Rev. Richard Polwhele

Walter Scott to Richard Polwhele, 11 October 1810; Polwhele, Traditions and Recollections (1826) 2:636.

Edinburgh, Oct. 11, 1810.


This accompanies a set of poor Miss Seward's Letters, which I hope you will have the goodness to accept. Another cover will convey to you the three poems which, I regret to find, have not reached you. Miss S. left the greater part of her correspondence to Mr. Constable, of Edinburgh, who is, I believe, taking measures to publish them. It is very extensive, occupying many folio MSS. for she kept a copy of almost every letter which she wrote.

I will be much obliged to you to send your valued publications under cover to Mr. Freeling, or to J. W. Croker, Esq.; either of whom will forward them in safety.

As I know you are a great master of northern lore, and interested in all that belongs to it, I am anxious to bespeak your interest in favour of a publication intended to illustrate these studies. It is a quarto volume, entitled "Northern Antiquities," to be published by the Ballantynes of Edinburgh. May I hope that you will, either for this or the next volume, favour us with a communication? The subject (provided it be connected with antiquities) is entirely at your choice. I wished to add to the packet I transmit for your acceptance, a copy of Sir Tristram, in whom, as a hero of Cornwall, you must doubtless be interested. But the edition is entirely out of print.

I am very glad indeed you like the "Lady of the Lake;" but if you knew how much I admire your poem on "Local Attachment," you would not have threatened me with so terrible a compliment as that of laying down your own harp. Believe me, my dear Sir, very truly, your much obliged servant,


P.S. Some time ago (several years now) I met with two very pleasant young men from Cornwall, Mr. Carlyon and Mr. Collins, to the former of whom I was indebted for the honor of being introduced to your notice. When you favour me with a line, I shall like much to know how they have fared in life, which they were then about to enter upon.