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Religious Discourses by a Layman, with a Preface signed "W. S." The "bookseller" was no loser by the "foolish scrape" which Scott's soft-heartedness led him into; and it is to be hoped that the other party to the bargain benefited as much by the advice as by the money.

During the autumn Scott varied his "tasks" with divers visits and expeditions. Towards the end of August he accompanied his son-in-law and Allan the painter to Kelso, where he saw once again the little cottage where he had lived so happily in his youth with his aunt Janet Rutherford. But the huge platanus tree had been cut down and the garden divided between three proprietors. At Melville Castle next month he had some private conversation with his host about the state of political affairs which had followed Canning's recent death, and was much concerned about George IV.'s attempt to play off parties against each other. During the same month he paid some visits in the west country including one to Corehouse, the "superb place" of his old friend George Cranstoun. On the way home he lunched with Christopher North at Innerleithen and once again met the Ettrick shepherd. The western expedition lasted six days and cost £15, "including two gowns for Sophia and Anne."

In October he went further afield, crossing the border to meet the Duke of Wellington at Ravensworth Castle. At Kelso he took the Wellington coach, and had for travelling companion an Edinburgh toy-woman, who

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regaled him with all her "debates with her landlord about a new door to the cellar, etc. etc.; propriety of paying rent on the 15th or 25th of May," on which latter point Sir Walter reflects that landlords and tenants have different views. Arriving at Ravensworth late in the evening he was next day conducted by his host to Durham, and partook of a grand dinner given by the Bishop in the "rude old baronial hall" to a distinguished company of a hundred and fifty magnates. The curiosity and enthusiasm of the guests was almost equally balanced between the Iron Duke and the author of Waverley, who expressed his unbounded gratification at hearing his own health proposed "in the presence of the Duke of Wellington.” The two celebrities returned together that night to Ravensworth Castle, and next day the soldier told the author some highly interesting anecdotes about the anxiety of the French officers during the Peninsular War to see the English papers. He considered himself as playing jackal to the Duke's lion.

On the journey home to Scotland he stopped a day or two at Alnwick Castle, and "had the honour to sit in Hotspur's seat and to see the Bloody Gap where the external wall must have been breached." He had the company of the Marquis of Lothian as far as Whittingham, and heard from him how nearly the Allies had come to a war amongst themselves when Napoleon's escape from Elba frightened them into reunion against the common foe. Sir Walter now in turn played the host himself, having among his guests not only Lord

Lothian and the young Lord Castlereagh (upon whom he "bestowed a little advice "), but also Lord Bathurst, who had been Foreign Secretary during Napoleon's exile at St. Helena. The autumn rains were not favourable to his health, producing melancholy and a disposition to sleep. He even began to tire of his Journal. But he "wrestled himself so far out of the Slough of Despond as to take a good long walk." His nerves required bracing. The same remedy had been applied

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Alnwick Castle.

after that day, two months earlier, when he had written in his diary this remarkable this remarkable passage :—

"My nerves have for these two or three last days been susceptible of an acute excitement from the slightest causes; the beauty of the evening, the sighing of the summer breeze brings the tears into my eyes not unpleasingly. But I must take exercise and case harden myself. There is no use in encouraging these moods of the mind. It is not the law we live on."

Another cause than the season brought on feelings of gloom. Scott had received letters which reopened an old and deep wound. Lady Jane Stuart, with whom

he had had no communication since his last meeting with her daughter at Invermay more than twenty years back, made a pathetic request for a renewal of their intercourse. She assured Scott that her heart had always been warm towards him, and wound up an affectionate letter: "Age has tales to tell and sorrows to unfold." In a few weeks an affecting meeting took place in Edinburgh (at No. 12, Maitland Street) between him and the mother of his first love; and a profoundly pathetic passage in the Journal tells how at a second visit Sir Walter fairly softened himself "like an old fool" with recalling old stories, till he was fit for nothing but shedding tears and repeating verses for the whole night. At the next interview, however, he had gained strength enough to become the consoler of his aged friend to him these things were now "matter of calm and solemn recollection, never to be forgotten, yet scarce to be remembered with pain."

Trouble, or rather threatened trouble, of a very different nature, had meanwhile come to harden his nerves. On the last day of October, as he was merrily cutting away among his trees, his legal adviser arrived at Abbotsford with the news that a certain Jew broker, one Abud, had determined to "take out diligence " against him for a debt of £1,500. This action, if pursued, would of course upset the arrangement made with the bulk of the creditors, and the man of law advised a sequestration. Scott contemplated taking sanctuary in the precincts of Holyrood or going to the Isle of Man;

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