The preceding volume of this Collection concluded
the last of the pieces originally published
under the _nominis umbra_ of The
Author of Waverley; and the circumstances
which rendered it impossible for the writer
to continue longer in the possession of his
incognito, were communicated in 1827, in the
Introduction to the first series of Chronicles
of the Canongate,---consisting (besides a biographical
sketch of the imaginary chronicler)
of three tales, entitled ``The Highland Widow,''
``The Two Drovers,'' and ``The Surgeon's
Daughter.'' In the present volume the two
first named of these pieces are included, together
with three detached stories, which appeared
the year after in the elegant compilation
called ``The Keepsake.'' The ``Surgeon's Daughter''
it is thought better to defer
until a succeeding volume, than to

      ``Begin and break off in the middle.''

  I have, perhaps, said enough on former occasions
of the misfortunes which led to the
dropping of that mask under which I had, for
a long series of years, enjoyed so large a portion
of public favour. Through the success of
those literary efforts, I had been enabled to
indulge most of the tastes, which a retired
person of my station might be supposed to
entertain. In the pen of this nameless romancer,
I seemed to possess something like the secret
fountain of coined gold and pearls vouchsafed
to the traveller of the Eastern Tale; and no
doubt believed that I might venture, without
silly imprudence, to extend my personal expenditure
considerably beyond what I should
have thought of, had my means been limited
to the competence which I derived from inheritance,
with the moderate income of a professional
situation. I bought, and built, and
planted, and was considered by myself, as by
the rest of the world, in the safe possession
of an easy fortune. My riches, however, like
the other riches of this world, were liable to
accidents, under which they were ultimately
destined to make unto themselves wings and
fly away. The year 1825, so disastrous to
many branches of industry and commerce,
did not spare the market of literature; and
the sudden   ruin that fell on so many of the
booksellers,  could scarcely gave been expected
to leave  unscathed one, whose career had
of necessity connected him deeply and extensively
with the pecuniary transactions of that
profession. In a word, almost without one
note of premonition, I found myself involved
in the sweeping catastrophe of the unhappy
time, and called on to meet the demands of
creditors upon commercial establishments
with which my fortunes had long been bound
up, to the extent of no less a sum than one
hundred and twenty thousand pounds.

  The author having, however rashly, committed
his pledges thus largely to the hazards of
trading companies, it behoved him, of course,
to abide the consequences of his conduct, and,
with whatever feelings, he surrendered on the
instant every shred of property which he had
been accustomed to call his own. It became
vested in the hands of gentlemen, whose integrity,
prudence, and intelligence, were combined
with all possible liberality and kindness
of disposition, and who readily afforded every
assistance towards the execution of plans, in
the success of which the author contemplated
the possibility of his ultimate extrication, and
which were of such a nature, that, had assistance
of this sort been withheld, he could have
had little prospect of carrying them into effect.  
Among other resources which occurred, was
the project of that complete and corrected
edition of his Novels and Romances, (whose
real parentage had of necessity been disclosed
at the moment of the commercial convulsions
alluded to,) which has now advanced with
unprecedented favour nearly to its close; but
as he purposed also to continue, for the behoof
of those to whom he was indebted, the exercise
of his pen in the same path of literature,
so long as the state of his countrymen should
seem to approve of his efforts, it appeared to
him that it would have been an idle piece of
affectation to attempt getting up a new _incognito_,
after his original visor had been thus
dashed from his brow. Hence the personal
narrative prefixed to the first work of fiction
which he put forth after the paternity of the
``Waverley Novels'' had come to be publicly
ascertained: and though many of the particulars
originally avowed in that Notice have
been unavoidably adverted to in the prefaces
and notes to some of the preceding volumes
of the present collection, it is now reprinted
as it stood at the time, because some
interest is generally attached to a coin or medal
struck on a special occasion, as expressing,
perhaps, more faithfully than the same
artist could have afterwards conveyed, the
feelings of the moment that gave it birth. The
Introduction to the first series of Chronicles
of the Canongate ran, then, in these words:


  All who are acquainted with the early history
of the Italian stage are aware, that Arlechino
is not, in his original conception, a
mere worker of marvels with his wooden
sword, a jumper in and out of windows, as
upon our theatre, but, as his party-coloured
jacket implies, a buffoon or clown, whose
mouth, far from being eternally closed, as
amongst us, is filled, like that of Touchstone,
with quips, and cranks, and witty devices, very
often delivered extempore. It is not easy to
trace how he became possessed of his black
vizard which was anciently made in the resemblance
of the face of a cat; but it seems
that the mask was essential to the performance
of the character, as will appear from the following
theatrical anecdote:---

