Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott Volume V Part 6

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"_Down! down!_ in headlong overthrow, _Horseman and horse_, the foremost go," etc.

This passage is at once so striking and so recent, that its close similarity to the present, if not indeed its identity, must strike every reader; and really, to borrow from one's self is hardly much better than to borrow from one's neighbors. And yet again, a few lines lower--

"As hammers on the _anvils_ reel, Against the cuirass _clangs_ the steel."

See _Lady of the Lake_, Canto vi. Stanza 18:--

"I heard the broadswords' deadly _clang_, As if an hundred _anvils_ rang."

Here is precisely the same image, in very nearly the same words.

_Scott._--I have altered the expression, but made a note, which, I think, will vindicate my retaining the simile.

STANZA XIII.--"As their own Ocean-rocks hold _stance_."

_John._--I do not know such an English word as _stance_.

_Scott._--Then we'll make it one for the _nance_.

IBID.--"And _newer_ standards fly."

_James._--I don't like _newer_.

_Scott._--"And _other_ standards fly."

IBID.--"Or can thy memory fail to _quote_, Heard to thy cost the vengeful note."

_James._--Would to God you would alter this _quote_!

_John._--Would to God _I_ could!--I certainly should.--

_Scott._--"Or can thy memory fail to know, Heard oft before in hour of woe."

Or--

"Or dwells not in thy memory still, Heard frequent in thine hour of ill."

STANZA XV.--"Wrung forth by pride, _regret_, and shame."

_James._--I have ventured to submit to your choice--

"Wrung forth by pride, _and rage_, and shame."

_Regret_ appearing a faint epithet amidst such a combination of bitter feelings.

_Scott._--Granted.

{p.075} IBID.--"So mingle banner, wain, and gun, Where in one tide of horror run The warriors," etc.

_James._--In the first place, warriors _running_ in a tide is a clashing metaphor; in the second, the warriors _running_ at all is a little homely. It is true, no doubt; but really running is little better than scampering. For these causes, one or both, I think the lines should be altered.

_Scott._--You are wrong in one respect. A tide is always said to _run_,--but I thought of the tide without attending to the equivoque, which must be altered. Read,--

"Where the tumultuous flight rolls on."

STANZA XVI.--"---- found _gallant_ grave."

_James._--This is surely a singular epithet to a grave. I think the whole of this stanza eminently fine; and, in particular, the conclusion.

_Scott._--"---- found _soldier's_ grave." ----

STANZA XXI.--"_Redoubted_ Picton's soul of fire."

_James._--From long association, this epithet strikes me as conveying a semi-ludicrous idea.

_Scott._--It is here appropriate, and your objection seems merely personal to your own association.

IBID.--"Through his friends' heart to _wound_ his own."

_James._--Quaere--_Pierce_, or rather _stab_--_wound_ is faint.

_Scott._--"Pierce."

STANZA XXII.--"Forgive, _brave fallen_, the imperfect lay."

_James._--Don't like "brave fallen" at all; nor "appropriate praise," three lines after. The latter in particular is prosaic.

_Scott._--"Forgive, _brave dead_,"

---- "_The dear-earned praise._"

{p.076} CHAPTER XXXVI.

Field of Waterloo Published. -- Revision of Paul's Letters, etc. -- Quarrel and Reconciliation with Hogg. -- Football Match at Carterhaugh. -- Songs on the Banner of Buccleuch.

-- Dinner at Bowhill. -- Design for a Piece of Plate to the Sutors of Selkirk. -- Letters to the Duke of Buccleuch, Joanna Baillie, and Mr. Morritt.

1815.

Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott Volume V Part 6

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