20 November 2003
SCOTT, Sir Walter (1771-1832). Autograph letter signed to Mathew Weld Hartstongue, Edinburgh, 4 March , 3 pages, 4to, integral address panel (seal tear with loss, and two other tears to outer margin of second leaf, with loss of one word).
Family and personal news, and comments on the Elgin marbles: Scott opens with condolences on death of the recipient's father, commenting in relation to a misconstruction that 'The Christian name Walter is very common in my clan although it occurs more rarely in other families in Scotland', reporting on his own 'precarious' health and intolerance of medicines, sending news of his family and of the progress of Abbotsford, now half-built on a plan which is 'absolutely irregular, the whole being after the fashion of an old English Hall'. The letter ends with news of an unexpected visit from Lord Elgin, who brought news of the discovery of the Bruce's tomb at Dunfermline, 'though I am glad that the marbles are brought here yet I would have cut my own hand off rather than displaced one of them', and with apologies for his wretchedness as a correspondent because of his horror of pen and ink, 'these cursed implements to which my life has been enslaved'.
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