English literature with its best works. Thomas Campbell is a Scotchman.' Sir WAlter Scorr.—‘ A Scotchman and a great poet. Lord Byron is also a little Scotch.' DR Pichot.— May I ask you on what terms you are?' SIR WALTER Scott.—“I received a letter from him yesterday, we are in correspondence, and that of an amicable and intimate description.' DR Pichor.—“He has scoffed a little at Scotland.’ Sin Walten Scort.—“The Edinburgh Review went much too far. Lord Byron is very irritable." Dr Pichot.—“I saw the portrait of Mr Jeffrey at Abbotsford. I presume you are friendly." Sin WALTER Scott.—“Yes; he is one of our literary notables, and a distinguished barrister.' DR Pichor.—‘Have you also appeared at the bar 2' Sin Walter Scott.—“Like all young barristers, I have pleaded on criminal trials.’ • I shall here add, from the authority of Mr Lockhart, that Sir Walter, when called to the bar, at the age of twenty-one, gave but few testimomies of his talent. He once, however, had an opportunity of speaking before the General Assembly, and the question having suddenly kindled his powers, he expressed himself with a flood of eloquence. The famous Dr Blair was present, and said aloud, ‘This young barrister will be a great man.' . • I resume our dialogue. Da Pichot.—“You quitted pleading for a judicial situation.’ Sir Walten Scort.—“I was not appointed clerk of the Court of Session till after I had published Marinion. I was already sheriff of Selkirkshire.' • Lady Scott entered the drawing-room, and laid a box on the table, which she opened, and showed to Mr Crabbe, and then to me: this box contained a kind of cockade or St Andrew's cross, composed of pearls and precious stones found on the coast of Scotland. Lady Scort.—“It is a St Andrew's cross, which the ladies of Scotland have commissioned Sir Walter to present to his majesty before he alights. It is the work of a lady of high rank and great beauty.’ • I naturally admired the cross, the pearls, and the delicacy of the workmanship. Two children now entered; one the youngest son of Sir Walter, and the other, I believe, a brother of Mr Lockhart; ‘those are his majesty's two pages, said Lady Scott to me; and she explained to me that they would be pages only during the residence of the king at Edinburgh. I asked Sir Walter if he had not another son; and he replied, that he had