  An actor on the Italian stage permitted at
the Foire du St Germain, in Paris, was renowned
for the wild, venturous, and extravagant
wit, the brilliant sallies and fortunate
repartees, with which he prodigally seasoned
the character of the party-coloured jester.
Some critics, whose good-will towards a favourite
performer was stronger than their
judgment, took occasion to remonstrate with
the successful actor on the subject of the
grotesque vizard. They went wilily to their
purpose, observing that his classical and attic
wit, his delicate vein of humour, his happy
turn for dialogue, were rendered burlesque and
ludicrous by this unmeaning and bizzare disguise,
and that those attributes would become
far more impressive, if aided by the spirit of
his eye and the expression of his natural features.
The actor's vanity was easily so far
engaged as to induce him to make the experiment.
He played Harlequin barefaced, but
was considered on all hands as having made a
total failure. He had lost the audacity which
a sense of incognito bestowed, and with it all
the reckless play of raillery which gave vivacity
to his original acting. He cursed his advisers,
and resumed his grotesque vizard; but,
it is said, without ever being able to regain
the careless and successful levity which the
consciousness of the disguise had formerly bestowed.

  Perhaps the Author of Waverley is now
about to incur a risk of the same kind, and
endanger his popularity by having laid aside
his incognito. It is certainly not a voluntary
experiment, like that of Harlequin; for it was
my original intention never to have avowed
these works during my lifetime, and the original
manuscripts were carefully preserved,
(though by the care of others rather than
mine,) with the purpose of supplying the necessary
evidence of the truth when the period
of announcing it should arrive.* But the

*    These manuscripts are at present (August 1831) advertised
     for public sale, which is an addition, though a small one,
     to other annoyances.

affairs of my publishers having unfortunately
passed into a management different from their
own, I had no right any longer to rely upon
secrecy in that quarter; and thus my mask,
like my Aunt Dinah's in ``Tristram Shandy,''
having begun to wax a little threadbare about
the chin, it became time to lay it aside with a
good grace, unless I desired it should fall in
pieces from my face, which was now become

  Yet I had not the slightest intention of selecting
the time and place in which the disclosure
was finally made; nor was there any
concert betwixt my learned and respected
friend Lord Meadowbank and myself upon
that occasion. It was, as the reader is probably
aware, upon the 23d February last, at a
public meeting, called for establishing a professional
Theatrical Fund in Edinburgh, that
the communication took place. Just before
we sat down to table, Lord Meadowbank*

*    One of the Supreme Judges of Scotland, termed Lords of
     Council and Session.

asked me privately, whether I was still anxious
to preserve my incognito on the subject of
what were called the Waverley Novels? I did
not immediately see the purpose of his lordship's
question, although I certainly might
have been led to infer it, and replied, that the
secret had now of necessity become known to
so many people that I was indifferent on the
subject. Lord Meadowbank was thus induced,
while doing me the great honour of proposing
my health to the meeting, to say something
on the subject of these Novels, so strongly
connecting them with me as the author, that
by remaining silent, I must have stood convicted,
either of the actual paternity, or of the
still greater crime of being supposed willing to
receive indirectly praise to which I had no just
title. I thus found myself suddenly and unexpectedly
placed in the confessional, and had
only time to recollect that I had been guided
thither by a most friendly hand, and could not,
perhaps, find a better public opportunity to lay
down a disguise, which began to resemble that
of a detected masquerader.

