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true situation of Warroch Point* is, I believe, like that of the old Thule, a subject still occasionally debated; but there are, no doubt, enough of provincial virtuosi who could, if consulted, elucidate this subject; and we might probably, by a similar application, ascertain the exact site and work-day names of Wolf's-hopet and Westburn flatt, Glennaquoichy, Tully-Veolang, and Tillietudlem ||.
It has often surprised me, that no ingenious person should ever have turned his mind to the compilation of a romantic gazetteer, containing an account of all the places mentioned in fictitious history, and noticing the occasions on which they became illustrious, their vulgar and poetic appellations, and the works in which they have figured. A collection of this kind would become peculiarly interesting, if accompanied by maps constructed from the surveys and calculations of experienced novel-readers, exhibiting, in a conspicuous manner, the most celebrated parks, lodges, cottages, chateaux, castles (distinguishing the haunted from the unhaunted), convents, hermitages, and caverns; and referring by appropriate signs to the most remarkable occurrences. Thus a pair of swords, or a cloud of smoke, would denote a duel; the place in which a hero first saw his heroine, might be distinguished by an arrow; a dagger would signify indiscriminately an assassination, or a lady's
rent (Introductory Epistle to the Monastery); but it is certain that all these particulars apply to Melrose, and it may be worth notice, that the family name of most importance in the two novels just cited occurs in the records of that religious establishment, where Robert Avenel is mentioned as familiaris noster.' -See Chalmers's Caledonia, vol. ii. ch. ii. sec. 8. note (y).
* Guy Mannering. + Bride of Lammermoor. Black Dwarf, Ś Waverley. || Old Mortality. unkindness; and a hand would point to the scene of a scandalous adventure. The wanderings of enterprising champions or banished lovers, might be laid down in separate charts, the fleur-de-lys always pointing to the abode of Dulcinea. And it would be an exercise of great ingenuity to mark, with geographical distinctness, the changes which have been wrought at various times in the political divisions and natural aspect of our globe, by writers of lofty imagination and uncompromising temper; when they have conveyed cities and provinces from master to master without a blow struck or objection hinted; established road-steads in the heart of continents, and carried inland places to the sea-side; abolished old countries and introduced new; peopled deserts, dried up rivers, created lakes and islands with a more than volcanic facility, melted down mountains without fire or vinegar, and, in short, produced more strange distortions in the face of our planet than ever haunted the geologic reveries of Hutton or Werner.
But I am losing sight of the authors of Marmion and Waverley, and entreat your forgiveness of this idle digression.
Supposing the novelist to be the same writer with the poet, it was not to be expected that he should frequently return, in his prose compositions, to the very ground on which he had laid the scene of his poetic fictions. But we may often find both hovering round the same region, and sometimes alighting on the same spot. The Scottish Border, for example, which was rendered famous as a land of romantic adventure by The Lay of the Last Minstrel, is also resorted to by the novelist in Guy Mannering, Rob Roy, The Black Dwarf, The Monastery, and The Abbot: and in the last two novels, if I am not mistaken, we meet the author on one of his earliest and brightest fields of poetic
triumph, the venerable precinct of Melrose. Those places in the south-eastern corner of Scotland, which are celebrated in Marmion, have not, as far as I recollect, been particularly noticed in the novels; but the district of Lammermoor, and that adjoining the Cheviots, are made the scene of many interesting events *. Edinburgh, with its romantic environs and magnificent approaches, is largely and enthusiastically celebrated in Marmion, Waverley, Guy Mannering, The Heart of Mid-Lothian, and The Abbot. Loch Katrine is barely named by the novelist, but he has expatiated on the beauties of its near neighbour, Loch-Ard, and associated them with adventures of the most powerful interest t. Indeed, all the haunts of the Mac-Gregors are so near in situation, and congenial in character, to those of the Clan Alpine, that we scarcely feel ourselves on different ground, while contemplating the Highland scenes in Rob Roy, from that with which the Lady of the Lake has long ago made us familiar. Both writers have occasionally led us into the county of York, though, it must be owned, in widely different directions. The Bridal of Triermain is a Cumberland story; and we visit Cumberland again in Waverley, Guy Mannering, and the Heart of Mid-Lothian. The sublime Hebridean Archipelago is as yet unentered by the novelist; but he, as well as the poet, extols with great ardour, and in language forcibly descriptive, the enchanted isles and shores and waters of the Firth of Clyde, and the savage grandeur of Arrang.