a son twenty years of age, a lieutenant in the army.” The late dreadful crisis in the commercial world, which began with the bankers and ended with the booksellers, caused the failure of the house of Constable and Co. of Edinburgh, who were not only the publishers of our author's works, but with whom he was associated in business, as a sleeping partner. This disastrous event necessarily removed the thin veil which had hitherto concealed the Great Unknown.” from the full gaze of an admiring public. The avowal of Sir Walter himself was made at the Edinburgh Theatrical Fund Dinner, the details of which, from their peculiar interest in relation to the subject of this sketch, we are bound to lay fully before our readers. • The first Annual Dinner of the Edinburgh Theatrical Fund was held yesterday (a 4th Feb. 1827), in the Assembly Rooms, Sir Walter Scott in the chair; and near whom sat the Earl of Fife, Lord Meadowbank, Sir John Hope of Pinkie, Bart., Admiral Adam, Baron Clerk Rattray, Gilbert Innes, Esq., James Walker, Esq., Robert Dundas, Esq., Alexander Smith, Esq., etc. . After dinner the usual toasts were given, when the chairman, in an appropriate speech, proposed the memory of his late Royal Highness the Duke of York.—Drank in solemn silence. • The chairman (Sir WAlten Scort) then requested that gentlemen would fill a bumper, as full as it would hold, while he would say only a few words. He was in the habit of hearing speeches, and he knew the feeling with which long ones were regarded. He was sure that it was perfectly unnecessary for him to enter into any vindication of the dramatic art, which they had come here to support. This, however, he considered to be the proper time and proper occasion for him to say a few words on that love of representation which was an innate feeling in human nature. It was the first amusement that the child had—it grew greater as he grew up; and, even in the decline of life, nothing amused so much as when a common tale is well told. The first thing a child does is to ape his schoolmaster, by flogging a chair. It was an enjoyment natural to humanity. It was implanted in our very nature, to take pleasure from such representations, at proper times, and on proper occasions. In all ages the theatrical art had kept pace with the improvement of mankind, and with the progress of letters and the fine arts. As he has advanced from the ruder stages of society, the love of dramatic representations has increased, and all works of this nature have been improved, in character and in structure. They had only to turn their eyes to the history of ancient Greece, although he did not pretend to be very deeply versed in ancient history. Its first tragic poet commanded a body of troops at Marathon. The second and next were men who shook Athens with their discourses, as their theatrical works shook the theatre itself. If they turned to France, in the time of Louis the Fourteenth, that era in the classical history of that country, they would find that it was referred to by all Frenchmen as the golden age of the drama there. And also in England, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, the drama began to mingle deeply and wisely in the general politics of Europe, not only not receiving laws from others, but giving laws to the world, and vindicating the rights of mankind. (Cheers.) There have been various times when the dramatic art subsequently fell into disrepute. Its professors have been stićmatised, and laws have been passed against them, less dishonourable to them than to the statesmen by whom they were passed, and to the legislators by whom they were adopted. What were the times in which these laws were passed? Was it not when virtue was seldom inculcated as a moral duty, that we were required to relinquish the most rational of all our amusements, when the clergy were enjoined celibacy, and when the laity were denied the right to read their bibles. He thought that it must have been from a notion of penance that they erected the drama into an ideal place of profaneness, and the tent of sin. He did not mean to dispute that there were many excellent persons who thought differently from him, and they were entitled to assume that they were not guilty of any hypocrisy in doing so. He gave them full credit for their tender consciences, in making these objections, which did not appear to him relevant to those persons, if they were what they usurp themselves to be ; and if they were persons of worth and piety, he should crave the liberty to tell them, that the first part of their duty was charity, and that if they did not chuse to go to the theatre, they at least could not deny that they might give away, from their superfluity, what was required for the relief of the sick, the support of the aged, and the comfort of the afflicted. These were duties enjoined by our religion itself. (Loud cheers.) The performers are in a particular manner entitled to the support or regard, when in old age or distress, of those who had partaken of the amusements of those places which they render an ornament to society. Their art was of a peculiarly delicate and precarious nature. They had to serve a long apprenticeship. It was very long before even the first-rate geniuses could acquire the mechanical knowledge of the stage business. They must languish long in obscurity before they can avail themselves of their

