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Walter Scott: Chronicles of the Canongate

  a machine-readable transcription

[For archival on the Internet Wiretap, the portions
have been concatenated. No other changes have been made.]

Version 1.0: 1993-03-25

 This machine-readable transcription of the
Chronicles of the Canongate is based on the text
published as volumes 41 and 48 of the Waverley
Novels by Archibald Constable and Company in 1896.

 Volume 41 also included the Keepsake Stories, which
have been separated from the Chronicles. The tale
`The Surgeon's Daughter' originally appeared in
volume 48, for reasons only printers and publishers
will understand.

 The order of the files in this distribution are
as follows:

 introduction  - the author's introduction
 introduction.appendix - account of the first public
    announcement of Scott's authorship
    of the Waverley novels
 introductory  - Chrystal Croftangry account of
 the highland.widow.notes
 the two.drovers.notes

Changes to the text

 Page-breaks have been removed

 End-of-line hyphenations have been removed, and the
previously hyphenated word placed at the end of the
first text line. The text itself has been the main
guide for keeping or removing the hyphen; in some
cases the Centenary Edition has been consulted.

 Small capitals in names have been replaced by
lower-case letters, otherwise by capitals.


p. lxvi: genius (genuis)


p. 11: waistcoat (waistcoast)
p. 17: position (postion)
p. 44: magnificent (magnificient)
p. 83: don't (dont)
p. 87: postscript (postcript)


p. xxx: Corrie Dhu  (Corri Dhu)
Odd, that 'Dhu' is so spelled here, while previusly
it is spelled 'dhu'. Same in C.E.

p. 223  pedestrians (pedes- || trains)
p. 223  termed (term-)
p. 287  missing '?'  (hast thou at lest become sick)

Surgeons Daughter:

p. 153: taken by an eminent artist (arilst)
p. 174: But faith, this Schiller (``But faith)
p. 216: of whose loss she had (lose)
p. 304: adding fuel to fire (feul)
p. 337: use, he apprehended, to enable  (apprehended to - missing comma)
p. 339: All these feelings (``All)
p. 382: force on her inclinations.'' (inclinations,'')
p. 383: ``Villain---double-dyed (missing dash)
p. 385: thou art Governor (Go-||venor)
p. 387: garment. In the  (garment  In)
p. 395: former adventures, the plundering (missing comma)
p. 403: brandished (bran-||nished)
p. 404: we have formerly described (formesly)
p. ???: he presumed him to be entirely ignorant (persumed)

Markup conventions

_ _ is placed around words that are italicized in
       the text

= = is placed around words with extra emphasis --
       small caps in the text.

--- is used to represent an em dash. Longer sequences of
       hyphens indicates correspondingly longer dashes

signifies the oe ligature
signifies the ae ligature
signifies the ligature
signifies the a grave
signifies the e acute
signifies the e grave
signifies an e circumflex
signifies a c with cedilla


 Footnotes in the text were placed at the foot of
the page; in this edition they have been placed
immediately after the line in which they are
referenced. The footnote callout is always an

*    Like this

and the text of the footnote has been placed,
slightly indented, between two empty lines, as
illustrated above.  If the footnote comes at the
end of a paragraph, the first line of the
following paragraph is indented two spaces, as

 Most footnotes are just references to end-notes.
In the original text, these appeared at the end of
each chapter -- in this electronic edition, they
have been placed in a file of their own, following
the model used in the Centenary Edition.  The page
numbers of the original footnotes have been
replaced by letters A, B, etc, again on the
pattern used in the Centenary Edition.


 In The Surgeon's Daughter, the various amounts of
money are printed as L.100, L.200 and L.2000 etc.
These are so printed in the original, although the
Centenary Edition uses a pound sterling sign
instead of "L.".

 The Surgeon's Daughter seems rather unevenly
edited.  Here are some of the unevennesses I've

 Hindostan, Hindustan
 Hindoo, Hindhu
 jackall, jackals
 Town-Clerk, Town-clerk

There also seems to be some occasional
inconsistence in the use of the following words.

 Governor, governor
 Government, government

The differences appear in both the original source
and the Cententary Edition

 The transcription and proof-reading was done by
Anders Thulin, Rydsvagen 288, S-582 50 Linkoping,
Sweden.  Email address: ath@linkoping.trab.se

 I'd be glad to learn of any errors that you may
find in the text.

[1. Introduction]




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

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