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annum, and he was indebted for it to the Buccleugh family. He was afterwards appointed deputy-lieutenant of Roxburghshire. Sir Walter Scott owed his nomination of Clerk to the Court of Session to Pitt, who was superseded by Fox before the nomination was signed and sealed. On its presentation to Fox for signature, he approved it without hesitation. "It is providing," said he, "for a man of genius; the precedent cannot be dangerous to us." It must be added, that Walter Scott performed his functions for several years gratuitously, while expecting the death of the titular clerk, his predecessor, who was an infirm old man. This fact has been disputed by M. Simond in his Voyage en Angleterre; he rectified the error in his second English edition only. If I do not give Fox's expression in the actual terms he used, I have a member of Sir W. Scott's family for my authority. The place of clerk or secretary to the Court of Session is worth, from 12 to 1500/. per annum. Sir W. Scott performs its duties with assiduity. It may be recollected that a member of the House of Commons one day denounced this place as a useless office, because it was exercised by a man, who found time to publish seven or eight volumes yearly, without counting his contributions to the Journals, &c. Reckoning up the emoluments derived from his place and books only, it may readily be conceived, that Sir Walter Scott has a chateau, an elegant town-house, numerous servants, a carriage with four horses, &c. &c. Lady Scott entered the drawing-room, and laid a box on the table, which she opened, and shewed 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 coasts of Scotland.
Lady Scott.—" It is a St. Andrew's Cross, which the ladies of Scotland have commissioned Sir W. Scott 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 W. Scott, 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 16th Hussars. Mr. Scott is now in Prussia.*
Sir W. Scott.—" You find us in the midst of festivities, Doctor. You are come to Edinburgh at a time when our city is going to put forth all its bravery.''
"I intend, however, to escape from all this bustle, and make my excursion into Perthshire during the king's stay."
Sir W. Scott.—" Indeed! What urgency induces you? You will be decidedly in the wrong. The
* He has lately married a rich heiress, the daughter of Mr. Jobson of Dundee, who has brought him a considerable dowry.
mountains and the lakes are always to be found; but the spectacle about to be exhibited in Edinburgh will not be renewed for some time."
Lady Scott.—" Baron Stael was also careless of staying; and set off for the north of Scotland. Pray, do not imitate him. We have, however, repeatedly told him that he was about to lose an unique spectacle."
Sir W. Scott.—" Since you love old Scotland, you will see its living physiognomy, or, at least, its national costume. We shall revive our old devices, our old titles, and some of the customs of independent Scotland. Why go to look for the Highland clans in the mountains, when the report of the king's arrival has resounded to the extremity of the ancient kingdom of Bruce, and brings hither daily new representatives of our historical names? You must remain. I will undertake to procure you a place where you will see every thing."
Lady Scott.—(Going to fetch a card.) "Here is a ticket for a place in a house which is at the corner of Princes-street; a house belonging to Mr. Constable." •
"I will stay then, since you assure me that I should be in the wrong to go."
Sir Walter Scott.—" There will be general festivity and enthusiasm. It will constitute the poetry of national pomp."
"I did not imagine the Scotch such royalists."
Sir W. Scott.—" We have in Scotland a numerous opposition; we have, indeed, had two; but that of the jacobites is extinct since the battle of CuIIoden, and sees in George IV. no more than the heir of the Stuarts. That of the whigs was only a matter of theory; they may honour the person of the prince, without compromising themselves; for the whig opposition confines itself to censuring the acts of government. But do not expect to find in Scotch toryism the excitation of southern regions."
"Do you refer to the south of France?'' Sir W. Scott.—" No, but to the oriental imaginations of Ireland. We shall not plunge into the sea in order to reach the King's yacht; we shall not attach ourselves to his carriage."*
"We did all that in France, and worse still, to the shame of the age of enlightenment be it spoken; but we had for our excuse, the miracles of 1814. It was a restoration; the voyage to Ireland was only an excursion."
Sir W. Scott.—" The journey to Scotland appears to me a fortunate event, because it will tend to rally parties together, who for many years have been accustomed to imbue their discussions with rancour. The hand of the whig will unite with that of the tory in the hand of the monarch. In England, politics are reserved for parliament or public dinners. They write with
* Sir W. Scott is so often quoted in England as an anti liberal tory, that I am bound to say, that this dialogue is the authentic expression of his sentiments. I can demonstrate it by a pamphlet which he published on the subject of the King's visit to Scotland, and which will supply me, on occasion, materials for corroboration. I have even availed myself of it in order to fill up the lacuna of my notes. I trust I shall stand excused for this excess of fidelity, since these additions will make the political opinion of Sir W. Scott more perfectly known.
violence, and make violent harangues; but the pamphlets and the harangues perform the office of safety valves: in private life, whig and tory meet amicably together. Here we are more rancorous; very amiable men, who have espoused opposite opinions, have insensibly reached the point of hating each other. There have been faults on both sides; once brought together by the royal presence, they will learn, I hope, that they ought never to have carried things so far.” Mr. Crabbe.—“The King will know how to appreciate the devotion of his Scotch subjects, although the expression be not so clamorous as that of his subjects in Ireland.” Sir W. Scott.—“Beyond a doubt; we have always passed for a proud people; the object now is to shew our pride, by making it consist in an adherence to our natural character. Our King will see us as nature and education have made us, calm and reasonable, even in our most exalted sentiments.” Besides, Ireland was no more than a lordship, when Scotland had already taken her place for a thousand years among the kingdoms of Europe. Ireland never saw a king set foot on her soil, except when grasping the sword as a conqueror and a tyrant. King George IV. comes here as the descendant of a long series of Scotch kings. The blood of the heroic Robert Bruce,
* I distinguish this passage with marks of quotation, because it is almost literally taken from the pamphlet quoted in the preceding note. The noble pride which it breathes well becomes, to my view, the individual who has caused the ancient Douglasses to express themselves with such strict fidelity, &c. in his novels and poems.