SOLD Hammer price: €600, Estimate: €700-1000
“The Vision of Don Roderick”
Manuscript: Scott (Sir Walter) The Vision of Don Roderick. a Poem by Walter Scott, Esq., (manuscript transcription?) approx. 64pp. 8vo [c. 18111] laid paper stitched, covers worn. As a m/ss, w.a.f.
* Dedication inscribed ‘To John Whitmore Esq. / and to the / Committee of Subscribers for relief / of the Portuguese Sufferers / in which he presides / THIS POEM / Composed for the benefit of the fund / under their management / is respectfully inscribed by / Walter Scott.’
The introduction, ‘The following Poem is founded on a Spanish tradition, … I am too sensible of the respect due to the public especially by one who has already experienced more than ordinary indulgence, to offer any apology for the inferiority of the poetry to the subject it is chiefly designed to commemorate. Yet I think it proper to mention that while I was hastily executing a work written for a temporary purpose, and on passing events, the task was most cruelly interrupted by the successive deaths of Lord President Blair and Lord Viscount Melville. In those distinguished characters, I had not only to regret persons whose lives were most important to Scotland, but also whose notice of patronage honoured my entrance upon active life, and I may add with melancholy pride, who permitted my more advanced age to claim no common share in their friendship. Under such circumstances / say interruptions, / the following verses which my best and happiest efforts must have left for unworthy of their theme, have, I am myself sensible, an appearance of negligence and incoherence, which in other circumstances, I might have been able to remove.’
Edinburgh June 24, 1811.
The inscription and poem possibly in a secretarial hand, the signature possibly Scott’s own.
Provenance: Purchased by the present owner in Teneriffe in 1970, from a very elderly lady, a daughter of a former British Consul in Teneriffe in the late 19th Century. She said her father told her that Scott had donated it to aid an appeal, and that he purchased it at that event.
This poem is not included in the list of Scott’s published works in Drabble (Oxford Companion of English Literature). (1)