be generally acknowledged to be at bo-peep, and if he was discovered in his 'hidingthe author, in spite of my own denial, as whether hole,' he must submit to the shame of detection. even my own avowal of the works, if such should Various reports were of course circulated in be made, would be sufficient to put me in undis- various ways; some founded on an accurate reputed possession of that character.
hearsal of what may have been partly real, some I have been often asked concerning supposed on circumstances having no concern whatever with cases, in which I was said to have been placed on the subject, and others on the invention of some the verge of discovery; but as I maintained my importunate persons, who might perhaps imagine, point with the composure of a lawyer of thirty that the readiest mode of forcing the author to disyears' standing, I never recollect being in pain or close himself, was to assign some dishonourable confusion on the subject. In Captain Medwyn's and discreditable cause for his silence. Conversations of Lord Byron, the reporter states It may be easily supposed that this sort of inhimself to have asked my noble and highly gifted quisition was treated with contempt by the person friend, 'If he was certain about these novels being whom it principally regarded ; as among all the Sir Walter Scott's?' To which Lord Byron rumours that were current, there was only one, replied, Scott as much as owned himself the and that as unfounded as the others, which had. Author of Waverley to me in Murray's shop. I nevertheless some alliance to probability, and inwas talking to him about that novel, and lamented deed might have proved in some degree true. that its author had not carried back the story I allude to a report which ascribed a great part, nearer to the time of the Revolution—Scott, entirely off his guard, replied, “Ay, I might have done | tin, London, 1822.
* Letters on the Author of Waverley; Rodwell & Mar* The publication of Waverley, and Author's Dedication, 1819, when, being affected with severe illness, he see Appendix No. VI. p. 187.
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. The 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. 7. 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, so 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. 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, ist January 1829. own hand, excepting during the years 1818 and
INTRODUCTORY. The title of this work has not been chosen she had heard in the servants' hall ? Again, without the grave and solid deliberation which had my title borne Waverley, a Romance from matters of importance demand from the prudent. the German,' what head so obtuse as not to image Even its first, or general denomination, was the re- forth a profligate abbot, an oppressive duke, a sult of no common research or selection, although, secret and mysterious association of Rosycrucians according to the example of my predecessors, I and Illuminati, with all their properties of black had only to seize upon the most sounding and cowls, caverns, daggers, electrical machines, trapeuphonic surname that English history or topo- doors, and dark-lanterns ? Or if I had rather graphy affords, and elect it at once as the title chosen to call my work a 'Sentimental Tale,' of my work, and the name of my hero. But would it not have been a sufficient presage of a alas ! what could my readers have expected from heroine with a profusion of auburn hair, and a the chivalrous epithets of Howard, Mordaunt, harp, the soft solace of her solitary hours, which Mortimer, or Stanley, or from the softer and she fortunately finds always the means of tranmore sentimental sounds of Belmour, Belville, sporting from castle to cottage, although she Belfield, and Belgrave, but pages of inanity, herself be sometimes obliged to jump out of a similar to those which have been so christened two-pair-of-stairs window, and is more than once for half a century past? I must modestly admit bewildered on her journey, alone and on foot, I am too diffident of my own merit to place it without any guide but a blowsy peasant girl, in unnecessary opposition to preconceived asso- whose jargon she hardly can understand? Or ciations; I have, therefore, like a maiden knight again, if my Waverley had been entitled 'A Tale with his white shield, assumed for my hero, of the Times,' wouldst thou not, gentle reader, WAVERLEY, an uncontaminated name, bearing have demanded from me a dashing sketch of the with its sound little of good or evil, excepting fashionable world, a few anecdotes of private what the reader shall hereafter be pleased to scandal thinly veiled, and if lusciously painted, affix to it. But my second or supplemental so much the better? a heroine from Grosvenor title was a matter of much more difficult election, Square, and a hero from the Barouche Club or since that, short as it is, may be held as pledging the Four-in-hand, with a set of subordinate the author to some special mode of laying his characters from the elegantes of Queen Anne scene, drawing his characters, and managing his Street East, or the dashing heroes of the Bow adventures. Had I, for example, announced in Street Office ? I could proceed in proving the my frontispiece, Waverley, a Tale of other importance of a title-page, and displaying at the Days,' must not every novel-reader have anti- same time my own intimate knowledge of the cipated a castle scarce less than that of Udolpho, particular ingredients necessary to the composiof which the eastern wing had long been un- tion of romances and novels of various descripinhabited, and the keys either lost, or consigned tions ; but it is enough, and I scorn to tyrannize to the care of some aged butler or housekeeper, longer over the impatience of my reader, who is whose trembling steps, about the middle of the doubtless already anxious to know the choice second volume, were doomed to guide the hero, made by an author so profoundly versed in the or heroine, to the ruinous precincts ? Would different branches of his art. not the owl have shrieked and the cricket cried By fixing, then, the date of my story Sixty in my very title-page ? and could it have been Years before the present 1st November 1805, I possible for me, with a moderate attention to would have my readers understand, that they decorum, to introduce any scene more lively will meet in the following pages neither a rothan might be produced by the jocularity of a mance of chivalry nor a tale of modern manners; clownish but faithful valet, or the garrulous that my hero will neither have iron on his narrative of the heroine's fille-de-chambre, when shoulders, as of yore, nor on the heels of his rehearsing the stories of blood and horror which boots, as is the present fashion of Bond Street ;
