TO THE


  The tale of the Surgeon's Daughter formed
part of the second series of Chronicles of the
Canongate, published in 1827; but has been
separated from the stories of The Highland
Widow, &c., which it originally accompanied,
and deferred to the close of this collection, for
reasons which printers and publishers will understand,
and which would hardly interest the
general reader.

  The Author has nothing to say now in reference
to this little Novel, but that the principal
incident on which it turns, was narrated to
him one morning at breakfast by his worthy
friend, Mr Train, of Castle Douglas, in Galloway,
whose kind assistance he has so often had
occasion to acknowledge in the course of these
prefaces; and that the military friend who is
alluded to as having furnished him with some
information as to Eastern matters, was Colonel
James Ferguson of Huntly Burn, one of the
sons of the venerable historian and philosopher
of that name---which name he took the liberty
of concealing under its Gaelic form of MacErries.

                                     W. S.

_Sept_. 1831.




[Mr Train was requested by Sir Walter Scott to
give him in writing the story as nearly as possible
in the shape in which he had told it; but the
following narrative, which he drew up accordingly,
did not reach Abbotsford until July 1832.]

  In the old Stock of Fife, there was not perhaps
an individual whose exertions were followed by
consequences of such a remarkable nature as those
of Davie Duff, popularly called ``The Thane of
Fife,'' who, from a very humble parentage, rose to
fill one of the chairs of the magistracy of his native
burgh.  By industry and economy in early life, he
obtained the means of erecting, solely on his own
account, one of those ingenious manufactories for
which Fifeshire is justly celebrated.  From the
day on which the industrious artisan first took his
seat at the Council Board, he attended so much
to the interests of the little privileged community
that civic honours were conferred on him as rapidly
as the Set of the Royalty* could legally admit.

*    The Constitution of the Borough.

  To have the right of walking to church on holyday,
preceded by a phalanx of halberdiers, in habiliments
fashioned as in former times, seems, in
the eyes of many a guild brother, to be a very
enviable pitch of worldly grandeur.  Few persons
were ever more proud of civic honours than the
Thane of Fife, but he knew well how to turn his
political influence to the best account.  The council,
court, and other business of the burgh, occupied
much of his time, which caused him to intrust the
management of his manufactory to a near relation
whose name was D*******, a young man of dissolute
habits; but the Thane, seeing at last, that
by continuing that extravagant person in that
charge, his affairs would, in all probability, fall into
a state of bankruptcy, applied to the member of
Parliament for that district to obtain a situation
for his relation in the civil department of the
state.  The knight, whom it is here unnecessary to
name, knowing how effectually the Thane ruled
the little burgh, applied in the proper quarter, and
actually obtained an appointment for D*******
in the civil service of the East India Company.

  A respectable surgeon, whose residence was in a
neighbouring village, had a beautiful daughter named
Emma, who had long been courted by D*******.  
Immediately before his departure to India, as a
mark of mutual affection, they exchanged miniatures,
taken by an eminent artist in Fife, and each
set in a locket, for the purpose of having the object
of affection always in view.

  The eyes of the old Thane were now turned
towards Hindostan with much anxiety; but his
relation had not long arrived in that distant quarter
of the globe before he had the satisfaction of receiving
a letter, conveying the welcome intelligence of
his having taken possession of his new station in a
large frontier town of the Company's dominions, and
that great emoluments were attached to the situation;
which was confirmed by several subsequent
communications of the most gratifying description to
the old Thane, who took great pleasure in spreading
the news of the reformed habits and singular
good fortune of his intended heir.  None of all his
former acquaintances heard with such joy the favourable
report of the successful adventurer in the
East, as did the fair and accomplished daughter of
the village surgeon; but his previous character
caused her to keep her own correspondence with
him secret from her parents, to whom even the circumstance
of her being acquainted with D*******
was wholly unknown, till her father received a
letter from him, in which he assured him of his
attachment to Emma long before his departure
from Fife; that having been so happy as to gain
her affections, he would have made her his wife
before leaving his. native country, had he then had
the means of supporting her in a suitable rank
through life; and that, having it now in his power
to do so, he only waited the consent of her parents
to fulfil the vow he had formerly made.

