Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Return No More

March 15.[1826]—This morning I leave No. 39 Castle Street, for the last time. "The cabin was convenient," and habit had made it agreeable to me. I never reckoned upon a change in this particular so long as I held an office in the Court of Session. In all my former changes of residence it was from good to better; this is retrograding. I leave this house for sale, and I cease to be an Edinburgh citizen, in the sense of being a proprietor, which my father and I have been for sixty years at least. So farewell, poor 39, and may you never harbour worse people than those who now leave you! Not to desert the Lares all at once, Lady S. and Anne remain till Sunday. As for me, I go, as aforesaid, this morning.

"Ha til mi tulidh'!
[I return no more]
The panic of 1825/26 caught Sir Walter Scott in a bad position; over-extended.  His journal entry of March 15, 1826 captures some of the sadness he must have felt, facing bankruptcy, and embarking on an ambitious streak of literary output in an attempt to honor his debts.  There is a nice portrayal of this house, which Scott built soon after his marriage, by Joseph Mallord William Turner at Edinburgh University's Walter Scott archive: http://www.walterscott.lib.ed.ac.uk/biography/homes.html.  Also, photographs of Scott homes, including 39 North Castle Street here: http://www.astoft2.co.uk/edinburgh/scotthomes.htm.

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