Lincoln, "Walter Scott, Politeness, and Patriotism" - Romanticism and Patriotism: Nation, Empire, Bodies, Rhetoric

Romanticism and Patriotism:
Nation, Empire, Bodies, Rhetoric

Walter Scott, Politeness, and Patriotism

Andrew Lincoln, University of London

  1. Scott often writes of patriotism in terms that evoke the austere virtue of classical humanist tradition. In the Life of Napoleon, for example, he argues that patriotism has "always been found to flourish in that state of society which is most favourable to the stern and manly virtues of self-denial, temperance, chastity, contempt of luxury, patient exertion, and elevated contemplation" (Napoleon 52). If patriotism implied active resistance to tyranny and oppression, and heroic self-sacrifice for the public good, it was easy to think of it as a virtue that predated the ethos of commerce, since (as many scholars have noted) the moral justification of commerce was centred on ideas of virtue associated with refinement, sociability, humanitarian sympathy, and on the personal liberty of the individual.[1] The tension between these ideas of virtue runs through the work of many writers in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, including Scott’s. Patriotism is a common theme in his fiction, and yet the hero is usually destined to be separated ultimately from the stern demands of patriotic duty and to be consigned to the enjoyment of personal liberty and material prosperity. In what sense, then, can Scott himself be described as a patriotic writer, when he writes novels for a commercial market?

  2. Scott’s career as a novelist began in a period when the most serious threat to Britain—once the menace of Napoleon had receded—appeared to lie in internal conflict, the mutual alienation of the social orders. He responded most keenly to the evidence of division in rural areas, where the population was still rising faster than employment, and where it was still possible to imagine a rapprochement between the social orders through benevolent paternalism. I accept E.P. Thompson’s view that to use the term "paternalism" in the context of eighteenth-century Britain is to evoke a "myth or ideology," rather than an actual social practice based on "face-to-face relations" between landowners and the poor. In Thompson’s account the myth was sustained in an age when the power of the governing classes was located primarily in a "cultural hegemony," maintained through "postures and gestures" that worked to give structures of authority the appearance of a natural order (Thompson 23, 24, 46, 43). The widening gap between myth and "actual social practice" is a problem Scott has to address. Throughout eighteenth-century Britain the culture of paternalism was being weakened by economic, demographic and political changes. Transformations in agricultural practices led to the abandonment of direct economic relations between landowners and those who worked on their land, while long-established methods of supporting the poor had been allowed to lapse. In Scotland, the major cities were becoming increasingly aware of the problems posed by the poor displaced from the rural areas, although awareness did not necessarily result in a willingness to deal with the problems (Dwyer [1989]).

  3. To a twenty-first century reader, Scott’s attitude to these developments must seem inconsistent. He was in favour of abolishing the Elizabethan Statute of Artificers and Apprentices, which regulated relations between employers and workers, and was critical of the poor law. He also accepted the "legislative interference" of the Corn Laws (introduced to maintain prices) as "an imperious necessity."[2] Graham McMaster concludes that his position on such issues "makes it inconvenient to present him as a paternalist" (McMaster 82). But in this period it was hardly unusual for those who embraced the ideology of paternalism to hold such attitudes (see Perkin 182-192 and Roberts 18-21). Scott was generally distrustful of government regulation—rather more so than Coleridge and Southey, who favoured state intervention on behalf of the poor (Lawes 29 ff). His distrust may be consistent with the laissez-faire emphasis of the new political economy. But it is rooted less in a commitment to what Adam Smith would term a "system of natural liberty," in which individual agents were free to pursue their own self-interest (Smith ii 208), than in a commitment to maintaining local dependencies by finding private solutions to social problems.[3] In his letters he suggests that the British post-war crisis was worse in England than in Scotland because Scottish landowners (including himself) still preserved paternal links with the poor, links that provided opportunities for shared cultural experiences, while in England, dependence on the "accursed poor-rates" was helping to promote discontents and "reforming mania" among the English lower classes (Letters V 173 [July 1818], 509-510 [October 1819]). And he compares the bad effects of employing the poor on public works in Edinburgh with the good effects of his own methods of employing the poor on his Abbotsford estate (Letters, IV, 446-447 [May 1817]).[4] He shares a growing concern about the effects of modernization upon the higher and middling ranks of society, who were apparently being led (as the High Tory Blackwood’s Magazine complained) "to deride and despise a thousand of those means of communication that in the former days knit all orders of the people together" (1820, VII, 90-102). In his reactionary political work The Visionary, competed in May 1819, Scott evoked the impossibility of re-establishing cordial paternal relations with the poor once these have been broken.[5] He saw the country gentleman as "the natural protector and referee of the farmer and the peasant" (Napoleon 27), and a breakdown of this natural relation as a threat to national liberty. One of the aims of his writing is to defend his nation—Scotland-within-Britain—from this perceived threat of social disintegration; it is in relation to this aim that Scott can be thought of as a patriotic writer. I shall argue that some of the formal characteristics and thematic preoccupations of this fiction can be understood in terms of this patriotic mission.

