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were equally divided between the Border and the Perthshire Highlands. It is remarkable that the scene of almost all his Highland novels—certainly of his best ones—of “ Waverley," “Rob Roy,” “The Legend of Montrose," and of “ The Fair Maid of Perth,” (not to speak of “The Lady of the Lake,”') is laid in the Yorkshire of Scotland. There was one other region in our country which had, we shall see, a still stronger interest for him-namely, Kincardineshire, the birthplace of his first lost love; but the painful recollections connected with the story perhaps repelled him, and he never does more than allude incidentally to some of its scenes, such as Cairn a Mount and Clochnaben. But his associations with Perthshire were all delightful; it he visited in his glowing boyhood, his heart beating with enthusiasm, and his brow throbbing with genius, “ with hope,” as Lamb says of Coleridge,“ rising before him like a fiery column, the dark side not yet turned ;” and while the natives of the Border may be proud that Kelso, Carterhaugh, and the Eildons attracted him about as strongly as his

own romantic town,” the Bass Rock, and Arthur Seat, Perthshire men are quite as grateful for the new glory he has poured on the Trosachs, Loch Tay, Craighall, the “hazel shade” of Glenartney, and the tall peak of Benvoirlich, with the “red beacon" of the morning burning upon its summit.

In the second year of his apprenticeship (according to his own account-Lockhart fixes it a little earlier), Scott's health suffered from the bursting of a blood vessel.

He was put upon a severe regimen and confined to bed. This "untoward event,” which might have checked, in fact accelerated his intellectual progress. The chief amusement permitted him was reading, and he plunged into a wide sea of books, exhausting libraries, and driving their keepers to their wit's end to supply his cravings; passing from novels, romances, and poems, to voyages and travels, and thence to histories and memoirs, and thus preparing himself for the future exigencies of his literary life as effectually on his quiet bed, where he was not suffered to speak above his breath, as when rambling through the mountains of Perthshire with Invernahyle, or “making himself” with Shortreed among the traditionary wilds of Liddes

dale. After some months he recovered, and resumed his labours in the office.

In 1788 he was sent to attend the class of Civil Law, where he met with some of his former associates at the High School, such as Irving and Fergusson, as well as with a few other young men who united literary taste with legal aspirations, and who taught him to be disgusted with the tame life of a W.S., and to look forward to the Bar. In the days preceding Scott, the class of mere lawyers constituted by far the majority. But he, Jeffrey, Cranstoun, and others, formed a conjunction of the two characters, although perhaps in Jeffrey alone were they thoroughly harmonised. Scott was both a lawyer and a littérateur, but far more a littérateur than a lawyer; Cranstoun and Cockburn were each more of the lawyer; while Jeffrey united both in nearly equal proportions, being at once as sharp as the sharpest special pleader, and as lively, if not as genial or profound, a critic as Britain ever produced. Scott, William Clerk of Eldin, Cranstoun, Abercromby, and some more of similar mark, spent their mornings in the Law class-room or in private study, their evenings in the somewhat excessive convivialities of the time, and their holidays in rambles about the surrounding country. Scott's nickname among his set or club was Duns Scotus, or sometimes by an alias of his own creation, “Colonel Grogg." Although fond of convivialities, he was on the whole free from grosser dissipations, being partly preserved from these by his attachment to the lady above referred to.

This was Williamina Stuart, daughter of Sir John Stuart of Fettercairn. Fettercairn is a small estate in Kincardineshire, situated near the village of that name, on a lovely, level, and stream-bisected spot, not far from the foot of the Grampian mountains, which here somewhat stoop their mighty stature, and appear as it were kneeling before the great German Ocean on the east. Fettercairn is not only beautiful itself, but surrounded on all sides by interesting scenes. The spot where Queen Fenella's castle (a vitrified fort where Kenneth III. was murdered) is said to have stood, is near it. The Burn, with all its marvellous woodland and waterside beauties,

