Old Mortality, by Sir Walter Scott


It was mine earnest wish, most courteous Reader, that the “Tales of my Landlord” should have reached thine hands in one entire succession of tomes, or volumes. But as I sent some few more manuscript quires, containing the continuation of these most pleasing narratives, I was apprised, somewhat unceremoniously, by my publisher that he did not approve of novels (as he injuriously called these real histories) extending beyond four volumes, and if I did not agree to the first four being published separately, he threatened to decline the article. (Oh, ignorance! as if the vernacular article of our mother English were capable of declension.) Whereupon, somewhat moved by his remonstrances, and more by heavy charges for print and paper, which he stated to have been already incurred, I have resolved that these four volumes shall be the heralds or avant-couriers of the Tales which are yet in my possession, nothing doubting that they will be eagerly devoured, and the remainder anxiously demanded, by the unanimous voice of a discerning public. I rest, esteemed Reader, thine as thou shalt construe me,

Jedediah Cleishbotham. Gandercleugh, Nov. 15, 1816.

Interior of Abbotsford
Interior of Abbotsford


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00