  4. Scott’s paternalism conceives of an ideal relationship between landowners and land-workers, an ideal of mutual affection based on mutual kindness and shared interests. In his preface to Memoirs of the Marchioness De La Rochejaquelein (1827), for example, Scott finds his ideal realised in the relations between the French nobles and peasants of the Vendé—who at the time of the French revolution joined together in a vigorous campaign of patriotic resistance against the power of revolutionary Paris. This close relationship between peasant and landowner had survived in the remote region of the Vend´e, because (unlike relations throughout the rest of France) it had been not been disrupted by the spread of metropolitan manners. Scott notes with approval that such Vendéan landowners "as went occasionally to Paris, had the good sense to lay aside the manners of the metropolis, and resume their provincial simplicity, so soon as they returned" (8). Here, then, the ideal is sustained by a movement between different codes of behaviour, different conventions and manners, polite and vulgar. It is sustained, that is, by role-playing, and suggests an attitude to identity that contrasts strikingly with Wordsworthian ideas of organic consciousness.

  5. Scott’s historical investigations are partly driven by his paternalism, which shapes his interest in forms of cultural interaction between social orders in earlier ages. This is an interest he shares with English antiquarians such as Henry Bourne (Antiquitates Vulgares, 1725), John Brand (Observations on Popular Antiquities, 1777, an annotated edition of Bourne’s Antiquitates), Francis Grose (A Provincial Glossary with a collection of local proverbs and popular superstitions, 1782), Joseph Strutt, (Horda Angel-cynna, or A Compleat view of the Manners, Customs, Arms, Habits, etc of the People of England, 1775-76, Glig-Gamena Angel Deod or The Sports and Pastime of the People of England, 1801) and Francis Douce (Illustrations of Shakespeare and of Ancient Manners, 1807). The interests of these writers were rather different from those of the Scottish, Irish and Welsh nationalist antiquarians who, in Katie Trumpener’s account, were inspired by the patriotic resistance of the ancient bards, and "emphasised the collapse of Celtic clan structure under the pressures of Christianity and English conquest" (Trumpener 7). The English writers look back to localised popular customs once shared by high and low ranks, but which are now viewed with disdain by the enlightened and refined. While sharing that disdain, the antiquarians sometimes betray an anxiety about the social consequences of change. Francis Grose, for example, in his glossary of waning oral traditions, worries that mobility, newspapers, and the influence of metropolitan culture are spreading political contention and scepticism among previously docile land-workers (Grose vii-viii, iii). And Joseph Strutt, in his pioneering study of popular sports and pastimes, notes that the progress of refinement produces a general decline of "manly and spirited" bodily exercises, a result of the withdrawal of the nobility from practices that came to be seen as vulgar, and the disappearance of the public spaces once devoted to such exercises, which confined them to "common drinking-houses" (Strutt xlvi). Antiquarians were often viewed critically by historians, but in exposing the traces of social division and the "softening" of masculine manners, their researches appeared to provide empirical confirmation of the more general arguments of enlightenment historians like Adam Ferguson, who warned of the threat to public virtue inherent in the development of modern commercial societies.