* Bride of Lammermoor. Rob Roy.
† Rob Roy, vol. iii. As in Ivanhoe, Rokeby, and The Heart of Mid-Lothian, vol. iii.
f Heart of Mid-Lothian, vol. iv. c. 5, &c. Lord of the
To gain a pretext for dwelling on topographical details, and to make the reader engage himself in them, without feeling that the narrative languishes or deviates, both writers commonly represent some intelligent stranger (the hero, or at least a principal personage of the story) as entering for the first time into the region which is to be described, and surveying its peculiarities with a traveller's curiosity, and with such other feelings as belong to his supposed character. Thus the poet leads King James astray through the Trosachs to the foot of Loch Katrine; makes Marmion pause at the various remarkable points of his progress from Norham to Edinburgh; sends Arthur in quest of adven- ' tures amidst the Cumberland mountains*; and carries Bruce and his party among the majestic Hebrides, and into the wilds of Skyet. And thus the novelist conducts us, in company with Edward Waverley, to the Braes of Angus and the - Perthshire highlands: with Henry Bertram we journey from Cumberland into Liddesdale; with Lovel explore the counties beyond the Queen's-ferry; with Francis Osbaldistone visit Northumberland, proceed to Glasgow, and penetrate into Rob Roy's country; with Jeanie Deans perform a pilgrimage from Edinburgh to London, and from London to the Clyde's mouth; with Captain Dalgetty perambulate the territory of M-Callum-more; and travel with Roland Græme from the English Border to the capital of Scotland, up the Firth of Forth and across Fife to fair Loch-Leven,
Isles, canto iv. st. 13, &c., v. st. 6, 7, 12, 13, &c. The scenery of Arran, worthy to be celebrated by such a writer, 'is mentioned with high praise in the notes to this poem, as well as in the text. Canto v. note 1.
* Bridal of Triermain, canto i.
The dramatic character predominant in the stories of both these authors is a point of resemblance which has already been treated of, perhaps at too much length. I must however add here, that the propensity of both to this style of composition is evinced not only by a constant introduction of dialogue, but, still more remarkably, by a frequent use of soliloquies. In works properly dramatic, such an expedient is often indispensable for the communication of thoughts, purposes, or even facts, which could not otherwise be made known; but in novels and romances it is neither necessary, nor strikingly advantageous, nor very commonly resorted to; and is, therefore, the more worthy of notice as a peculiarity, when many times repeated. · There is scarcely a tale of either the poet or the novelist which does not afford examples of set soliloquy. For our present purpose it will be sufficient to point out in particular those of Marmion at the Scottish inn, and after leaving Tantallon*; of Fitz-James, on first viewing Loch Katrine; of Douglas, on his approach to Stirlingt; of Edmund, when returning to the robbers' cave after the attack on Rokeby Castle 1; and of Bruce, on the eve of his departure from Arrang: those of Waverley, when informed by Fergus of his intended suit to Miss Bradwardine|| ; of Henry Bertram, on first revisiting Ellangowan; of Glossin, while watching the escape of Hatteraick f; of the Black Dwarf, after his interview with Westburnflat **; of Ravens
* Marmion, canto iii. st. 17. canto vi. st. 17.
Rokeby, canto vi. st. 5.
Guy Mannering, vol. iii. ch. 2. ii. ch. 12.