The present work completes a series of fictitious narratives, intended
to illustrate the manners of Scotland at three different periods.
_Waverley_ embraced the age of our fathers, _Guy Mannering_ that
of our own youth, and the _Antiquary_ refers to the last ten years
of the eighteenth century. I have, in the two last narratives especially,
sought my principal personages in the class of society who are
the last to feel the influence of that general polish which assimilates
to each other the manners of different nations. Among the same
class I have placed some of the scenes in which I have endeavoured
to illustrate the operation of the higher and more violent passions;
both because the lower orders are less restrained by the habit of suppressing
their feelings, and because I agree, with my friend Wordsworth,
that they seldom fail to express them in the strongest and
most powerful language. This is, I think, peculiarly the case with
the peasantry of my own country, a class with whom I have long
been familiar. The antique force and simplicity of their language,
often tinctured with the Oriental eloquence of Scripture, in the
mouths of those of an elevated understanding, give pathos to their
grief, and dignity to their resentment.
I have been more solicitous to describe manners minutely than to
arrange in any case an artificial and combined narrative, and have
but to regret that I felt myself unable to unite these two requisites of
a good Novel.
The knavery of the adept in the following sheets may appear
forced and improbable; but we have had very late instances of the
force of superstitious credulity to a much greater extent, and the
reader may be assured, that this part of the narrative is founded on
a fact of actual occurrence.
I have now only to express my gratitude to the Public for the
distinguished reception which, they have given to works, that have
little more than some truth of colouring to recommend them, and to
take my respectful leave, as one who is not likely again to solicit
To the above advertisement, which was prefixed to the first edition
of the Antiquary, it is necessary in the present edition to add a few
words, transferred from the Introduction to the Chronicles of the
Canongate, respecting the character of Jonathan Oldbuck.
``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 proper to persons, both living and dead, with
whom I have had intercourse in society, should not have risen
to my pen in such works as Waverley, and those which, followed it.
But I have always studied to generalise the portraits, so that they
should still seem, on the whole, the productions of fancy, though
possessing some resemblance to real individuals. Yet I must own
my attempts have not in this last particular been uniformly successful.
There are men whose characters are so peculiarly marked,
that the delineation of some leading and principal feature, inevitably
places the whole person before you in his individuality. Thus
the character of Jonathan Oldbuck in the Antiquary, was partly
founded on that of an old friend of my youth, to whom I am indebted
for introducing me to Shakspeare, and other invaluable favours; but
I thought I had so completely disguised the likeness, that it could not
be recognised by any one now alive. I was mistaken, however, and
indeed had endangered what I desired should be considered as a
secret; for I afterwards learned that a highly respectable gentleman,
one of the few surviving friends of my father, and an acute critic,
had said, upon the appearance of the work, that he was now convinced
who was the author of it, as he recognised, in the Antiquary, traces
of the character of a very intimate friend<*> of my father's family.''
* [The late George Constable of Wallace Craigie, near Dundee.]
OR 'TIS SIXTY YEARS HENCE
By SIR WALTER SCOTT, Bart.
Under which King, Bezonian? speak, or die!
_Henry IV. Part II._
MARY MONICA HOPE SCOTT
THIS EDITION OF
THE NOVELS OF HER GREAT-GRANDFATHER
BY THE PUBLISHERS.
In printing this New Edition of the Waverley Novels, the
Publishers have availed themselves of the opportunity thus
afforded them of carefully collating it with the valuable interleaved
copy in their possession, containing the Author's latest
manuscript corrections and notes; and from this source they
have obtained several annotations of considerable interest, never
before published. As examples of some of the more important
of these may be mentioned the notes on ``High Jinks'' in Guy
Mannering, ``Pr<ae>torium'' in the Antiquary, and the ``Expulsion
of the Scotch Bishops'' in the Heart of Midlothian.
There have also been inserted (within brackets) some minor
notes explanatory of references now rendered perhaps somewhat
obscure by the lapse of time. For these, the Publishers have
been chiefly indebted to Mr. David Laing, Secretary of the
Bannatyne Club, and one of the few surviving friends of the
Fortunately there is now little more required in the way of
annotation to the Waverley Novels; but in order to afford every
facility of reference, a special glossary has been added to such
of the novels as require it, and each volume will contain a
separate index. A General Index will also be appended to the
concluding volume of the series.
EDINBURGH, _December_ 1869,
ADVERTISEMENT TO EDITION 1829
It has been the occasional occupation of the Author of Waverley for
several years past to revise and correct the voluminous series of
Novels which pass under that name, in order that, if they should
ever appear as his avowed productions, he might render them in
some degree deserving of a continuance of the public favour with
which they have been honoured ever since their first appearance. For
a long period, however, it seemed likely that the improved and illustrated
edition which he meditated would be a posthumous publication.
But the course of the events which occasioned the disclosure of the
Author's name having in a great measure restored to him a sort of
parental control over these Works, he is naturally induced to give
them to the press in a corrected, and, he hopes, an improved form,
while life and health permit the task of revising and illustrating
them. Such being his purpose, it is necessary to say a few words
on the plan of the proposed Edition.