  I had therefore the task of avowing myself,
to the numerous and respectable company assembled,
as the sole and unaided author of
these Novels of Waverley, the paternity of
which was likely at one time to have formed
a controversy of some celebrity, for the ingenuity
with which some instructors of the public
gave their assurance on the subject, was extremely
persevering. I now think it further
necessary to say, that while I take on myself
all the merits and demerits attending these
compositions, I am bound to acknowledge with
gratitude, hints of subjects and legends which
I have received from various quarters, and
have occasionally used as a foundation of my
fictitious compositions, or woven up with them
in the shape of episodes. I am bound, in particular,
to acknowledge the unremitting kindness
of Mr Joseph Train, supervisor of excise
at Dumfries, to whose unwearied industry I
have been indebted for many curious traditions,
and points of antiquarian interest. It
was Mr Train who brought to my recollection
the history of Old Mortality, although I myself
had had a personal interview with that celebrated
wanderer so far back as about 1792,
when I found him on his usual task. He was
then engaged in repairing the gravestones of
the Covenanters who had died while imprisoned
in the Castle of Dunnottar, to which many
of them were committed prisoners at the period
of Argyle's rising; their place of confinement
is still called the Whigs' Vault. Mr Train,
however, procured for me far more extensive
information concerning this singular person,
whose name was Patterson, than I had been
able to acquire during my own short conversation
with him.* He was (as I think I have

*    See, for some further particulars, the notes to Old Mortality,
     in the present collective edition.

somewhere already stated) a native of the
parish of Closeburn, in Dumfries-shire, and
it is believed that domestic affliction, as well
as devotional feeling, induced him to commence
the wandering mode of life, which he
pursued for a very long period. It is more
than twenty years since Robert Patterson's
death, which took place on the high-road near
Lockerby, where he was found exhausted and
expiring. The white pony, the companion of
his pilgrimage, was standing by the side of its
dying master; the whole furnishing a scene
not unfitted for the pencil. These particulars
I had from Mr Train.

  Another debt, which I pay most willingly,
I owe to an unknown correspondent (a lady),*

*    The late Mrs Goldie.

who favoured me with the history of the upright
and high-principled female, whom, in
the Heart of Mid-Lothian, I have termed Jeanie
Deans. The circumstance of her refusing  to
save her sister's life by an act of perjury, and
undertaking a pilgrimage to London to obtain
her pardon, are both represented as true by
my fair and obliging correspondent; and they
led me to consider the possibility of rendering
a fictitious personage interesting by mere dignity
of mind and rectitude of principle, assisted
by unpretending good sense and temper,
without any of the beauty, grace, talent, accomplishment,
and wit, to which a heroine of
romance is supposed to have a prescriptive
right. If the portrait was received with interest
by the public, I am conscious how much
it was owing to the truth and force of the original
sketch, which I regret that I am unable
to present to the public, as it was written with
much feeling and spirit.

  Old and odd books, and a considerable collection
of family legends, formed another
quarry, so ample, that it was much more likely
that the strength of the labourer should be exhausted
than that materials should fail. I
may mention, for example's sake, that the terrible
catastrophe of the Bride of Lammermoor
actually occurred in a Scottish family of rank. 
The female relative, by whom the melancholy
tale was communicated to me many years
since, was a near connexion of the family in
which the event happened and always told it
with an appearance of melancholy mystery,
which enhanced the interest, She had known,
in her youth, the brother who rode before the
unhappy victim to the fatal altar, who, though
then a mere boy, and occupied almost entirely
with the gaiety of his own appearance in the
bridal procession, could not but remark that
the hand of his sister was moist, and cold as
that of a statue. It is unnecessary further to
withdraw the veil from this scene of family
distress, nor, although it occurred more than
a hundred years since, might it be altogether
agreeable to the representatives of the families
concerned in the narrative. It may be proper
to say, that the events alone are imitated;
but I had neither the means nor intention of
copying the manners, or tracing the characters,
of the persons concerned in the real story.

  Indeed, I may here state generally, that although
I have deemed historical personages
free subjects of delineation, I have never on
any occasion violated the respect due to private
life. It was indeed impossible that traits
proper to persons, both living and dead, with
whom I have had intercourse in society, should
not have risen to my pen in such works as
Waverley, and those which followed it. But
I have always studied to generalize the portraits,
so that they should still seem, on the
whole, the productions of fancy though possessing
some resemblance to real individuals. 
Yet I must own my attempts have not in
this last particular been uniformly successful. 
There are men whose characters are so peculiarly
marked, and the delineation of some
leading and principal feature, inevitably places
the whole person before you in his individuality. 
Thus, the character of Jonathan Oldbuck, in
the Antiquary, was partly founded on that of
an old friend of my youth, to whom I am indebted
for introducing me to Shakspeare, and
other invaluable favours; but I thought I had
so completely disguised the likeness, that his
features could not be recognised by any one
now alive. I was mistaken, however, and indeed
had endangered what I desired should be
considered as a secret; for I afterwards learned
that a highly respectable gentleman, one of the
few surviving friends of my father,* and an

*    James Chalmers, Esq. solicitor at law, London, who
     died during the publication of the present edition of these
     Novels. (Aug. 1831.)

acute critic, had said, upon the appearance of
the work, that he was now convinced who was
the author of it, as he recognised, in the Antiquary
of Monkbarns, traces of the character
of a very intimate friend of my father's family.