stands a few miles to the west. The castles of Edzell and Balbegno froin on each hand, and farther east the proud ruin of Dunottar, with its huge structure and historic memories, links the mountains to the sea. Sir Walter met this lady in Edinburgh, it is said in Greyfriars churchyard, after service, and during a shower of rain. The offer of an umbrella, which was graciously accepted, formed the commencement of an acquaintance and the earnest of the offer of a heart, not alas ! so well received by the fair one. She is described as beautiful, a blue-eyed blonde, of very gentle manners, and considerable literary accomplishments. A remembrance of her image colours his pictures of female heroines, particularly in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel,” in “Rokeby," and in “Redgauntlet." But not more hopeless was Dairsie Latimer's passion for Lilias Redgauntlet (his disguised sister) than Scott's for the amiable Williamina. She admired his genius, and corresponded with him on literary matters, but her heart was given to another. In vain did he write original and translate German poetry to please her, and carve her name in Runic characters amidst the ruins of St Andrews. She continued inexorable; and at last, in October 1796, he received a point-blank refusal from her own lips, ‘at her own Grampian home. We see him mounting his horse, and bearing southward through the bleak moors towards Montrose, perhaps in a wild blustering autumn night, and with a face under whose gruff, grim calmness you can read strange matters, and catch glimpses of a wounded and well-nigh broken heart Thence, in order to soothe his anguish, he recoiled into the wilderness, and reached first Perth and next Edinburgh by a circuitous and lonely route through “moors and mosses mony 0,” dashing his steed, like his own Mowbray, in St Ronan's Well, over scaurs, and through forests and marshes, where, in these days, none but a desperate man could have preserved his life, but in the course of the journey digesting his misery, and returning home a sadder and wiser man. His friends, who knew his then impetuous disposition, had expected some fearful explosion, and were glad to see him sitting down calmly to his books again. He


says himself, however, that he was broken-hearted for two years--a time we must surely restrict a little, since his disappointment happened in October 1796 and his marriage to Miss Carpenter took place in December the next year. Miss Stuart, in 1797, married Sir W. Forbes, son of Beattie's biographer, who afterwards was of essential service to Scott in his misfortunes. The iron must have entered into the poet's soul, although he contrived at first to conceal the wound, since we find him not only often alluding to his loss, but in his latter days visiting the lady's mother, and spending a whole night of the joy of grief in talking over old stories and mingling their tears, Lady Forbes being then dead. She was the first and perhaps the last person whom Scott-affectionate husband as he wasever loved with his whole being. His attachment to her had taken him much to the north, his head quarters being Meigle, the seat of Sir P. Murray of Simprim, a place situated in the glorious glen of Strathmore, and within a short distance of the ancient castle of Glammis, where Scott spent an eerie night, fancying, in spite of the facts of history, that he was in Macbeth's castle, and realising all its sublime and ghastly terrors. But from the date of his rejection, we never hear of him being in that part of Scotland.

Previous to this he had passed as an Advocate, and was engaged, like his compeers, in attending the Speculative Society, where he met with Jeffrey ; in drinking claret at Fortune's, and eating oysters in the Covenant Close; in reading, now Stair's "Institutes," and now the last new novel; or in sweeping with his gown the boards of that Parliament House, which has been compared to the Hall of Eblis, and is so to many a weary and briefless peripatetic. He had also written, in a single sleepless night, a translation of Bürger's famous ballad of “Lenore,” which gained him much applause in his own coterie, and which, although not perhaps quite equal to that of William Taylor, Norwich, is sufficiently vigorous. On his return from the north, in that spirit of hardiesse and bravado which often follows disappointment, and reveals the ferment of its remaining dregs, he “rushed into print” with the aforesaid ballad, and that of the “Wild Huntsman,” also by Bürger. (We can fancy him, in his ride through the Highlands, repeating to the echoes the reeling words so congenial to his mood

“ The scourge is red, the spur drops blood,

The flashing pebbles flee,”
“ Hurrah! the dead can ride apace,
Dost fear to ride with me ?")

This brochure, published by Manners and Miller, was well received in Edinburgh, and highly commended by honest William Taylor himself, that "strong in-kneed sort of a soul,” as Burns says of another, but gained no general acceptance in the south; and let it be consoling to all incipient authors to know, that the first production of the most popular of writers was a complete failure and a dead loss.

For some years Scott, in company with Robert Shortreed, Sheriff-substitute of Roxburghshire, had been in the habit of making autumnal “ raids” into Liddesdale, and the adjacent regions, where he saw fine mountain-scenes, drank in pure air, blended with genuine mountain-dew, collected ballads, told stories, galloped long miles, lay in “ Charlie's Hopes" without number, kissed fraternally the farmers' wives, fondled their children, floored, if possible, at their own weapons of strong waters, the goodmen; acted, in short, exactly as Captain Brown did when residing with Dandie Dinmont; or as an electioneering candidate is in the habit of doing, but with a different motive from the member—the one purchasing selfish popularity, and the other acquiring universal fame, by condescension and kindness—the smiles of the one being often hollow, while those of the other were as sincere as a broad genial nature could make them. It has been sometimes said-absurdly we think—that Scott had no pleasure in writing his novels and poems. What! none, while amidst the freshness of morning nature, with the sound of the Tweed in his ears, or the sun smiting the Castle Rock before his eyes, he indited pages which he knew were as immortal and as pure as those waters or that sunfire? We cannot believe it! But, at all events, he had pleasure the most exquisite and varied while collecting their materials, amongst the mosses, or by the fire

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