Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Poetical Works of David Hume


On October 2nd 1815, Walter Scott is musing on two of his own poems, “On the Field of Waterloo”, and “Dance of Death”, and one of David Hume’s.  He discusses these points, and others, in a letter to John Morritt on that date.  The letter is published in John Gibson Lockhart's "Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart."

“Abbotsford, 2d Oct. 1815.
“My dear Morritt,
“We visited Corby Castle on our return to Scotland, which remains, in point of situation, as beautiful as when its walks were celebrated by David Hume in the only rhymes he was ever known to be guilty of. Here they are, from a pane of glass in an inn at Carlisle:
 ‘Here chicks in eggs for breakfast sprawl,
Here godless boys God’s glories squall,
Here Scotchmen’s heads do guard the wall,
But Corby’s walks atone for all.’
Would it not be a good quiz to advertise The Poetical Works of David Hume, with notes, critical, historical, and so forth—with an historical enquiry into the use of eggs for breakfast, a physical discussion on the causes of their being addled; a history of the English church music, and of the choir of Carlisle in particular; a full account of the affair of 1745, with the trials, last speeches, and so forth, of the poor plaids who were strapped up at Carlisle; and, lastly, a full and particular description of Corby, with the genealogy of every family who ever possessed it? I think, even without more than the usual waste of margin, the Poems of David would make a decent twelve shilling touch. I shall think about it, when I have exhausted mine own century of inventions.

Ever most truly yours,
Walter Scott

3 comments:

  1. LIKE THE COMMENT. I ACTUALLY HAVE THE PANE OF GLASS FROM THE OLD BUSH INN. THE ACTUAL VERSE IS DIFFERENT TO SCOTT'S RENDITION.
    "HERE CHICKS IN EGGS FOR BREAKFAST SPRAWL
    HERE GODLESS BOYS GOD'S GLORIES SQUALL
    HERE HEADS OF SCOTSMEN GUARD THE WALL
    BUT CORBIES WALKS ATTONE FOR ALL"
    A LETTER DATED OCT 1815 IS ON THE REAR A COPY OF A LETTER FROM SIR WALTER SCOTT TO MR MORRIT

    HOPE THIS IS OF SOME HELP, REGARDS MARTYN

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  2. alsandham@gmail.comNovember 28, 2011 at 7:30 AM

    The story of the pane of glass was told to me by a resident of the town in England.
    alsandham@gmail.com

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