  I may here also notice, that the sort of exchange
of gallantry, which is represented as
taking place betwixt the Baron of Bradwardine
and Colonel Talbot, is a literal fact. The real
circumstances of the anecdote, alike honourable
to Whig and Tory, are these:---

  Alexander Stewart of Invernahyle,---a name
which I cannot write without the warmest recollections
of gratitude to the friend of my
childhood, who first introduced me to the Highlands,
their traditions, and their manners,---
had been engaged actively in the troubles of
1745. As be charged at the battle of Preston
with his clan, the Stewarts of Appine, he saw
an officer of the opposite army standing alone
by a battery of four cannon, of which he discharged
three on the advancing Highlanders,
and then drew his sword. Invernahyle rushed
on him, and required him to surrender, ``Never
to rebels!'' was the undaunted reply, accompanied
with a lounge, which the Highlander
received on his target; but instead of using
his sword in cutting down his now defenceless
antagonist, he employed it in parrying the blow
of a Lochaber axe, aimed at the officer by the
Miller, one of his own followers, a grim-looking
old Highlander, whom I remember to have
seen. Thus overpowered, Lieutenant Colonel
Allan Whitefoord, a gentleman of rank and
consequence, as well as a brave officer, gave up
his sword, and with it his purse and watch,
which Invernahyle accepted, to save them from
his followers. After the affair was over, Mr
Stewart sought out his prisoner, and they were
introduced to each other by the celebrated
John Roy Stewart, who acquainted Colonel
Whitefoord with the quality of his captor, and
made him aware of the necessity of receiving
back his property, which he was inclined to
leave in the hands into which it had fallen. So
great became the confidence established betwixt
them, that Invernahyle obtained from the Chevalier
his prisoner's freedom upon parole; and
soon afterwards, having been sent back to the
Highlands to raise men he visited Colonel
Whitefoord at his own house, and spent two
happy days with him and his Whig friends,
without thinking, on either side, of the civil
war which was then raging.

  When the battle of Culloden put an end to
the hopes of Charles Edward, Invernahyle,
wounded and unable to move, was home from
the field by the faithful zeal of his retainers. 
But, as he had been a distinguished Jacobite,
his family and property were exposed to the
system of vindictive destruction, too generally
carried into execution through the country of
the insurgents. It was now Colonel Whitefoord's
turn to exert himself, and he wearied
all the authorities, civil and military, with his
solicitations for pardon to the saver of his life,
or at least for a protection for his wife and
family. His applications were for a long time
unsuccessful: ``I was found with the mark of
the Beast upon me in every list,'' was Invernahyle's
expression. At length Colonel Whitefoord
applied to the Duke of Cumberland, and
urged his suit with every argument which he
could think of. Being still repulsed, he took
his commission from his bosom, and, having
said something of his own and his family's
exertions in the cause of the House of Hanover,
begged to resign his situation in their service,
since he could not be permitted to show
his gratitude to the person to whom he owed
his life. The Duke, struck with his earnestness,
desired him to take up his commission,
and granted the protection required for the
family of Invernahyle.

  The Chieftain himself lay concealed in a cave
near his own house, before which a small body
of regular soldiers, were encamped. He could
hear their muster-roll called every morning,
and their drums beat to quarters at night, and
not a change of the sentinels escaped him. As
it was suspected that he was lurking somewhere
on the property, his family were closely
watched, and compelled to use the utmost precaution
in supplying him with food. One of
his daughters, a child of eight or ten years old,
was employed as the agent least likely to be
suspected. She was an instance among others,
that a time of danger and difficulty creates a
premature sharpness of intellect. She made
herself acquainted among the soldiers, till she
became so familiar to them, that her motions
escaped their notice; and her practice was, to
stroll away into the neighbourhood of the cave,
and leave what slender supply of food she carried
for that purpose under some remarkable
stone, or the root of some tree, where her father
might find it as he crept by night from his
lurking-place. Times became milder, and my
excellent friend was relieved from proscription
by the Act of Indemnity. Such is the interesting
story which I have rather injured than
improved, by the manner in which it is told in

