1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Grant

Walter Scott, 30 November 1825; in Lockhart, Life of Scott (1837-38; 1902) 4:391-92.



Some months since, I joined with other literary folks in subscribing a petition for a pension to Mrs. Grant of Laggan, which we thought was a tribute merited by her as an authoress; and, in my opinion, much more by the firmness and elasticity of mind with which she had borne a succession of great domestic calamities. Unhappily there was only about 100 open on the pension list, and this the ministers assigned in equal portions to Mrs. G— and a distressed lady, granddaughter of a forfeited Scottish nobleman. Mrs. G—, proud as a Highland-woman, vain as a poetess, and absurd as a blue-stocking, has taken this partition in 'malam partem,' and written to Lord Melville about her merits, and that her friends do not consider her claims as being fairly canvassed, with something like a demand that her petition be submitted to the King. This is not the way to make her "plack a bawbee," and Lord M., a little miffed in turn, sends the whole correspondence to me, to know whether Mrs. G— will accept the 50 or not. Now, hating to deal with ladies when they are in an unreasonable humor, I have got the good-humored Man of Feeling [Henry Mackenzie] to find out the lady's mind, and I take on myself the task of making her peace with Lord M. There is no great doubt how it will end, for your scornful dog will always eat your dirty pudding. After all, the poor lady is greatly to be pitied; — her sole remaining daughter deep and far gone in a decline.