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General Library System
FIRST ISSUE OF THIS EDITION
Y 242 633
SCOTT owed the first idea of “Guy Mannering to a Galloway excise officer, Joseph Train, stationed at Newton-Stewart, who had published a book of poems and was collecting materials for a local history when their acquaintance began. But, from the hour of his correspondence with Walter Scott, he renounced every idea of authorship for himself, resolving, “that thenceforth his chief pursuit should be collecting whatever he thought would be most interesting to him." A fellow-worker of Train's was easily persuaded to acquiesce in the abandonment of their original design. “Upon receiving Mr. Scott's letter," wrote Train, “I became still more zealous in the pursuit of ancient lore, and, being the first person who had attempted to collect old stories in that quarter with any view to publication, I became so noted, that even beggars, in the hope of reward, came frequently from afar to Newton-Stewart, to recite old ballads and relate old stories to me." Train presently visited Scott both at Edinburgh and at Abbotsford. “A true affection,” says Lockhart, "continued ever afterwards to be maintained between them; and this generous ally was, as the prefaces to the Waverley novels signify, one of the earliest confidants of that series of works, and certainly the most efficient of all the author's friends in furnishing him with materials for their composition.”
Among these materials was a collection of anecdotes concerning the Galloway gipsies, and "a local story of an astrologer, who calling at a farm-house at the moment when the goodwife was in travail, had, it was said, predicted the future fortune of the child, almost in the words placed in the mouth of John M'Kinlay, in the Introduction to 'Guy Mannering.'” Scott told him, in reply, that the story of the astrologer reminded him of “one he had heard in his youth ;” that is to say, as the Introduction explains, from this M'Kinlay.
After Scott's death, Train recovered a rude Durham ballad, which, as Lockhart pointed out, contained a great deal more of the main fable of “ Guy Mannering ” than either his own written, or M‘Kinlay's oral, edition of the Gallovidian anecdote had conveyed. “Possessing, as I do, numberless evidences of the haste with which Scott drew up his beautiful Prefaces and Introductions of 1829, 1830, and 1831,-1 am strongly inclined,” wrote Lockhart, "to think that he must in his boyhood have read the Durham