  This incident, with several other circumstances
illustrating the Tales in question, was
communicated by me to my late lamented
friend, William Erskine, (a Scottish Judge,
by the title of Lord Kinedder,) who afterwards
reviewed with far too much partiality
the Tales of my Landlord, for the Quarterly
Review of January 1817.* In the same article,

*   Lord Kinedder died in August 1822.  Eheu! (Aug.

are contained other illustrations of the Novels,
with which I supplied my accomplished friend,
who took the trouble to write the review. The
reader who is desirous of such information,
will find the original of Meg Merrilees, and I
believe of one or two other personages of the
same cast of character, in the article referred

  I may also mention, that the tragic and savage
circumstances which are represented as
preceding the birth of Allan MacAulay, in
the Legend of Montrose, really happened in
the family of Stewart of Ardvoirlich. The
wager about the candlesticks, whose place
was supplied by Highland torch-bearers, was
laid and won by one of the MacDonalds of

  There can be but little amusement in winnowing
out the few grains of truth which are
contained in this mass of empty fiction.
may, however, before dismissing the subject,
allude to the various localities which have
been affixed to some of the scenery introduced
into these Novels, by which, for example,
Wolf's-Hope is identified with Past-Castle in
Berwickshire,---Tillietudlem with Draphane in
Clydesdale,---and the valley in the Monastery,
called Glendearg, with the dale of the river
Allan, above Lord Somerville's villa, near Melrose.
I can only say, that, in these and other
instances, I had no purpose of describing any
particular local spot; and the resemblance
must therefore be of that general kind which
necessarily exists between scenes of the same
character. The iron-bound coast of Scotland
affords upon its headlands and promontories
fifty such castles as Wolf's-Hope; every
county has a valley more or less resembling
Glendearg; and if castles like Tillietudlem,
or mansions like the Baron of Bradwardine's,
are now less frequently to be met with, it is
owing to the rage of indiscriminate destruction,
which has removed or ruined so many
monuments of antiquity, when they were not
protected by their inaccessible situation.*

*    I would particularly intimate the Kaim of Uric, on the
     eastern coast of Scotland, as having suggested an idea for the
     tower called Wolf's-Crag, which the public more generally
     identified with the ancient tower of Fast-Castle.

  The scraps of poetry which have been in
most cases tacked to the beginning of chapters
in these Novels, are sometimes quoted either
from reading or from memory, but, in the general
case, are pure invention. I found it too
troublesome to turn to the collection of the
British Poets to discover apposite mottos, and,
in the situation of the theatrical mechanist,
who, when the white paper which represented
his shower of snow was exhausted, continued
the storm by snowing brown, I drew on my
memory as long as I could, and, when that
failed, eked it out with invention. I believe
that, in some cases, where actual names are
affixed to the supposed quotations, it would be
to little purpose to seek them in the works of
the authors referred to. In some cases, I have
been entertained when Dr Watts and other
graver authors, have been ransacked in vain for
stanzas for which the novelist alone was responsible.

  And now the reader may expect me, while
in the confessional, to explain the motives why
I have so long persisted iii disclaiming the
works of which I am now writing. To this it
would be difficult to give any other reply, save
that of Corporal Nym---It was the authors
humour or caprice for the time. I hope it will
not be construed into ingratitude to the public,
to whose indulgence I have owed my _sang
froid_ much more than to any merit of my own,
if I confess that I am, and have been, more indifferent
to success, or to failure, as an author,
than may be the case with others, who feel
more strongly the passion for literary fame,
probably because they are justly conscious of
a better title to it. It was not until I had attained
the age of thirty years that I made any
serious attempt at distinguishing myself as an
author; and at that period, men's hopes, desires,
and wishes, have usually acquired something
of a decisive character, and are not eagerly
and easily diverted into a new channel. When
I made the discovery,---for to me it was one,
---that by amusing myself with composition,
which I felt a delightful occupation, I could
also give pleasure to others, and became aware
that literary pursuits were likely to engage in
future a considerable portion of my time, I felt
some alarm that I might acquire those habits
of jealousy and fretfulness which have lessened,
and even degraded, the character even of great
authors, and rendered them, by their petty
squabbles and mutual irritability, the laughing-stock
of the people of the world. I resolved,
therefore, in this respect to guard my
breast, perhaps an unfriendly critic may add,
my brow, with triple brass,* and as much as