  6. Scott’s work is clearly influenced by this new antiquarian interest in the history of popular culture. Within his fictions the emergence of politeness is grounded in a history of social division and exclusion. At various points his works allude to a process in which the nobility, the clergy and the bourgeoisie withdrew from what was once a common culture. In his poetic romance, The Lady of the Lake, for example, the culture of the highland clan, in which high and low are united by the art of the minstrel, is compared with that of the town of Stirling, where the sporting entertainments enjoyed by the burgers of the town, are disdained as "mean" by the nobles in the time of James V (Canto V). In his novel The Abbott, the popular revels once licensed and encouraged by the Roman Catholic church have become, in the era of the Reformation, an insolent threat that both Catholic and Protestant authorities seek to repress (105-6). The Fortunes of Nigel shows how the introduction of the "Ordinary" eating house in Jacobean London provides an exclusive social space for those with "good clothes and good assurance," in contrast to unrefined pleasures of the tavern. (Chapter 12, 168). In Guy Mannering, some "veterans of the law" are seen to play High Jinks in a "paltry and half-ruinous" tavern in Edinburgh Old Town in the early 1780s; they are lingering representatives of a tradition about to be displaced by new buildings and new manners (203-205). As this novel indicates, the relationship between refinement and social division was revealed starkly in eighteenth-century Edinburgh, where alongside the sprawling Old Town in which higher and lower orders traditionally lived in close proximity, the elegant New Town was built, an appropriate setting for the elite clubs and improvement societies in the vanguard of modern Scottish culture. By the beginning of the nineteenth century it appeared that, across Britain, the "rage for refinement and innovation" was killing off the last remnant of traditional popular customs and activities such as morris dancing, which antiquarians had begun to record for posterity (Douce 482).[6]

  7. Scott’s interest in this aspect of cultural history anticipates that of modern historians. In some respects his view of this historical process resembles Habermas’s account of the "retreat" of secular festivities from "public places" into aristocratic spaces "sealed off from the outside world," and the emergence of a "bourgeois public sphere" centred on new spaces such as the coffee house (Habermas 9-10, 27-35). It anticipates the so called "bi-polar" model of culture associated with Peter Burke, who claims that by 1800 the higher orders "had abandoned popular culture to the lower classes, from whom they were now separated, as never before, by profound differences in world view" (Burke 270). And Scott’s view also has something in common with the views of Peter Stallybrass and Allon White who, argue that the "transformation of the sites of discourse" (in the creation of refined spaces such as the coffee house) entailed a denial of "the unruly demands of the body for pleasure and release," in the interests of the "serious, productive and rational discourse" appropriate to polite identity. In their account, polite rational discourse is, through refinement, "delibidinized" (Stallybrass and White 83, 97).

  8. Scott shows a comparable understanding of the "changes in the interrelationship of place, body and discourse" (Stallybrass and White 83) required by the production of politeness; informed by the work of antiquarians, he shows that the withdrawal of the higher classes from a common culture involved changes in the use of space, and changes in the acceptable norms of bodily behaviour. What this history implies, is that the moderate consciousness of his heroes—restrained, detached, reasonable—has been made possible by the historical disembedding of identity from the social, material and cultural grounds that governed individuals in earlier ages.

  9. Scott’s view of this process is in many respects simpler that that of his twentieth-century successors, but in at least one respect, it may be more complicated. When Stallybrass and White consider responses to the process of refinement in The Politics and Poetics of Transgression, they focus primarily on culture within England, touching only briefly on relations between England and Ireland, and ignoring Scotland and Wales. But when the issue of refinement is considered in relation to the wider context of English hegemony, it becomes more complicated, as a number of distinguished scholars have recently reminded us.[7] While refinement produces a movement towards standardization, towards a usage defining, or identifying, polite British consciousness, the Scots inevitably existed in a complex relationship with that kind of identification. Janet Sorensen points out that the polite language we encounter in Samuel Johnson and Jane Austen was not "common" to anyone in Britain (Grammar 208). Nevertheless for Scots, as for Irish and Welsh, the process of linguistic standardization was inseparable from issues of national identity, national autonomy, the threat to national interests posed by the cultural dominance of England.

  10. We can see how this threat influenced Scott’s views if we consider the monumental editions of Dryden and Swift that he had completed by 1814, the years in which he published Waverley. Stallybrass and White describe both Dryden and Swift as "great champions of a classical discursive body" who work to construct a refined English identity (Stallybrass and White 105). In Scott’s assessment, however, there is a fundamental difference between Dryden, whose writing is bound by English concerns, and Swift, who becomes an Irish writer. Scott’s Dryden is a professional poet responding to and attempting to reform the taste of his age; he seeks to promote a heroic drama in which the language, actions and character would be "raised above the vulgar" ("Dryden" 24). But Swift, never a man of letters trying to please a select public, emerges as a great Irish patriot, who moves decisively beyond the exclusive and divisive concerns of Dryden and the fashionable English readership. He writes "in every varied form" (including ballads and prose satires supplied to hawkers), rising above party interests and addressing both high and low in order to make a whole people aware of their rights and interests in the face of the "narrow-souled, and short-sighted mercantile interest" of Britain ("Swift" 169). Where Dryden separates literature from the vulgar, Swift’s relative independence from the court and metropolis allows his writing to form the grounds for social and national unity. Swift’s greatness lies in his ability to unite a diverse and potentially fragmented audience by moving across cultural boundaries. As an "Irish" writer he must continue to address polite English readers and include their concerns among others. He does not abandon the polite perspective, but he moves beyond it, allowing alternative perspectives to compete with it. He is, in a sense that Stallybrass and White would not acknowledge, both polite and popular. In this respect Scott anticipates the views of Swift offered in our own age by Michael McKeon, or by Carol Fabricant, who finds Swift’s work "fundamentally inimical to the ordering, idealizing Augustan mind as we have come to understand it in terms of someone like Pope" (Fabricant 17). For Scott the anarchic inclusiveness of Swift is realised most clearly in Gulliver’s Travels:

    perhaps no work ever exhibited such general attractions to all classes. It offered personal and political satire to the readers in high life, low and coarse incident to the vulgar, marvels to the romantic, wit to the young and lively, lessons of morality and policy to the grave, and maxims of deep and bitter misanthropy to neglected age, and disappointed ambition. ("Swift" 163)

    Swift offered an important precedent for Scott’s own attempts to move beyond the framework of Anglo-British politeness in his writing. In Swift he found a prestigious precedent for the dynamic combination of historical, philosophical, political, sociological and literary discourses with elements drawn from commercial and traditional popular culture; the blending of realism with fantasy, literary game-playing and subversive irony; and for the dramatic unsettling of cultural hierarchies. The discontinuous and inconsistent qualities of Swift’s work that Michael McKeon and Bob Chase read as signs of "extreme skepticism" are read by Scott as a means of uniting a diverse audience, a strategy consistent with Swift’s patriotism (McKeon 338-356, Chase 110).

  11. Scott’s own mission as a patriotic Scot was to enact conciliation, by writing as if for a unified national readership. Addressing an audience that was torn between the demythologizing heritage of the enlightenment on the one hand, and attempts to reassert traditional moral and religious principles on the other, Scott combines the economic amoralism of progressive historical discourse with the romance of disinterested personal virtue. He moves between affirmation of polite modernity and a romantic primitivism that validates those who stand beyond the norms of modern polite culture, in a condition "unfettered by system and affectation" (Rob Roy 410). And in attempting to reconnect the polite reader with what has been lost in the process of refinement, Scott tries to negotiate with the lost experience of the body. In Stallybrass and White’s account of polite culture, the refined bourgeois consciousness that emerges in the eighteenth century constructed the non-refined as an "other realm inhabited by a grotesque body which it repudiated as part of its own identity"—a body characterised partly by the impure mixing of categories. In their account, champions of refinement attacked as intolerable those who "had not yet dissociated ‘classical’ from popular culture" but who "actively lived both" (Stallybrass and White 103, 84). In Scott’s fiction, in contrast, the historical dissociation of cultures is assumed to be an accomplished fact, while the process is viewed in retrospect. This means on the one hand that educated characters who remain in touch with popular tradition may call for understanding or qualified admiration. In Waverley, for example, Flora McIvor derives part of her romantic glamour from being placed on the borderline between polite culture and oral Gaelic culture, which she patronises. In the realm of local tradition, the polite gentleman may justifiably become the student rather than the model of culture. On the other hand it means that when the non-refined "grotesque body" first begins to surface in Scott’s work, as it does spectacularly in his second novel, Guy Mannering, it is it is not simply the sign of anxiety about the mixing of polite and popular culture, but the sign of a more radical anxiety about the influence of polite culture itself. The grotesque gypsy Meg Merrilees, for example, antithesis of feminine refinement and enlightened rationality ("a full six feet high," "a man’s great coat over the rest of her dress," "dark elf-locks [...] like the snakes of a gorgon," wild rolling eyes indicating "something like real or affected insanity," 14), preserves the remnants of a common heritage of Scottish folk superstition, and finds a counterpart in the polite hero Guy Mannering, who has a scholarly interest in astrological beliefs. The enlightened repudiation of vulgar belief is now registered as repression of instinct (the narrative includes a long quotation from Coleridge’s translation of Wallenstein, which suggests that while folk beliefs "live no longer in the faith of reason," the heart still needs "a language," the "old instinct" still brings back "the old names," 18-19). The grotesqueness of the gypsy may register the polite subject’s anxiety about what has already been repudiated as part of polite identity, but it also enables the gypsy to assume a sublime dignity appropriate to her role in the restoration of the lost heir of Ellangowan. In the same novel the grotesque body of the Dominie or school-master acquires a complementary significance. Beyond all possibility of refinement, it corresponds to his mental condition (he cannot, in spite of his parent’s ambition, be educated into a priest). In the case of this figure the anxiety of the grotesque may be related to the combination of high culture and low social origin, but the novel passes beyond raillery to assign the Dominie an apartment in the restored heir’s new house, as the subject of sympathetic patronage. Having failed to achieve independence through educational opportunity, he provides an image of lower class dependence that is reassuring rather than threatening in an age of rapidly spreading literacy.

