Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft by Sir Walter Scott

Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft

bySir Walter Scott

Kobo ebook | November 29, 2012

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Sir Walter Scott's "Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft" were his contribution to a series of books, published by John Murray, which appeared between the years 1829 and 1847, and formed a collection of eighty volumes known as "Murray's Family Library." The series was planned to secure a wide diffusion of good literature in cheap five-shilling volumes, and Scott's "Letters," written and published in 1830, formed one of the earlier books in the collection.
In the autumn of that year, 1832, on the 21st of September, Sir Walter Scott died. The first warning of death had come to him in February, 1830, with a stroke of apoplexy. He had been visited by an old friend who brought him memoirs of her father, which he had promised to revise for the press. He seemed for half an hour to be bending over the papers at his desk, and reading them; then he rose, staggered into the drawing-room, and fell, remaining speechless until he had been bled. Dieted for weeks on pulse and water, he so far recovered that to friends outside his family but little change in him was visible. In that condition, in the month after his seizure, he was writing these Letters, and also a fourth series of the "Tales of a Grandfather." The slight softening of the brain found after death had then begun. But the old delight in anecdote and skill in story-telling that, at the beginning of his career, had caused a critic of his "Border Minstrelsy" to say that it contained the germs of a hundred romances, yet survived. It gave to Scott's "Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft" what is for us now a pathetic charm. Here and there some slight confusion of thought or style represents the flickering of a light that flashes yet with its old brilliancy. There is not yet the manifest suggestion of the loss of power that we find presently afterwards in "Count Robert of Paris" and "Castle Dangerous," published in 1831 as the Fourth Series of "Tales of My Landlord," with which he closed his life's work at the age of sixty.
A few years yet of his own battle, while the shadows of night and death were gathering about him, and they were re-united. In these "Letters upon Demonology and Witchcraft," addressed to his son-in-law, written under the first grasp of death, the old kindliness and good sense, joined to the old charm in story-telling, stand firm yet against every assault; and even in the decay that followed, when the powers were broken of the mind that had breathed, and is still breathing, its own health into the minds of tens of thousands of his countrymen, nothing could break the fine spirit of love and honor that was in him. When the end was very near, and the son-in-law to whom these Letters were addressed found him one morning entirely himself, though in the last extreme of feebleness: his eye was clear and calm—every trace of the wild fire of delirium was extinguished: "Lockhart," he said, "I may have but a minute to speak to you. My dear, be a good man—be virtuous, be religious—be a good man. Nothing else will give you any comfort when you come to lie here."
Another volume of this Library may give occasion to recall Scott in the noontide of his strength, companion of
"The blameless Muse who trains her sons
For hope and calm enjoyment."
Here we remember only how from among dark clouds the last light of his genius shone on the path of those who were endeavoring to make the daily bread of intellectual life—good books—common to all.

Title:Letters on Demonology and WitchcraftFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:November 29, 2012Publisher:AP Publishing HouseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990005596732

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