The Life of Sir Walter Scott

By John Macrone; Daniel Grader | Go to book overview

Appendix V
Three Witnesses

Three eyewitness accounts of Scott have been preserved together with the manuscript of this book: namely, Macrone’s notes of a conversation with Galt, which, as we have seen, were transcribed, not quite accurately, and published by Hamilton Baird Timothy in 1972,1 and a pair of short memoirs, which do not appear to have been published, by the physician Sir Andrew Halliday and the watercolourist Thomas Heaphy, evidently copied from the originals by someone other than Macrone. The following transcriptions are literal.


1. John Galt

In the year [blank in manuscript] I happened to be at Edinr and calling on Wm Erskine – it came on so heavy a shower that I was unable to go out for some time. – When Erskine to amuse me, mentioned that he had a play of Scotts which had been offered to one of the London theatres, and rejected:2 launching at the same time into some animadversions on the manner in which the great theatres were conducted. – The MSS I perfectly recollect was [sic] lying on his table.3 – he took it up, and read several scenes which he thought uncommonly fine. Every body knows, who knew the man that Wm Erskine (afterwards Lrd Kinedder) was full of taste and possessed a singular and elegant elocution. – The scene4 that I chiefly remember was that in which the heir of Aspen endeavours to discover if his mother was concerned in the murder of his father – and we both agreed that with Mrs Siddons it would have been very sublime, and was certainly very dramatic – The play

1. Hamilton B. Timothy (1972), ‘Galt on Scott’, Library Review, vol. 23, no. 8, pp. 323–5.

2. The House of Aspen, rejected by Kemble in October 1800 (Johnson, Edgar (1970), Sir Walter Scott: The Great Unknown, 2 vols, New York: Macmillan, vol. I, p. 179).

3. There appears to be a superscription at the end of this word, which, if not a mere slip of the pen, makes it, properly, ‘tabletop’.

4. Macrone originally wrote ‘chief scene’.

-136-

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The Life of Sir Walter Scott
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction 1
  • The Afterglow of Abbotsford- John Macrone, Celebrity Culture, and Commemoration 49
  • Preface 63
  • Chapter I - Macrone at Abbotsford and Innerleithen in 1832 65
  • Chapter II - 1771–1797 70
  • Chapter III - 1797–1815 77
  • Chapter IV - The Novelist 85
  • Chapter V - Scott at Abbotsford 95
  • Chapter VI - Miscellaneous Traits and Anecdotes 102
  • Chapter VII - 1831–2 116
  • Chapter VIII - Eulogy 125
  • Appendix I - Macrone and Cunningham 130
  • Appendix II - A Fragment of Another Preface 132
  • Appendix III - Another Conclusion 133
  • Appendix IV - Hogg’s Anecdotes Introduced 134
  • Appendix V - Three Witnesses 136
  • Bibliography 149
  • Index 155
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