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Oui, je comprends l'ami de Marmion
Et de combien de noms l'imposant souvenir
Pour eux ces bords ont vu périr
De l'Hombre calédonien
Elle retrouve enfin ses magiques accens
Que de ton nom les enfans d'Edina
Fils des vieux ménestrels, pardonne si ma main
Osa s'égarer sur ta lyre,
De tes concerts le son divin
Hier encore j'errais lentement
Hélas! ce n'était qu'un vain rêve.
Mais je me tais; il n'appartient qu'à toi
Et vous, Calédoniens, aux accords de sa lyre
Mêlez les chants de votre loyauté; Terre heureuse ou le peuple en même temps peut dire; Vive Le Roi! Vive La Liberté! ,
TO. M. LE GENERAL BEAUVAIS.
Edinburgh, 13th August.—The King's arrival is delayed. Edinburgh is becoming restless and uneasy; heavy vapours envelop its rocks and towers; meanwhile the crowds hurry to Calton Hill, and are looking out with all kinds of optical instruments, for the distant appearance of the royal escort. Towards the evening, a storm came on and dispersed the anxious groupes.
14th of August.—This morning the sky is still sombre, but the people's countenances clear up. His Majesty's yacht has been descried in the Frith of Forth; it is now at anchor. I proceed to Sir Walter Scott's.
Sir Walter was in the costume of deputy lieutenant; blue frock turned up with red, and sword by his side; this elegant costume, which usually makes the wearer look younger, imparted a military grace to his whole person; after breakfast, Sir Walter proceeded in his carriage to Leith, and there embarked in order to pay his respects to the King in his yacht. Here the poet disappeared, and the part of courtier began, a part which is always distinguished by something degrading or ridiculous
when performed by genius.* If George IV. does not create Sir Walter Scott a peer of England, he is unworthy of the homage he has received. Sir Walter first presented him the cross of St. Andrew, with which the King graciously invested his person. All was very well up to this point. He then offered his Majesty a glass to drink the welcome cup, and poured out the wine. His Majesty tasted it, and passed the glass to the heir of the Scotch muses. Sir Walter Scott did not consider himself worthy to drink his Majesty's health, but eagerly possessed himself of the glass, which he emptied into the sea, and put in his pocket the crystal which had touched lips so august, for the sake of keeping it as a relic. Alas! during the bard’s return to Leith, it was broken into a thousand pieces, either by chance or by the malice of the white lady, or perhaps that of the goblin page, through vexation at seeing the poet esteem this frail record more than the real talisman of his glory.f Sir Walter Scott is returned to announce to his
* See for example, the dedication of the tragedies of the great Corneille.
† I should have torn out this page from the life of my hero, if I had not imposed on myself a strict impartiality. Besides, others may judge differently of the circumstance; but I am not sorry to be able to oppose it against the judgment of Mr. Thomas Moore, and other editors of the Edinburgh Review, who consider as very ridiculous, and especially as very servile on the part of the author of the Martyrs, some pamphlets which express a royalist enthusiasm, (so ill rewarded.) I consider, it is true, the Vive le Roi quand méme, a wretched pickthank affair, among a people who have sworn to the constitution of 1789, countrymen, that their gracious sovereign deigned, in consequence of the bad weather, to delay his entrance into the Scotch capital till the following day. There was a general exclamation at such a proof of condescension ;* another fear now agitated the minds of these loyal subjects. This very morning the King was apprized of the suicide of his premier, or rather his grand vizier, the Marquis of Londonderry. The question arose whether his Majesty would condescend to dissemble his grief, in order to sympathize with the universal rejoicing. Exclamations were still made about the fortitude of the monarch, when the report was diffused, that he did not wish to be, or appear to be, too much affected. What a lesson for the Mazarins, who imagine they reign in the hearts of kings !f
Thursday, August 15th. The king did not disembark till mid-day. The sun has at length divested itself of his cloudy veil, and has been saluted with acclamations by the whole city, like a host whose absence would have been fatal to the splendour of the festival. It must be owned that the sun never shone upon a more brilliant spectacle. I found at Mr. Constable's house, to which I had a
that of 1792, that of the directory, that of the consulship, the empire, &c. But the Bourbons presented themselves to us with that species of consecration which misfortune imparts, and which may therefore excuse, even in our age, some flatteries, the fashion of which, thanks to the diffusion of constitutional manners, will quickly pass away. * I refer to the journals of the time.
f The preceding year, at the moment of setting his foot in Ireland, George IV. was apprized of another important death, that of his Royal Consort . He supported the news with the same magnanimity.
ticket of admission, Mr. Constable himself, who introduced me to Professor Leslie, and some contributors to the Review, whom I had not hitherto met. After an hour of expectation and conversation with these redoubted critics, I escaped, in order to return into the streets, and re-join my philosopher. He had stationed himself, with Mr. Hugo, on a seat of a scaffold, to which I did not wish to confine myself more than to Mr. Constable's. I was thus prevented from hearing all the vivacious commentaries of our caustic consul. I went and returned twice from one extremity of Leith Walk to the other, between lines of constables, provided with long painted wands, heralds at arms, Highlanders, archers, &c. &c., and through mobs of people, or spectators, who almost all wore St. Andrew's crosses in their caps. Before the facades of the houses, scaffolds in stages were erected, and already crowded, where the proprietor invited spectators to seat themselves at the rate of three shillings a place. But the most curious amphitheatres were Arthur's Mount,. Calton Hill, and the castle, which were covered with so dense a crowd, that nothing could be distinguished from a distance but a sea of heads, which the slightest acclamation set in motion. Without incurring the risk of far-fetched analogy, these heights, which command the town, might be compared to living mountains, or to giants, with the hundred heads of classical mythology. At noon, the cannon resounded; a barge was seen detaching Vol. n. ¥ r