*   Not altogether impossible, when it is considered that  I
    have been at the bar since 1792. (Aug. 1831.)

possible to avoid resting my thoughts and
wishes upon literary success, lest I should endanger
my own peace of mind and tranquillity
by literary failure. It would argue either stupid
apathy, or ridiculous affectation, to say
that I have been insensible to the public applause,
when I have been honoured with its
testimonies; and still more highly do I prize
the invaluable friendships which some temporary
popularity has enabled me to form among
those of my contemporaries most distinguished
by talents and genius, and which I venture to
hope now rest upon a basis more firm than the
circumstances which gave rise to them. Yet
feeling all these advantages as a man ought to
do, and must do, I may say, with truth and
confidence, that I have, I think, tasted of the
intoxicating cup with moderation, and that I
have never, either in conversation or correspondence,
encouraged discussions respecting
my own literary pursuits. On the contrary, I
have usually found such topics, even when introduced
from motives most flattering to myself,
rather embarrassing and disagreeable.

  I have now frankly told my motives for concealment,
so far as I am conscious of having
any, and the public will forgive the egotism of
the detail, as what is necessarily connected
with it. The author, so long and loudly called
for, has appeared on the stage, and made his
obeisance to the audience. Thus far his conduct
is a mark of respect. To linger in their
presence would be intrusion.

  I have only to repeat, that I avow myself in
print, as formerly in words, the sole and unassisted
author of all the Novels published
as works of the ``Author of Waverley.'' I
do this without shame, for I am unconscious
that there is any thing in their composition
which deserves reproach, either on the score
of religion or morality; and without any feeling
of exultation, because, whatever may have
been their temporary success, I am well aware
how much their reputation depends upon the
caprice of fashion; and I have already mentioned
the precarious tenure by which it is
held, as a reason for displaying no great avidity
in grasping at the possession.

  I ought to mention, before concluding, that
twenty persons, at least, were, either from intimacy,
or from the confidence which circumstances
rendered necessary, participant of this
secret; and as there was no instance, to my
knowledge, of any one of the number breaking
faith, I am the more obliged to them, because
the slight and trivial character of the mystery
was not qualified to inspire much respect in
those intrusted with it. Nevertheless, like Jack
the Giant-Killer, I was fully confident in the
advantage of my ``Coat of Darkness,'' and had
it not been from compulsory circumstances, I
would have indeed been very cautious how I
parted with it.

  As for the work which follows, it was meditated,
and in part printed, long before the avowal
of the novels took place, and originally commenced
with a declaration that it was neither
to have introduction nor preface of any kind. 
This long proem, prefixed to a work intended
not to have any, may, however, serve to show
how human purposes, in the most trifling, as
well as the most important affairs, are liable
to be controlled by the course of events. 
Thus, we begin to cross a strong river with
our eyes and our resolution fixed on that
point of the opposite shore, on which we purpose
to land; but, gradually giving way to
the torrent, are glad, by the aid perhaps of
branch or bush, to extricate ourselves at some
distant and perhaps dangerous landing-place,
much farther down the stream than that on
which we had fixed our intentions.

  Hoping that  the  Courteous  Reader  will
afford to a known and familiar acquaintance
some portion of the favour which he extended
to a disguised candidate for his applause, I
beg leave to subscribe myself his obliged humble
                         WALTER SCOTT.

Abbotsford, _October_ 1, 1827.


  Such was the little narrative which I thought
proper to put forth in October 1827: nor
have I much to add to it now.  About to
appear for the first time in my own name in
this department of letters, it occurred to me
that something in the shape of a periodical
publication might carry with it a certain air of
novelty, and I was willing to break, if I may
so express it, the abruptness of my personal
forthcoming, by investing an imaginary coadjutor
with at least as much distinctness of individual
existence as I had ever previously
thought it worth while to bestow  on shadows
of the same convenient tribe.  Of course, it
had never been in my contemplation to invite
the assistance of any real person in the sustaining
of my quasi-editorial character and
labours.  It had long been my opinion, that
any thing like a literary _picnic_ is likely to
end in suggesting comparisons, justly termed
odious, and therefore to be avoided: and, indeed,
I had also had some occasion to know,
that promises of assistance, in efforts of that
order, are apt to be more magnificent than the
subsequent performance.  I therefore planned
a Miscellany, to be dependent, after the old
fashion, on my own resources alone, and
although conscious enough that the moment
which assigned to the Author of Waverley
``a local habitation and a name,'' had seriously
endangered his spell, I felt inclined to adopt
the sentiment of my old hero Montrose, and
to say to myself, that in literature, as in war,

      ``He either fears his fate too much,
          Or his deserts are small,
        Who dares not put it to the touch,
          To win or lose it all.''

