Saturday, June 4, 2011

Melville's Memoirs

March 10 [1827]—The business at the Court was not so heavy as I have seen it the last day of the Session, yet sharp enough. About three o'clock I got to a meeting of the Bannatyne Club. I hope this institution will be really useful and creditable. Thomson is superintending a capital edition of Sir James Melville's Memoirs. It is brave to see how he wags his Scots tongue, and what a difference there is in the force and firmness of the language, compared to the mincing English edition in which he has hitherto been alone known...

Today's entry from Scott's Journal, is dated March 10, but the subject matter Scott refers to, Melville's Memoirs, was published on June 4th of that year.

James Melville of Halhill was once a page for Mary Queen of Scots, and served on diplomatic missions for Mary, in dealing with Elizabeth of England, and earlier, Henry II of France.  He died in 1617, leaving behind his acclaimed memoirs, which Thomas Thomson republished with the Bannatyne Club in 1827.

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