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 nay 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 whó 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
Master Richard at the * Alas! that attire, respectable and gentlemanlike in part of his life as 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 Letter.For it may be observed in passing, ere its conclusion he should be distinguished that instead of those mail-coaches, by means of as Sir Richard Waverley of Waverley-Honour, which every mechanic at his sixpenny club may successor to a princely estate, and to extended nightly learn from twenty contradictory channels political connections as head of the county the yesterday's news of the capital, a weekly interest in the shire where it lay. But this post brought, in those days, to Waverleywas a consummation of things not to be ex- Honour, à Weekly Intelligencer, which, after pected at Richard's outset, when Sir Everard it had gratified Sir Everard's curiosity, his was in the prime of life, and certain to be an sister's, and that of his aged butler, was regularly acceptable suitor in almost any family, whether transferred from the Hall to the Rectory, from wealth or beauty should be the object of his the Rectory to Squire Stubbs' at the Grange, pursuit, and when, indeed, his speedy marriage from the Squire to the Baronet's steward at his was a report which regularly amused the neigh- neat white house on the heath, from the steward bourhood once a year. His younger brother saw to the bailiff, and from him through a huge circle no practicable road to independence save that of of honest dames and gaffers, by whose hard and relying upon his own exertions, and adopting a horny hands it was generally worn to pieces in political creed more consonant both to reason about a month after its arrival. and his own interest than the hereditary faith This slow succession of intelligence was of of Sir Everard in high-church and in the house some advantage to Richard Waverley in the of Stuart. He therefore read his recantation case before us ; for, had the sum total of his at the beginning of his career, and entered life enormities reached the ears of Sir Everard at as an avowed Whig, and friend of the Hanover once, there can be no doubt that the new comsuccession.
missioner would have had little reason to pique The ministry of George the First's time were himself on the success of his politics,
The prudently anxious to diminish the phalanx of Baronet, although the mildest of human beings, opposition. The Tory nobility, depending for was not without sensitive points in his character; their reflected lustre upon the sunshine of a his brother's conduct had wounded these deeply; court, had for some time been gradually re- the Waverley estate was fettered by no entail conciling themselves to the new dynasty. But (for it had never entered into the head of any the wealthy country gentlemen of England, a of its former possessors that one of their progeny rank which retained, with much of ancient could be guilty of the atrocities laid by Dyer's manners and primitive integrity, a great pro- Letter to the door of Richard), and if it had, the portion of obstinate and unyielding prejudice, marriage of the proprietor might have been fatal stood aloof in haughty and sullen opposition,
to a collateral heir. These various ideas floated and cast many a look of mingled regret and through the brain of Sir Everard, without, howhope to Bois le Duc, Avignon, and Italy. * ever, producing any determined conclusion. The accession of the near relation of one of He examined the tree of his genealogy, which, those steady and inflexible opponents was emblazoned with many an emblematic mark of considered as a means of bringing over more honour and heroic achievement, hung upon the converts, and therefore Richard Waverley met well-varnished wainscot of his hall. The nearest with a share of ministerial favour, more than descendants of Sir Hildebrand Waverley, failing proportioned to his talents or his political im- those of his eldest son Wilfred, of whom Sir portance. It was, however, discovered that he Everard and his brother were the only reprehad respectable talents for public business, and sentatives, were, as this honoured register inthe first admittance to tħe minister's levee formed him (and, indeed, as he himself well being negotiated, his success became rapid. Sir knew), the Waverleys of Highley Park, com. Everard learned from the public News-Letter, Hants ; with whom the main branch, or rather -first, that Richard Waverley, Esquire, was stock, of the house had renounced all connexion, returned for the ministerial borough of Barter- since the great lawsuit in 1670. faith ; next, that Richard Waverley, Esquire, This degenerate scion had committed had taken a distinguished part in the debate farther offence against the head and source upon the Excise bilì in the support of govern- of their gentility, by the intermarriage of their ment; and, lastly, that Richard Waverley, representative with Judith, heiress of Oliver Esquire, had been honoured with a seat at Bradshawe, of Highley Park, whose arms, the one of those boards, where the pleasure of same with those of Bradshawe, the regicide, serving the country is combined with other they had quartered with the ancient coat of important gratifications, which, to render them Waverley. These offences, however, had vanthe more acceptable, occur regularly once ished from Sir Everard's recollection in the quarter.
heat of his resentment; and had Lawyer ClipAlthough these events followed each other so purse, for whom his groom was despatched closely that the sagacity of the editor of a express, arrived but an hour earlier, he might modern newspaper would have presaged the have had the benefit of drawing a new settlelast two even while he announced the first, yet ment of the lordship and manor of Waverleythey came upon Sir Everard gradually, and drop by drop, as it were, distilled through the cool
† Long the oracle of the country gentlemen of the high
Tory party. The ancient News-Letter was written in and procrastinating alembic of Dyer's Weekly manuscript and copied by clerks, who addressed the
copies to the subscribers. The politician by whom they
were compiled picked up his intelligence at coffee-houses, Where the Chevalier Saint George, or, as he was and often pleaded for an additional gratuity, in consideratermed, the Old Pretender, held his exiled court, as his tion of the extra expense attached to frequenting such situation compelled him to shift his place of residence. places of fashionable resort.