Reading Sir Walter:

Rob Roy 

(Chapter 27) Bailie Nicol Jarvie and Andrew Fairservice bickering

Read by James Robertson

To me the finest passages in Scott's fiction are those in which his Scots-speaking characters get fully into their stride. The narrative of Rob Roy drags occasionally, especially in the first few chapters, but this is more than compensated for deeper into the novel by the wonderful dialogue of two of Scott's finest creations, Bailie Nicol Jarvie and Andrew Fairservice. This passage is a good example of their sparring.

In this passage from Rob Roy - Frank Osbaldistone, Bailie Nicol Jarvie and Andrew Fairservice are on their way into the Highlands near Loch Lomond to meet with Rob Roy himself. Baillie Nicol Jarvie and Andrew Fairservice cannot abide each other.

December 2009

Loch Lomond.1836 Steel engraving by Robert Sands based on a painting by Henry Melville. Used here with the permission of the Walter Scott Digital Archive Image Collection.