January 27.—Read Elizabeth de Bruce; it is very clever, but does not show much originality. The characters, though very entertaining, are in the manner of other authors, and the finished and filled up portraits of which the sketches are to be found elsewhere. One is too apt to feel on such occasions the pettish resentment that you might entertain against one who had poached on your manor. But the case is quite different, and a claim set up on having been the first who betook himself to the illustration of some particular class of characters, or department of life, is no more a right of monopoly than that asserted by the old buccaneers by setting up a wooden cross, and killing an Indian or two on some new discovered island. If they can make anything of their first discovery, the better luck theirs; if not, let others come, penetrate further into the country, write descriptions, make drawings or settlements at their pleasure.
Not a very popular read today. Elizabeth de Bruce was published in 1827. Author Christian Isobel Johnstone was a journalist who founded several periodicals with her husband. The text above is from Scott's Journal.