Guy Mannering


Sir Walter Scott,
page 17 of 17

strative on all sides. Having reached the rustic studio — a thatch-covered wooden shed — there the latest productions of Greenshields, well-placed, at once met the eyes of the visitors. Words were few, but after a survey of the statue. Sir Walter seated himself on a rough bench, seemingly much gratified, and without direct praise said enough to satisfy the designer of his entire approval. All were now in fine talking trim. There was some allusion to their short visit. ‘No loss at a’, Sir Walter. ‘I saw everything and see it yet.’ ‘Indeed,’ said the baronet. ‘Yes.’ said the rustic sculptor, ‘for I’ve a deevilish greedy eel’ ” In 1831 Sir Walter visited Milton Lockhart, and Lockhart says, “Greenshields was at hand, and talked to him cheerfully, while he devoured his features, as under a solemn sense that they were before his eyes for the last time.” So it was; Sir Walter was summoned away next morning.

Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott.

Erected 1837.
Statue Designed By J. Greenshields; Executed by Handyside & Ritchie.
From Picture in Nicholl’s “Views of Glasgow,”
in the possession of Mr. Kirsop.
Photographed for this Work by Messrs. Brinkley & Stevenson,
Regent Gallery, Glasgow.

Three years afterwards, in 1834, Greenshields was urgently solicited to design a model of an erect figure for the Glasgow monument to the memory of Sir Walter Scott. This he rather hurriedly, not without reluctance, produced, and transmitted to the committee, and shortly after, when on his deathbed, received notice of its adoption (in preference to the designs of Forrest and Ritchie), an intimation he received without emotion or remark. This model was the last effort of Greenshields’ genius. The head and features of this figure were repeated from the sic sidebat statue done for Mr. Cadell in his premises in St. Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh, where it rested under the same roof with the greater part of the original MSS. of Sir Walter’s poems and romances. It was in an easy position, uncovered, in modern costume, resting on the left leg, the right being slightly advanced. The chest is tightly wrapped in a shepherd’s plaid, thrown over the right arm and shoulder. But strangely enough the artist, an Upper Ward man, has here made a mistake. The right shoulder is the wrong one for the plaid. This statue, not the best of the artist’s designs, was cut in stone by Ritchie of Musselburgh, and is by many attributed entirely to him. It is erected upon a pedestal eighty feet high, and is, as it deserves to be, the central and most prominent figure in George Square.


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