natural talents; and after that, they have but a short space of time, during which they are fortunate if they can provide the means of comfort in the decline of life. That comes late, and lasts but a short time, after which they are left dependent. Their limbs fail, their teeth are loosened, their voice is lost, and they are left, after giving happiness to others, in a most disconsolate state. The public were liberal and generous to those deserving their protection. It was a sad thing to be dependent on the favour, or, he might say, in plain terms, on the caprice of the public; and this more particularly for a class of persons of whom extreme prudence is not the character. There might be instances of opportunities being neglected; but let them tax themselves, and consider the opportunities they had neglected, and the sums of money they had wasted; let every gentleman look into his own bosom, and say whether these were circumstances which would soften his own feelings, were he to be plunged into distress. He put it to every generous bosom —to every better feeling—to say what consolation was it to old age to be toid that you might have made provision at a time which had been neglected—(loud cheers)—and to find it objected, that if you had pleased you might have been wealthy. He had hitherto been speaking of what, in theatrical language, were called stars, but they were sometimes fallen ones. There was another class of sufferers naturally and necessarily connected with the theatre, without whom it was impossible to go on. The sailors have a saying, every man cannot be a boatswain. If there must be persons to act Hamlet, there must also be people to act Laertes, the King, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, otherwise a drama cannot go on. If even Garrick himself were to rise from the dead, he could not act Ilamlet alone. There must be generals, colonels, commanding-officers, and subalterns; but what are the private soldiers to do? Many have mistaken their own talents, and have been driven in early youth to try the stage, to which they are not competent. He would know what to say to the poet and the artist. He would say that it was foolish, and he would recommend to the poet to become a scribe, and the artist to paint sign-posts—(loud laughter).-But he could not send the player adrift, for if he cannot play Hamlet, he must play Guildenstern. Where there are many labourers wages must be low, and no man in such a situation can decently support a wife and family, and save something off his income for old age. What is this man to do in latter life? Are you to cast him off like an old hinge, or a piece of useless machinery, which has done its work? To a person who has contributed to our amusement, this would be unkind, ungrateful, and unchristian. His wants are not of his own making, but arise from the natural sources of sickness and old age. It cannot be denied that there is one class of sufferers to whom no imprudence can be ascribed, except on first entering on the profession. After putting his hand to the dramatic plough, he cannot draw back, but must continue at it, and toil till death release him, or charity, by its milder assistance, steps in to render that want more tolerable. He had little more to say, except that he sincerely hoped that the collection to-day, from the number of respectable gentlemen present, would meet the views entertained by the patrons. He hoped it would do so. They should not be disheartened. Though they could not do a great deal, they might do something. They had this consolation, that everything they parted with from their superfluity would do some good. They would sleep the better themselves when they have been the means of giving sleep to others. It was ungrateful and unkind, that those who had sacrificed their youth to our amusement should not receive the reward due to them, but should be reduced to hard fare in their old age. We cannot think of poor Falstaff going to bed without his cup of sack, or Macbeth fed on bones as marrowless as those of Banquo —(loud cheers and laughter). As he believed that they were all as fond of the dramatic art as he was in his younger days, he would propose that they should drink ‘The Theatrical Fund, with three times three. a Mr Mackay rose on behalf of his brethren, to return their thanks for the toast just drunk. After ably advocating the cause of the Fund, he concluded by tendering to the meeting, in the name of his brethren and sisters, their unfeigned thanks for their liberal support, and begged to propose the health of the Patrons of the Edinburgh Theatrical Fund. (Cheers.) • Lord Meadowbank begged to propose a health, which, in an assembly of Scotsmen, would be received, not with an ordinary feeling of delight, but with rapture and enthusiasm.—He knew that it would be painful to his feelings if he were to speak to him in the terms which his heart prompted; and that he had sheltered himself under his native modesty from the applause which he deserved. But it was gratifying at last to know that these clouds were now dispelled, and that the Great Unknown—the mighty magician–(here the room literally rung with applauses, which were continued for some minutes)—the minstrel of our country, who had conjured up, not the phantoms of departed ages, but realities, now stands revealed before the eyes and affections of his country. In his presence it would ill become him, as it would be displeasing to that distin

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guished person, to say, if he were able, what every man must feel, who recollects the enjoyment he has had from the great efforts of his mind and genius. It has been left for him, by

his writings, to give his country an imperishable

name. He had done more for his country, by illuminating its annals, by illustrating the deeds of its warriors and statesmen, than any man that ever existed, or was produced, within its territory. He has opened up the peculiar beauties of this country to the eyes of foreigners. He has exhibited the deeds of those patriots and statesmen to whom we owe the freedom we now enjoy. He would give the health of Sir Walter Scott, which was drunk with enthusiastic cheering. • Sir Walter scort certainly did not think that, in coming here to-day, he would have the task of acknowledging, before three hundred gentlemen, a secret which, considering that it was communicated to more than twenty people, was remarkably well kept. He was now before the bar of his country, and might be understood to be on trial before Lord Meadowbank as an offender; yet he was sure that every impartial jury would bring in a verdict of Not Proven. He did not now think it necessary to enter into the reasons of his long silence. Perhaps he might have acted from caprice. He had now to say, however, that the merits of these works, if they had any, and their faults, were entirely imputable to himself. (Long and loud cheering.) He was afraid to think on what he had done. “Look on't again I dare not." He had thus far unbosomed himself, and he knew that it would be reported to the public. He meant, when he said that he was the author, that he was the total and undivided author. With the exception of quotations, there was not a single word that was not derived from himself, or suggested in the course of his reading. The wand was now broken, and the rod buried. You will allow me further to say, with Prospero, T is your breath that has filled my sails; and to crave one single toast in the capacity of the author of these novels; and he would dedicate a bumper to the health of one who has represented some of those characters, of which he had endeavoured to give the skeleton, with a degree of liveliness which rendered him grateful. He would propose the health of his friend Baillie Nicol Jarvie—(loud applause), -and he was sure, that when the author of Waverley and Rob Roy drinks to Nicol Jarvie, it would be received with that degree of applause to which that gentleman has always been accustomed, and that they would take care that, on the present occasion, it should be phodigious! (Long and vehement applause.) * Mr Mackay, who spoke with great humour in