  12. These cases illustrate the negotiation Scott undertakes with the legacy of refinement, in which the polite perspective is reproduced while the repudiation it implies is mitigated: the recoil from the vulgar is transformed into a movement to re-establish relations on manageable terms. Elsewhere in the novels, rather than simply rejecting unrefined passions, Scott uses the historical perspective to allow a partial—and of course, heavily qualified—recovery of them. The historical romance, that is, offers to remedy (as reading experience) the loss it exposes as history. Following the example of the gothic romance, Scott’s fiction typically thrusts the modern consciousness of the hero and reader into a world beyond the delibidinized space of rational discourse to which it is historically adapted. This was an aspect of Scott’s novels that Hazlitt, among the most astute of his contemporary critics and admirers, was keen to emphasise. He responded warmly to the novels’ evocation of violent passions that contrast with modern humanitarian sentiment:

    they carry us back to the feuds, the heart-burnings, the havoc, the dismay, the wrongs, and the revenge of a barbarous age and people—to the rooted prejudices and deadly animosities of sects and parties in politics and religion, and of contending chiefs and clans in war and intrigue. […] As we read, we throw aside the trammels of civilization, the flimsy veil of humanity, "Off, you lendings!" The wild beast resumes its sway in us, and as the hound starts in his sleep and rushes on the chase in its fancy the heart rouses itself in its native lair, and utters a wild cry of joy, at being restored once more to freedom and lawless unrestrained impulses ("Hating" 129).

    Fiona Robertson notes how critics have traditionally "separated Scott from Gothic in terms of their relative healthiness" (Robertson 25). But for Hazlitt, apparently, the Gothic violence of the novels was by no means incompatible with a healthy influence. However, it was not simply the possibility of visceral excitement in scenes of feuding, combat, mob violence or torture that seemed rousing. The aesthetic principle that governs Scott’s fictions involves a deliberate dismantling of the boundaries that usually preserve the contemplative poise of the refined subject. In his "Autobiography" Scott distinguishes between "the picturesque in action and in scenery" to define this aspect of his aesthetic: "to me the wandering over the field of Bannockburn was the source of more exquisite pleasure than gazing upon the celebrated landscape from the battlements of Stirling castle" (24). Accordingly, in his fiction he abandons the depoliticised picturesque convention of the framed and static scene that diminishes the particularity of human figures. Instead, the "picturesque in action" strives to place the observer in the position of the participant, moving through a landscape that may be peopled with historically particularised figures, up close to the action. Hazlitt registered a sense of novelty in the dynamism of Scott’s descriptions ("There is a hurtling in the air, a trampling of feet upon the ground," "Spirit" 63), and he repeatedly described their effect as restorative to the enervated modern reader ("the mountain air is most bracing to our languid nerves," "Spirit" 61). In the age of the turnpike and the post-chaise, the novels seek to recreate the invigorating experience of contending with wild landscapes on foot, of pleasurable exposure to the elements, and of confronting accidents that transform scenery into sources of mortal danger (Mordaunt Mertoun, his clothes thoroughly wet, making his way through brooks and morasses across the bleak Shetland landscape, maintaining a dogged conflict with wind and rain in The Pirate, 28-29; Frank Osbaldistone, making his way back to Aberfoil by moonlight through a sharp frost-wind, his spirits suddenly elevated despite the danger and uncertainty of his situation, in Rob Roy, 383; the scholarly Jonathan Oldbuck "pressing forward with unwonted desperation to the very brink of the crag" in the coastal rescue in The Antiquary, 61; Arthur Phillipson "clinging to the decayed trunk of an old tree, from which, suspended between heaven and earth, he saw the fall of the crag which he had so nearly accompanied" in Anne of Geierstein, chapter 2). The novels also offer glimpses of a habitual bodily intimacy unknown to polite society (as in the unimproved Liddesdale of Guy Mannering, chapters 24-26), and of vigorous communal effort or festive enjoyment of a kind that contrasts with the routines of the urban workplace or the factory (such as the sport-as-work of the salmon-hunting of Guy Mannering and Redgauntlet, or the collective holiday pageantry of Kenilworth).