  The Doctor, having a large family, with a very
limited income to support them, and understanding
that D******* had at last become a person of sober
and industrious habits, he gave his consent, in which
Emma's mother fully concurred.

  Aware of the straitened circumstances of the
Doctor, D******* remitted a sum of money to
complete at Edinburgh Emma's Oriental education,
and fit her out in her journey to India; she was to
embark at Sheerness, on board one of the Company's
ships, for a port in India, at which place, he
said, he would wait her arrival, with a retinue
suited to a person of his rank in society.

  Emma set out from her father's house just in
time to secure a passage, as proposed by her intended
husband, accompanied by her only brother, who,
on their arrival at Sheerness, met one C******, an
old schoolfellow, captain of the ship by which
Emma was to proceed to India.

  It was the particular desire of the Doctor that
his daughter should be committed to the care of
that gentleman, from the time of her leaving the
shores of Britain, till the intended marriage ceremony
was duly performed on her arrival in India;
a charge that was frankly undertaken by the generous

  On the arrival of the fleet at the appointed port,
D*******, with a large cavalcade of mounted
Pindarees, was, as expected, in attendance, ready
to salute Emma on landing, and to carry her direct
into the interior of the country.  C******, who
had made several voyages to the shores of Hindostan,
knowing something of Hindoo manners
and customs, was surprised to see a private individual
in the Company's service with so many
attendants; and when D******* declined having
the marriage ceremony performed, according to
the rites of the Church, till he returned to the
place of his abode, C******, more and more confirmed
in his suspicion that all was not right, resolved
not to part with Emma, till he had fulfilled,
in the most satisfactory manner,  the  promise  he  had
made  before  leaving  England,  of  giving  her   duly
away  in  marriage.  Not  being  able  by  her  entreaties
to  alter  the  resolution  of   D*******,   Emma
solicited  her  protector  C******  to  accompany   her
to the place of her intended destination, to  which  he
most readily agreed, taking with him as many of
his crew as he deemed sufficient to ensure the safe
custody of his innocent proteg<e'>e, should any attempt
be made to carry her away by force.

  Both parties journeyed onwards till they arrived
at a frontier town, where a native Rajah was waiting
the arrival of the fair maid of Fife, with whom
he had fallen deeply in love, from seeing her miniature
likeness in the possession of D*******, to
whom he had paid a large sum of money for the
original, and had only intrusted him to convey her
in state to the seat of his government.

  No sooner was this villainous action of D*******
known to C******, than he communicated the
whole particulars to the commanding officer of a
regiment of Scotch Highlanders that happened to
be quartered in that part of India, begging at
the same time, for the honour of Caledonia, and
protection of injured innocence, that he would use
the means in his power, of resisting any attempt
that might be made by the native chief to wrest
from their hands the virtuous female who had been
so shamefully decoyed from her native country by
the worst of mankind.  Honour occupies too large
a space in the heart of the Gael to resist such a
call of humanity.

  The Rajah, finding his claim was not to be acceded
to, and resolving to enforce the same, assembled
his troops, and attacked with great fury
the place where the affrighted Emma was for a
time secured by her countrymen, who fought in
her defence with all their native valour, which at
length so overpowered their assailants, that they
were forced to retire in every direction, leaving
behind many of their slain, among whom was found
the mangled corpse of the perfidious D*******.

  C******* was immediately afterwards married to
Emma, and my informant assured me he saw them
many years afterwards, living happily together in
the county of Kent, on the fortune bequeathed
by the ``Thane of Fife.''

		                    J. T.

 Castle Douglas
  _ July_, 1832.