Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Typical Day


Sometimes it’s good just to read Walter Scott’s words again, as they were put together.  The journal entry below shows a typical day for Scott, per the author.  Idyllic, but not without life’s anxieties.  It’s hard to imagine Scott stuck in a modern traffic jam.

April 1 [1826]--_Ex uno die disce omnes._ Rose at seven or sooner, studied,
and wrote till breakfast with Anne, about a quarter before ten. Lady
Scott seldom able to rise till twelve or one. Then I write or study
again till one. At that hour to-day I drove to Huntly Burn, and walked
home by one of the hundred and one pleasing paths which I have made
through the woods I have planted--now chatting with Tom Purdie, who
carries my plaid, and speaks when he pleases, telling long stories of
hits and misses in shooting twenty years back--sometimes chewing the cud
of sweet and bitter fancy--and sometimes attending to the humours of two
curious little terriers of the Dandie Dinmont breed, together with a
noble wolf-hound puppy which Glengarry has given me to replace Maida.
This brings me down to the very moment I do tell--the rest is prophetic.
I will feel sleepy when this book is locked, and perhaps sleep until
Dalgleish brings the dinner summons. Then I will have a chat with Lady
S. and Anne; some broth or soup, a slice of plain meat--and man's chief
business, in Dr. Johnson's estimation, is briefly despatched. Half an
hour with my family, and half an hour's coquetting with a cigar, a
tumbler of weak whisky and water, and a novel perhaps, lead on to tea,
which sometimes consumes another half hour of chat; then write and read
in my own room till ten o'clock at night; a little bread and then a
glass of porter, and to bed.

And this, very rarely varied by a visit from some one, is the tenor of
my daily life--and a very pleasant one indeed, were it not for
apprehensions about Lady S. and poor Johnnie Hugh. The former will, I
think, do well--for the latter--I fear--I fear--

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