Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/36

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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

partnership (1822-26). The statement, which is presumably authentic, includes such items as a sum of over £7000 for building at Abbotsford, £5000 for his son's commission, and near £900 to a wine merchant, and the general result is that 'Ballantyne and Co.' had paid on Scott's account, in the period of the partnership (1822-26), £15,000 more than they had received from him. Lockhart's assertion must therefore have a more limited meaning. After Scott had again taken Ballantyne into partnership he had of course no right to spend the money of the firm for his own purposes. When he obtained an advance he remained personally responsible, and he no doubt 'replaced' it by acknowledging the obligation in some form or other. The result would be, I presume, that Scott personally was debtor to the firm for a considerable sum, and, as things turned out, a bad debtor. It seems probable, indeed, to the ignorant in such matters, that in point of fact neither Scott nor Ballantyne had by this time any distinct understanding of their affairs; and that Scott might suppose himself to have replaced money when the effect of the complicated operations in which they were engaged might really be quite different. Ballantyne seems