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My worthy father the deacon could not have believed that his son could hae had sic a compliment paid to him by the Great Unknown. a Sir WALTER Scott.—Not unknown now, Mr Baillie. • Mr MacRAY. —He had been long identified with the Baillie, and he was now vain of the cognomen which he had worn for eight years, and he questioned if any of his brethren in the council had given such universal satisfaction. (Loud laughter and applause ) Before he sat down he begged to propose, “the Lord Provost and the City of Edinburgh.' a Mr Pat. Robertson gave ‘Mrs Henry Siddons, and success to the Theatre-Royal of Edinburgh.” a Mr MURRAY returned thanks for Mrs Siddons. • Sir WALTER Scott here stated, that Mrs Siddons wanted the means, but not the will, of beginning the Theatrical Fund. He here alluded to the great ability of Mr Murray's management, and of his merits, which were of the first order, and of which every person who attends the theatre must be sensible; and, after alluding to the embarrassments with which the Theatre was threatened, he concluded by giving the health of Mr Murray, which was drank with three times three. a Mr MURRAY –Gentlemen, I wish I could believe that, in any degree, I merited the compliments with which it has pleased Sir Walter Scott to preface the proposal of my health, or the very flattering manner in which you have done me the honour to receive it. When, upon the death of my dear brother, the late Mr Siddons, it was proposed that I should undertake the management of the Edinburgh Theatre, I confess I drew back, doubting my capability to free it from the load of debt and difficulty with which it was surrounded. In this state of anxiety I solicited the advice of one who had ever honoured me with his kindest regard, and whose name no member of my profession can pronounce without feelings of the deepest respect and gratitude—I allude to the late Mr John Kemble. (Great applause.) To him I applied; and with the repetition of his advice I shall cease to transgress upon your time. (Hear, hear.) ‘My dear William, fear not; integrity and assiduity must prove an overmatch for all difficulty, and though I approve your not indulging a vain confidence in your own ability, and viewing with respectful apprehension the judgment of the audience you have to act before, yet be assured that judgment will ever be tempered by feeling that you are acting for the widow and fatheriess.’ (Loud applause.)