  To the particulars explanatory of the plan of
these Chronicles, which the reader is presented
with in Chapter II. by the imaginary Editor,
Mr Croftangry, I have now to add, that the
lady, termed in his narrative, Mrs Bethune
Balliol, was designed to shadow out in its
leading points the interesting character of a
dear friend of mine, Mrs Murray Keith,* whose

*   The Keiths of Craig, in Kincardineshire, descended
    from John Keith, fourth son of William, second Earl Marischal,
    who got from his father, about 1480, the lands of Craig,
    and part of Garvock, in that county.  In Douglas's Baronage,
    443 to 445, is a pedigree of that family.  Colonel Robert
    Keith of Craig (the seventh in descent from John) by his wife,
    Agnes, daughter of Robert Murray of Murrayshall, of the
    family of Blackbarony, widow of Colonel Stirling, of the
    family of Keir, had one son; viz.  Robert Keith of Craig, ambassador
    to the court of Vienna, afterwards to St Petersburgh,
    which latter situation he held at the accession of King George
    III.,---who died at Edinburgh in 1774.  He married Margaret,
    second daughter of Sir William Cunningham of Caprington,
    by Janet, only child and heiress of Sir James Dick of Prestonfield;
    and, among other children of this marriage, were,
    the late well-known diplomatist, Sir Robert Murray Keith,
    K. B., a general in the army, and for some time ambassador at
    Vienna; Sir Basil Keith, Knight, captain in the navy, who
    died governor of Jamaica; and my excellent friend, Anne
    Murray Keith, who ultimately came into possession of the family
    estates, and died not long before the date of this Introduction,

death occurring shortly before had saddened
a wide circle, much attached to her, as well
for her genuine virtue and amiable qualities of
disposition, as for the extent of information
which she possessed, and the delightful manner
in which she was used to communicate it.  
In truth, the author had, on many occasions,
been indebted to her vivid memory for the
_substratum_ of his Scottish fictions---and she
accordingly had been, from an early period, at
no loss to fix the Waverley Novels on the
right culprit.

  In the sketch of Chrystal Croftangry's
own history, the author has been accused of
introducing some not polite allusions to respectable
living individuals: but he may safely, he
presumes, pass over such an insinuation.  The
first of the narratives which Mr Croftangry
proceeds to lay before the public, ``The Highland
Widow,'' was derived from Mrs Murray
Keith, and is given, with the exception of a few
additional circumstances---the introduction of
which I am rather inclined to regret---very
much as the excellent old lady used to tell the
story.  Neither the Highland cicerone Macturk,
nor the demure washingwoman, were
drawn from imagination: and on re-reading
my tale, after the lapse of a few years, and
comparing its effect with my remembrance of
my worthy friend's oral narration, which was
certainly extremely affecting, I cannot but suspect
myself of having marred its simplicity by
some of those interpolations, which, at the time
when I penned them, no doubt passed with
myself for embellishments.

  The next tale, entitled ``The Two Drovers,''
I learned from another old friend, the late
George Constable, Esq. of Wallace-Craigie,
near Dundee, whom I have already introduced
to my reader as the original Antiquary of
Monkbarns.  He had been present, I think, at
the trial at Carlisle, and seldom mentioned the
venerable judges charge to the jury, without
shedding tears,---which had peculiar pathos,
as flowing down features, carrying rather a
sarcastic or almost a cynical expression.

  This worthy gentleman's reputation for
shrewd Scottish sense---knowledge of our national
antiquities---and a racy humour, peculiar
to himself, must be still remembered.  For
myself, I have pride in recording that for
many years we were, in Wordsworth's language,

     ``------- a pair of friends, though I was young,
     And `George was seventy-two.''

                                   W. S.

Abbotsford, _Aug_. 15,1831.