  13. Through such experiences and spectacles, the modern, detached, moderate rationality of the narrator, and often the hero, is linked to a restored sensorial excitement, as the novel connects the reader vicariously to a passional self momentarily free from habitual restraint (although in practice, still carefully insulated from any action that would seriously offend conventional proprieties). This strategy might be related to the development of the new, tougher ethic among the British elite during this period, fostered in the public schools and universities, through a classical curriculum celebrating physical heroism, through manly sports and fox-hunting, through the arts and the cult of military heroes (see Cannon 34-49, Colley 164-193, Mori 130-133). But this elite education is usually seen as cultivating an ethos of patriotic state service and imperialism, whereas Scott’s primary concern, I would argue, is the threat of social division. On the one hand, the novels appeared to recommend the detachment and moderation fostered by enlightened rationality (while detesting Scott’s Tory politics, Hazlitt thought the novels worked to counteract both "ultra-radicalism" and conservative extremism, "Spirit" 64-65). On the other hand, they seemed to compensate for the repression required by that rationality. Moderation and wildness, detachment and primitive passion: the radically opposed tendencies Hazlitt identifies help to account for his sense that Scott had thrown aside the "trammels of authorship" ("Spirit" 61).

  14. While Scott presents Swift’s patriotism as a matter of counteracting the policies and actions of the "narrow-souled, and short-sighted mercantile interest" of Britain ("Swift" 169), Scott’s own patriotic mission can be conceived as a matter of compensating for, and counteracting, the divisive social consequences of modernisation, not only at the level of ideological difference (by enacting moderation) but also at the level of feeling. While Wordsworth recoils from the "degraded thirst after outrageous stimulation" in the modern, increasingly urban public (Wordsworth 249), Scott works to accommodate it, while harnessing it to a paternalist fantasy of harmoniously restored dependencies in rural communities. At the same time he seeks to moderate the refinement that produces the polite recoil from what is seen as vulgar. His moderate paternalism required a willingness to reach across cultural barriers, to move beyond the norms of polite culture, while maintaining the hierarchies denoted by those norms and barriers. In contrast to Coleridge, whose aesthetic ideal of organic unity has been seen as a response to political and cultural disruption (Leask 135-144), for Scott the imagined unity of the audience remained more important than the unity of the work. The ironies, inconsistencies and contradictions within his work are generated by his attempt to write as if for a unified national readership, by offering "attractions to all classes" at a time when social and political reconciliation seemed increasingly beyond reach.


1. See for example Pocock 37-50, Dwyer (1993), Sher (1985) 187-188.

2. The Edinburgh Annual Register, 1814, Edinburgh, 1816, pp 57, 74; The Edinburgh Annual Register, 1815. Edinburgh, 1817, p 67.

3. Roberts notes "a decided preference" among paternalists "for local over central government, and within the concept of local government a decided preference for private over public authorities" (Roberts 40).

4. See also Letters V, 114 [March 1818]; 286-287 [January 1819]; 451 [August 1819]; 486 [September 1819].

5. When the narrator finds (in his dream) distressed weavers in the West of Scotland supplied with work by a benevolent aristocrat, his expectation that a grateful peasantry will bless their benefactor is rudely dashed( II, 32).

6. Robert Malcolmson quotes Southey's "pardonable exaggeration" in Letters from England iii 102-103: "All persons [...] speak of old ceremonies and old festivities as things which are obsolete." Malcolmson adds that "most men of property seem to have applauded their demise as a of progress and national improvement" (89).

7. For example, Robert Crawford, Devolving English Literature (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1992); Leith Davis, Acts of Union: Scotland and the Literary Negotiation of the British Nation 1707-1830 (Stanford: Stanford Univ Press, 1998); Janet Sorensen, The Grammar of Empire in Eighteenth-Century British Writing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); Adam Potkay, The Fate of eloquence in the Age of Hume (Cornell: Ithaca and London, 1994); Adam Potkay, The Passion for Happiness: Samuel Johnson and David Hume (Ithaca and London: Cornell Univ. Press, 2000); Leith Davis, Ian Duncan, Janet Sorensen, eds., Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

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