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It has long been the ambition of the present publishers to offer to the public an ideal edition of the writings of Sir Walter Scott, the great poet and novelist of whom William Hazlitt said, 'His works are almost like a new edition of human nature.' Secure in the belief not only that his writings have achieved a permanent place in the literature of the world, but that succeeding generations will prize them still more highly, we have, after the... more...

GENERAL PREFACE TO THE WAVERLEY NOVELS And must I ravel outMy weaved-up follies?                       Richard II, Act IV. Having undertaken to give an Introductory Account of the compositions which are here offered to the public, with Notes and Illustrations, the Author, under whose name they are now for the first time collected, feels... more...

INTRODUCTION. Although the giving information concerning the unfair manner in which they were dismissed from life, is popularly alleged to have been a frequent reason why departed spirits revisit the nether world, it is yet only in a play of the witty comedian, Foote, that the reader will find their appearance become the subject of formal and very ingenious pleadings. In his farce called the Orators, the celebrated Cocklane Ghost is indicted... more...

THE TAPESTRIED CHAMBER; OR, THE LADY IN THE SACQUE. The following narrative is given from the pen, so far as memory permits, in the same character in which it was presented to the author's ear; nor has he claim to further praise, or to be more deeply censured, than in proportion to the good or bad judgment which he has employed in selecting his materials, as he has studiously avoided any attempt at ornament which might interfere with the... more...

INTRODUCTION TO THE TALISMAN. The "Betrothed" did not greatly please one or two friends, who thought that it did not well correspond to the general title of "The Crusaders." They urged, therefore, that, without direct allusion to the manners of the Eastern tribes, and to the romantic conflicts of the period, the title of a "Tale of the Crusaders" would resemble the playbill, which is said to have announced the tragedy of Hamlet, the character of... more...


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... more...

INTRODUCTION   But why should lordlings all our praise engross?  Rise, honest man, and sing the Man of Ross. Pope Having, in the tale of the Heart of Mid-Lothian, succeeded in some degree in awakening an interest in behalf of one devoid of those accomplishments which belong to a heroine almost by right, I was next tempted to choose a hero upon the same unpromising plan; and as worth of character, goodness of heart, and... more...

CHAPTER I. "Behold the Tiber," the vain Roman cried,Viewing the ample Tay from Baiglie's side;But where's the Scot that would the vaunt repay,And hail the puny Tiber for the Tay?Anonymous. Among all the provinces in Scotland, if an intelligent stranger were asked to describe the most varied and the most beautiful, it is probable he would name the county of Perth. A native also of any other district of Caledonia, though his partialities might... more...

INTRODUCTION TO THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR THE Author, on a former occasion, declined giving the real source from which he drew the tragic subject of this history, because, though occurring at a distant period, it might possibly be unpleasing to the feelings of the descendants of the parties. But as he finds an account of the circumstances given in the Notes to Law's Memorials, by his ingenious friend, Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, Esq., and also... more...

INTRODUCTION. As I may, without vanity, presume that the name and official description prefixed to this Proem will secure it, from the sedate and reflecting part of mankind, to whom only I would be understood to address myself, such attention as is due to the sedulous instructor of youth, and the careful performer of my Sabbath duties, I will forbear to hold up a candle to the daylight, or to point out to the judicious those recommendations of... more...