general of those comprehensive and daring views necessary in his dangerous situation. Had Wellesley been there, the battle of Corunna would have been fought and won at Somosierra, and the ranks of the victors would have been reinforced by the population of Madrid. Would to God we had yet 100,000 men in Spain. I fear not Buonaparte's tactics. The art of fence may do a great deal, but ' a la stoccata, as Mercutio

cannot carry


from national valour and personal strength. The Opposition have sold or bartered every feeling of patriotism for the most greedy and selfish egoisme.

Ballantyne's brother is setting up here as a bookseller, chiefly for publishing. I will recommend Coleridge's paper to him as strongly as I can. I hope by the time it is commenced he will be enabled to send him a handsome order. From my great regard for his brother, I shall give this young publisher what assistance I can. He is understood to start against Constable and the Reviewers, and publishes the Quarterly. Indeed he is in strict alliance, offensive and defensive, with John Murray of Fleet Street. I have also been labouring a little for the said Quarterly, which I believe you will detect. I hear very high things from Gifford of your article. About your visit to Edinburgh, I hope it will be a month later than you now propose, because my present prospects lead me to think I must be in London the whole month of April. Early in May I must return, and will willingly take the lakes in my way in hopes you will accompany me to Edinburgh, which you positively must not think of visiting in my ab


“ Lord Advocate, who is sitting behind me, says the Ministers have resolved not to abandon the Spaniards coute qui coute. It is a spirited determination—but they must find a general who has, as the Turks say, le Diable au corps, and who, instead of standing staring to see what they mean to do, will teach them to dread those surprises and desperate enterprises by which they have been so often successful. Believe me, Dear Southey, yours affectionately,


“ Mrs Scott joins me in best compliments to Mrs Southey. I hope she will have a happy hour. Pray, write me word when the books come safe. What is Wordsworth doing, and where the devil is his Doe?* I am not sure if he will thank me for proving that all the Nortons escaped to Flanders, one excepted. I never knew a popular tradition so totally groundless as that respecting their execution at York.”

*“ The White Doe of Rylestone” was published by Longman and Co. in 1819.



Case of a Poetical Tailor condemned to Death at Edinburgh-His Letters to Scott - Death of Camp--- Scott in London-Mr Morritt's description of him as Lionin Town Dinner at Mr Sotheby's - Coleridge's Fire, Famine, and Slaughter - The Quarterly Review started First Visit to Rokeby The Lady of the Lake begun-Excursion to the Trossachs and Loch Lomond— Letter on Byron's English Bards and Scotch Reviewers Death of Daniel Scott - Correspondence about Mr Canning's Duel with Lord CastlereaghMiss Baillie's Family Legend acted at Edinburgh-Theatrical Anecdotes ---- Kemble-Sid. dons-Terry-Letter on the Death of Miss Seward.


In the end of 1808, a young man, by name Andrew Stewart, who had figured for some years before



as a poetical contributor to the Scots Magazine, and inserted there, among other things, a set of stanzas in honour of The Last Minstrel,* was tried, and capitally convicted, on a charge of burglary. addressed, some weeks after his sentence had been pronounced, the following letters:-

To Walter Scott, Esq., Castle Street.

“ Edinburgh Tolbooth, 20th January 1809.

66 Sir,


Although I am a stranger to you, yet

I not to your works, which I have read and admired, and which will continue to be read and admired as long as there remains a taste for true excellence. Previous to committing the crime for which I am now convicted, I composed several poems in the Scottish dialect, which I herewith send for your perusal, and humbly hope you will listen to my tale of misery. I have been a truly unfortunate follower of the Muses. I was born in Edinburgh, of poor, but honest parents. My father is by trade a bookbinder,

[ocr errors]

One verse of this production will suffice :

“ Sweetest Minstrel that e'er sung

Of valorous deeds by Scotia done,
Whose wild notes warbled in the win',

Delightful strain !
O'er hills and dales, and vales amang,

We've heard again," &c.


my mother dying in 1798, he was left a widower, with five small children, who have all been brought up by his own industry. As soon as I was fit for a trade, he bound me apprentice to a tailor in Edinburgh, but owing to his using me badly, I went to law. The consequence was, I got up my indentures after being only two years in his service. To my father's trade I have to ascribe my first attachment to the Muses. I perused with delight the books that came in the way; and the effusions of the poets of my country I read with rapture. I now formed the resolution of not binding myself to a trade again, as by that means I might get my propensity for reading followed. I acted as clerk to different people, and my character was irreproachable. I determined to settle in life, and for that purpose

I married a young woman I formed a strong attachment to. Being out of employment these last nine months, I suffered all the hardships of want, and saw

• Poverty, with empty hand
And eager look, half-naked stand.' – Ferguson.

Reduced to this miserable situation, with my wife almost starving, and having no friends to render me the smallest assistance, I resided in a furnished room till I was unable to pay the rent, and then I was literally turned out of doors, like poor Dermody, in poverty and rags. Having no kind hand stretched

« 前へ次へ »