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a right hand, first in the Temple, and finally within those adjacent purlieus of Whitefriars, the "sanctuary known as Alsatia. Here the young man learns the virtues of self-reliance; and after saving his landlord's daughter from the villains who had murdered her father, finally escapes down the river with her in a wherry provided by the influence of a clockmaker's pretty daughter (who has lost her heart to the young lord) over one of her father's apprentices. But his misfortunes are not yet over; for he next frightens the King in Greenwich Park and is sent to the Tower for a presumed attempt on his sacred person. Meanwhile, however, the love-sick maiden has approached James in page's dress and pleaded his cause; and the fortunes of Nigel are restored when the royal wiseacre has convinced himself of her sincerity by eavesdropping upon them both in the Tower, where he has constructed a hidingplace which he calls in his wonted Scotch his lugg, or ear.
This is the main plot; but connected with it is the story of the misdoings of the villain Dalgarno, who is finally murdered by robbers in Enfield Chase. Dalgarno's effrontery is rather overpowering; he seems to regard the displeasure of neither God nor man, and is certainly not so convincing a villain as Richard Varney in the romance of Amy Robsart. Yet what is known of that infamous historical crime, the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, is enough to prevent any cautious person from denying the possibility of such a character existing in so abandoned a world as the Court of James I.
Not content with this historical novel, which, like so many others, was finished hastily, Scott not only did some of his usual editing, but even dallied for a while again with his old mistress, the Muse of Poetry. Not to mention a contribution to a charitable venture of Joanna Baillie, he wrote in the course of two wet afternoons at Abbotsford the dramatic fragment called Halidon Hill, for which he received no less a sum than £1,000, this being dedicated to the Indian outfit of his nephew Walter. Constable not only approved the hasty bargain made by his partner, but suggested that Scott might turn out a "Bannockburn," or some similar battlepiece on the same terms, every quarter! But here we must for a time leave his literary affairs and look at Sir Walter in a new character.
SIR WALTER AS STAGE MANAGER
ILL George IV. came to Edinburgh in August, 1822, no Sovereign of the House of Hanover had yet visited Scotland. Scott probably advised the measure as likely to appease the discontent that was rife among the industrial classes, and likely, in the opinion of many, to become a political movement against the Monarchy, which the recent proceedings against Queen Caroline had not raised in popular esteem.
The adviser of the King's journey was also the chief director of the celebrations which accompanied his reception. And it was characteristic of the man that most prominent in every procession and ceremonial were Highland chiefs in full costume, certainly picturesque enough, but in no sense representative of the Scotland of their day. So far was the real strength and character of the northern kingdom lost sight of, that not only was the representative of the principles of the Revolution arrayed in the Stewart tartan (and pronounced "a verra pretty man!") when he held a levee at Holyrood, but even when entertained by the Edinburgh magistrates in the Parliament House was actually made to give as the chief toast of the evening, "The Chieftains and Clans
of Scotland and prosperity to the Land of Cakes!" Amongst the clans Sir Walter no doubt included those of the Border, but why leave out the folk between north and south, the folk ever the real backbone and sinew of the country? It was almost as though some admirer of Celtic traditions should have arranged that the health
of "The Welsh Bards and the Roast Beef of Old England" should be drunk at a typical British gathering. Scott was thinking of poetry and the past rather than of history and the present.
His post of adviser-general was no sinecure. Writing after it was all over, he assured one of his friends that such a month of toil he had never had and trusted never
to have again. From seven in the morning till midnight, said he, his town house was "like a cried fair"; and in one day he had no less than sixty callers. Amongst other duties he had especial charge of the Highlanders, "so that the house rung with broadswords and targets and pipes from daybreak to sunset.' With the help of the veteran soldier and historian of the Highland regiments, David Stewart of Garth, he had to settle numerous disputes as to precedence, to accommodate quarrels, reconcile scruples, and smooth down prejudices. By dint of unwearied perseverance, constant hospitality, and a ballad in which the Celtic chiefs were flattered to the top of their bent, all difficulties were overcome before the landing of the royal personage at Leith pier. As well as arranging so much of the ceremonial, Sir Walter was at every turn called on for advice by the civic dignitaries, so that, in his own words, he was "in close and constant communication for the whole time with every kind of society, besides processions and all the public bodies in Scotland from the peers down to porters."
When Scott's boat drew up alongside the royal yacht, the King exclaimed, "Sir Walter Scott! The man in Scotland I most wish to see!" When he came on deck George IV. called for a bottle of Highland whisky, drank his health, and graciously commanded him to drink in return. Scott's request that he might keep the glass which His Majesty had used was granted; but it was not fated to form one of his treasures, for on his