In stating it to be revised and corrected, it is not to be inferred
that any attempt is made to alter the tenor of the stories, the character
of the actors, or the spirit of the dialogue. There is no doubt
ample room for emendation in all these points---but where the tree
falls it must lie. Any attempt to obviate criticism, however just,
by altering a work already in the hands of the public, is generally
unsuccessful. In the most improbable fiction the reader still desires
some air of vraisemblance, and does not relish that the incidents of
a tale familiar to him should be altered to suit the taste of critics,
or the caprice of the author himself. This process of feeling is so
natural that it may be observed even in children, who cannot endure
that a nursery story should be repeated to them differently from the
manner in which it was first told.
But without altering in the slightest degree either the story or the
mode of telling it, the Author has taken this opportunity to correct
errors of the press and slips of the pen. That such should exist
cannot be wondered at, when it is considered that the Publishers
found it their interest to hurry through the press a succession of the
early editions of the various Novels, and that the Author had not
the usual opportunity of revision. It is hoped that the present
edition will be found free from errors of that accidental kind.
The Author has also ventured to make some emendations of a
different character, which, without being such apparent deviations
from the original stories as to disturb the reader's old associations,
will, he thinks, add something to the spirit of the dialogue, narrative,
or description. These consist in occasional pruning where the language
is redundant, compression where the style is loose, infusion of
vigour where it is languid, the exchange of less forcible for more
appropriate epithets---slight alterations, in short, like the last touches
of an artist, which contribute to heighten and finish the picture,
though an inexperienced eye can hardly detect in what they consist.
BY SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART
For why? Because the good old rule
Sufficeth them; the simple plan,
That they should take who have the power,
And they should keep who can.
_Rob Roy's Grave_---Wordsworth
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION
When the Editor of the following volumes published, about two
years since, the work called the ``Antiquary,'' he announced that he
was, for the last time, intruding upon the public in his present
capacity. He might shelter himself under the plea that every
anonymous writer is, like the celebrated Junius, only a phantom,
and that therefore, although an apparition, of a more benign, as well
as much meaner description, he cannot be bound to plead to a charge
of inconsistency. A better apology may be found in the imitating
the confession of honest Benedict, that, when he said he would die a
bachelor, he did not think he should live to be married. The best of
all would be, if, as has eminently happened in the case of some distinguished
contemporaries, the merit of the work should, in the
reader's estimation, form an excuse for the Author's breach of promise.
Without presuming to hope that this may prove the case, it is only
further necessary to mention, that his resolution, like that of Benedict,
fell a sacrifice, to temptation at least, if not to stratagem.
It is now about six months since the Author, through the medium
of his respectable Publishers, received a parcel of Papers, containing
the Outlines of this narrative, with a permission, or rather with a
request, couched in highly flattering terms, that they might be given
to the Public, with such alterations as should be found suitable.<*>
* As it maybe necessary, in the present Edition(1829), to speak upon the square,
* the Author thinks it proper to own, that the communication alluded to is
These were of course so numerous, that, besides the suppression of
names, and of incidents approaching too much to reality, the work
may in a great measure be, said to be new written. Several anachronisms
have probably crept in during the course of these changes;
and the mottoes for the Chapters have been selected without any
reference to the supposed date of the incidents. For these, of course,
the Editor is responsible. Some others occurred in the original
materials, but they are of little consequence. In point of minute
accuracy, it may be stated, that the bridge over the Forth, or rather
the Avondhu (or Black River), near the hamlet of Aberfoil, had not
an existence thirty years ago. It does not, however, become the
Editor to be the first to point out these errors; and he takes this
public opportunity to thank the unknown and nameless correspondent,
to whom the reader will owe the principal share of any amusement
which he may derive from the following pages.
1st December 1817.
When the author projected this further encroachment on the patience
of an indulgent public, he was at some loss for a title; a good name
being very nearly of as much consequence in literature as in life.
The title of _Rob Roy_ was suggested by the late Mr. Constable, whose
sagacity and experience foresaw the germ of popularity which it
No introduction can be more appropriate to the work than some
account of the singular character whose name is given to the title-page,
and who, through good report and bad report, has maintained
a wonderful degree of importance in popular recollection. This
cannot be ascribed to the distinction of his birth, which, though that
of a gentleman, had in it nothing of high destination, and gave him
little right to command in his clan. Neither, though he lived a
busy, restless, and enterprising life, were his feats equal to those of
other freebooters, who have been less distinguished. He owed his
fame in a great measure to his residing on the very verge of the
Highlands, and playing such pranks in the beginning of the 18th
century, as are usually ascribed to Robin Hood in the middle ages,---
and that within forty miles of Glasgow, a great commercial city, the
seat of a learned university. Thus a character like his, blending the
wild virtues, the subtle policy, and unrestrained license of an
American Indian, was flourishing in Scotland during the Augustan
age of Queen Anne and George I. Addison, it is probable, or Pope,
would have been considerably surprised if they had known that there,
existed in the same island with them a personage of Rob Roy's
peculiar habits and profession. It is this strong contrast betwixt
the civilised and cultivated mode of life on the one side of the Highland
line, and the wild and lawless adventures which were habitually
undertaken and achieved by one who dwelt on the opposite side of that
ideal boundary, which creates the interest attached to his name.
Hence it is that even yet,
Far and near, through vale and hill,
Are faces that attest the same,
And kindle like a fire new stirr'd,
At sound of Rob Roy's name.
There were several advantages which Rob Roy enjoyed for sustaining
to advantage the character which he assumed.