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avocations, whereupon "Paul" advised him to charge
each party five francs. From amongst the bones of horses, old hats, rags of clothes, scraps of leather, and other fragments with which the ground was still strewed, the novelist picked up a livret, or memorandum book, of a French soldier. It contained, he It contained, he says, in addition to particulars of his services and equipments, a list of the duties of a private soldier, one of which was to know how to make good soup. At La Belle Alliance he bought a private's cuirass for six francs, giving four times that sum at Brussels for an officer's inlaid one. For forty francs he acquired also a cross of the Legion of Honour. A thing which he probably valued still more highly was given to Scott by a lady whose father had found it upon the field. This was a MS. collection of French songs, stained with clay and blood, among which were Queen Hortense's Partant pour La Syrie, which he rendered into English verse as the The Romance of Dunois, and another which was the original of his Troubadour.
Brussels was so economical a place that he calculated he could live there in his usual style for the amount only of the direct taxes he paid in Scotland. This occurs in one of the letters supposed to be addressed to a laird with a passion for statistical information-Lord Somerville, sometime President of the Board of Agriculture, and Scott's master in the art of planting. In dilating to him upon the cumbrous solidity (typified by Rubens's women) of Flemish implements he
instances an apparatus for holding a horse while being shod-"wooden erections of about his own size, supported by four massive posts such as a British carpenter would use to erect a harbour crane!" The war was as yet barely over, and following the route of the victorious allies into France "Paul" saw some strange sights. At one place he beheld English soldiers seated amidst the branches of fruit trees, while their wives stood below holding their aprons for the descending fruit. At another he was the spectator of a meeting between a Prussian commissary with waggons and a body of French peasants driving carts, when the latter, relying upon the enemy's ignorance of their language, showered upon him such gentle terms as coquin, voleur, brigand, smiling politely the while, and were rewarded by "Das ist gut," "Sehr wohl," and similar expressions of content from the lips of the unconscious foreigner, who even removed his pipe to utter them. On his way to Paris the traveller was taken over the half-ruined but still magnificent château of Chantilly. Sympathising with its occupants' feelings towards those barbarians the Prussians, he was yet constrained to remind them that these were at any rate their deliverers from revolutionary anarchy and Bonapartist oppression.
At length the French capital was reached. "Paul " writes an elaborate account of it, noting the lukewarm feeling of the people towards the restored Bourbons, and their preference for the Duke of Orleans to the princes of the elder line. He encounters a little High
land sergeant gazing at the Venus de Médicis, who, when asked how he liked the masterpiece, replies that "he was told she was much admired, but he would show his Honour a much better proportioned woman -which turned out to be a colossal figure eight feet high! "Paul" gives his readers but little notion of the really excellent reception which Walter Scott met with from some of the great men assembled in Paris, notably Wellington, the Tsar Alexander, and Platoff the Cossack
Hetman. Blücher also paid him marked attentions. His presentation to and reception by Wellington (who, he thought, "possessed every one mighty quality of the mind in a higher degree than any other man did, or had ever done"), he considered as the highest distinction of his life. He felt abashed in his presence, which he did not in that of emperors or kings, and his modesty would not allow that the man of action could feel any corresponding interest in an illustrious man of letters. "What would the Duke of Wellington think of a few bits of
novels, which perhaps he had never read, and for which the strong probability is that he would not care a sixpence if he had?" if he had?" Yet, though this was his own unaffected belief, the great author was invariably accorded a very high degree of consideration and confidence by the great captain and statesman. It was at this, their first meeting, that Wellington told Scott that nothing was so dreadful as a battle won, except a battle lost.
The introduction to the Tsar was attended by a humorous circumstance, which Scott was fond of relating. Lord Cathcart had given the potentate to understand that the man he was presenting had seen some military service; and Scott's lameness, as well as his appearance in a uniform-the blue and red of the Selkirkshire lieutenancy-gave colour to the notion. When, therefore, in answer to the Emperor's inquiry, Scott had to admit that he had never been wounded, he thought it necessary to save the face of his introducer by explaining that he had served-"that is, in the yeomanry cavalry" -and to name his commander. And when asked further, "Were you ever engaged?" he was constrained to fall back upon the sham fights in which the Scottish volunteers had exercised themselves in anticipation of French invasion, and reply, "In some slight actions, such as the battle of the Cross Causeway and the affair of MoredunMill." What could have been the mysterious attraction which the Scottish author possessed for the Cossack Hetman it is difficult to say, unless it were the benign
good humour that always showed itself in his face. Whatever it may have been, it induced the old warrior to jump from his horse and kiss him on both cheeks, and to mount him on one of his best Ukraine horses during a grand review in the Champs de Mars.
Scott had now at length enjoyed a peep at that European drama which he had so often longed to have before his eyes, and which he was to describe in his Life of Napoleon. He was back at Abbotsford in September, having paid a visit to Warwick and Kenilworth on the way, besides passing a night at Sheffield. At the last-named town he received what he thought one of the greatest of compliments. Having occasion to buy a planter's knife, he left his card in order that his name and address might be inscribed on the handle; and afterwards learned that the artisan who had to execute the work, at sight of the words "Walter Scott, Abbotsford," had offered a week's free work in return for permission to keep the ticket. Saunders was taken at his word by his employer! The "laird," as he could now call himself, brought back presents from abroad for his people. Among them was a gold snuff-box, which was always kept for Sunday use by its possessor, an old favourite employed in the Abbotsford quarries. His beautiful white charger Daisy, hitherto the gentlest of mounts, on Scott's return, for some strange reason, had taken such a dislike to him as several times to throw him; and thenceforth he resolved "to have done with such a dainty blood and to stick to a good sober cob."