a Mr J. Maconoch iE gave ‘the health of Mrs

Siddons.' • Sir W. Scott said, that if any thing could re

concile him to old age, it was the reflexion that he had seen the rising as well as the setting sun of Mrs Siddons. He remembered well their breakfasting near to the theatre—waiting the whole day—the crushing at the doors at six o'clock– and their going in and counting their singers till seven o'clock. But the very first step, the very first word which she uttered, was sufficient to overpay him for all his labours. The house was literally electrified; and it was only from witnessing the effects of her genius, that he could guess to what a pitch theatrical excellence could be carried. Those young fellows who have only seen the setting sun of this distinguished performer, beautiful and serene as that was, must give us old fellows, who have seen its rise, leave to hold our heads a little higher. * \lr MacKAY announced that the subscription for the night amounted to 28ol. ; and he expressed gratitude for this substantial proof of their kind;ess. • Mr Mackay here entertained the company with a pathetic song. • Sir W. Scott apologized for having so long forgotten their native land. He would now give Scotland, the Land of Cakes. He would give every river, every loch, every hill, from Tweed to Johnnie Groat's house—every lass in her cottage and countess in her castle; and may her sons stand by her, as their fathers did before them, and he who would not drink a bumper to his toast, may he never drink whisky more. • Sir W. Scott—Gentlemen, I crave a bumper all over. The last toast reminds me of a neglect of duty. Unaccustomed to a public duty of this kind, errors in conducting the ceremonial of it may be excused, and omissions pardoned. Perhaps I have made one or two omissions in the course of the evening, for which I trust you will grant me your pardon and indulgence. One thing in particular I have omitted, and I would now wish to make amends for it by a libation of reverence and respect to the memory of Shakspeare. He was a man of universal genius, and from a period soon after his own era to the present day he has been universally idolized. When I come to his honoured name, I am like the sick man who hung up his crutches at the shrine, and was obliged to confess that he did not walk better than before. It is indeed difficult, gentlemen, to compare him to any other individual. The only one to whom I can at all compare him is the wonderful Arabian dervise, who dived into the body of each, and in that way became familiar with the thoughts and secrets of their hearts. He was a man of obscure origin, and as a player, limited in his acquirements. But he was born evidently with a universal genius. His eyes glanced at all the varied aspects of life, and his fancy portrayed with equal talents the king on the throne, and the clown who cracks his chesnuts at a Christmas fire. Whatever note he takes, he strikes it just and true, and awakens a corresponding chord in our own bosoms. Gentlemen, I propose “the memory of William Shakspeare.’ • Glee, “Lightly tread, "t is hallow'd ground.' • After the glee, Sir Walter rose, and begged to propose as a toast the health of a lady, whose living merits are not a little honourable to Scotland. The toast (said he] is also flattering to the | national vanity of a Scotchman, as the lady whom I intend to propose is a native of this country. From the public her works have met with the most favourable reception. One piece of hers, in particular, was often acted here of late years, and gave pleasure of no mean kind to many brilliant and fashionable audiences. In her private character, she (he begged leave to say) is as remarkable as in a public sense she is for her genius. In short, he would in one word name —‘Joanna Baillie.' • W. MENzies, Esq., advocate, was sure that all present would cordially join him in drinking ‘the health of Mr Terry.' • Sir W. Scott –“Mr Baron Clerk—The Court of Exchequer.’ • Mr Baron Cleak regretted the absence of his Learned Brother. None, he was sure, could be more generous in his nature, or ready to help a Scottish purpose. • Sir W. Scott—There is one who ought to be remembered on this occasion. He is indeed well entitled to our great recollection—one, in short, to whom the drama in this city owes much. He succeeded, not without trouble, and perhaps at some considerable sacrifice, in establishing a theatre. The younger part of the company may not recollect the theatre to which I allude; but there are some who with me may remember by name the Theatre in Carrubber's Close. There Allan Ramsay established his little theatre. . His own pastoral was not fit for the stage, but it has

its own admirers in those who love the Doric lan

verty. If there are twelve plans, it is odds but

the largest, without any regard to comfort, or an eye to the probable expense, is adopted. There was the College projected on this scale, and undertaken in the same manner, and who shall see the end of it? It has been building all my life, and may probably last during the lives of my children, and my children's children. Let it not be said, when we commence a new theatre, as was said on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of a certain building, ‘behold the endless work begun.’ Play-going folks should attend somewhat to convenience. The new theatre should, in the first place, be such as may be finished in eighteen months or two years; and, in the second place, it should be one in which we can hear our old friends with comfort. It is better that a theatre should be crowded now and then, than to have a large theatre, with benches continually empty, to the discouragement of the actors, and the discomfort of the spectators. (Applause.) • Immediately afterwards he said, Gentlemen, it is now wearing late, and I shall request permission to retire. Like Partridge, I may say, “non sum qualis eram.' At my time of day, I can agree with Lord Ogleby as to the rheumatism, and say, “There's a twinge.' I hope, therefore, you will excuse me for leaving the Chair. (The worthy Baronet then retired, amid long, loud, and rapturous cheering.)" • When Sir Walter had thus declared, a propos to nothing, that he was the man who had so long concealed his features under the mask of the author of Waverley, all the world stared, not so much at the unexpectedness of the disclosure, for it was virtually well-known before, but that the declaration should be made at that particular moment, when there appeared no reason for revealing the quasi secret. A document which we have lately seen, however, explains the circumstance, and puts to flight many sage coujectures.

The unfortunate position of the affairs of Consta

ble and Co., and of Ballantyne and Co., with the latter of which firms Sir Walter Scott was con

guage in which it is written; and it is not without nected, has rendered it necessary that their acmerits of a very peculiar kind. But, laying aside counts should not only be looked into, but exall considerations of his literary merit, Allan was a 'posed to the creditors. The transactions recorded good jovial honest fellow, who could crack a bottle there show explicitly enough who was the author

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