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Bidding us mourn no longer, but rejoice
That it hath heavenward flown like thee,
“ I watched thee, lessening, lessening to the sight,
Still faint and fainter winnowing
The sunshine with thy dwindling wing,
Till thou wert melted in the sky,
“Meet emblem of that lightsome spirit thou !
That still, wherever it might come,
Shed sunshine o'er that happy home,
Absolved with the element above
There remain, therefore, of Sir Walter's race, only his two sons,
- Walter, his successor in the baronetcy, Lieutenant-Colonel in the 15th Regiment of Hussars—and Charles, a clerk in the office of her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign affairs ;with two children left by their sister Sophia, a boy and a girl.
Shortly after Sir Walter's death, his sons and myself, as his executors, endeavoured to make such arrangements as were within our power for completing the great object of his own wishes and fatal exertions. We found the remaining principal sum of the Ballantyne debt to be about £54,000. £22,000 had been insured upon his life; there were some monies in the hands of the Trustees, and Mr Cadell very handsomely offered to advance to us the balance, about £30,000, that we might without further delay settle with the body of creditors. This was effected accordingly on the 2d of February 1833; Mr Cadell accepting as his only security the right to the profits accruing from Sir Walter's copyright property and literary remains, until such time as this new and consolidated obligation should be discharged. I am afraid, however, notwithstanding the undiminished sale of his works, especially of his Novels, his executors can hardly hope to witness that consummation, unless, indeed, it should please the Legislature to give some extension to the period for which literary property has hitherto been protected; a bill for which purpose has been repeatedly brought before the House of Commons by Mr Sergeant Talfourd.
Besides his commercial debt, Sir Walter left also one of £10,000, contracted by himself as an individual, when struggling to support Constable in December 1825, and secured by mortgage on the lands of Abbotsford. And, lastly, the library and museum, presented to him in free gift by his creditors in December 1830, were bequeathed to his eldest son, with a burden to the extent of £5000, which sum he designed to be divided between his younger children, as already explained in an extract from his Diary. His will provided that the produce of his literary property, in case of its proving sufficient to wipe out the remaining debt of Messrs Ballantyne, should then be applied to the extinction of these mortgages ; and thereafter, should this also be accomplished, divided equally among his surviving family. .
Various meetings were held soon after his death with a view to the erection of monuments to his memory, and the records of these meetings, and their results, are adorned by many of the noblest and most distinguished names both of England and of Scotland. In London, the Lord Bishop of Exeter, Sir Robert Peel, and Sir John Malcolm, took a prominent part as speakers: in Edinburgh, the Duke of Buccleuch, the Marquis of Lothian, the Earl of Dalhousie, the Earl of Rosebery, Lord Jeffrey (then Lord Advocate for Scotland), and Professor Wilson.
In Glasgow the subscription amounted to about £1200 and a very handsome pillar, surmounted with a statue, has been erected in the chief square of that city, which had been previously adorned with statues of its own most illustrious citizens, Sir John Moore and James Watt.
The subscription for a monument at Edinburgh, reached the sum of £6000; -- and I believe a rich Gothic cross, with a statue in the interior, will soon be completed.
In the market - place of Selkirk there has been set up, at the cost of local friends and neighbours, a statue in freestone, by Mr Alexander S. Ritchie of Musselburgh, with this inscription :
ERECTED IN AUGUST 1839,
IN PROUD AND AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE
SIR WALTER SCOTT, BARONET,
SHERIFF OF THIS COUNTY
FROM 1800 TO 1832.
By Yarrow's stream still let me stray,
The English subscription amounted to somewhere about £10,000; but a part of this was embezzled by a young person rashly appointed to the post of secretary, who carried it with him to America, where he soon afterwards died.
The noblemen and gentlemen who subscribed to this English fund had adopted a suggestion-(which originated, I believe, with Lord Francis Egerton and the Honourable John Stuart Wortley) — that, in place of erecting a cenotaph in Westminster Abbey, or a statue or pillar elsewhere, the most suitable and
respectful tribute that could be paid to Sir Walter's memory would be to discharge all the incumbrances upon Abbotsford, and entail the House, with its library and other articles of curiosity collected by him, together with the lands which he had planted and embellished, upon the heirs of his name for ever. The sum produced by the subscription, however, proved inadequate to the realization of such a scheme; and after much consultation, it was at length settled that the money in the hands of the committee (between £7000 and £8000) should be employed to liquidate the debt upon the library and museum, and whatever is over, towards the mortgage on the lands. This arrangement has enabled the present Sir Walter Scott to secure, in the shape originally desired, the permanent preservation at least of the house and its immediate appurtenances, as a memorial of the tastes and habits of the founder. The poet's ambition to endow a family sleeps with him. But I still hope his successors may be, as long as any of his blood remains, the honoured guardians of that monument.
The most successful portraitures of Sir Walter Scott have been mentioned incidentally in the course of these Memoirs. It has been suggested that a complete list of the authentic likenesses ought to have