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himself prepare such an abbreviation, in which the original eighty-four chapters were compressed into eighteen, —though the abbreviation contained additions as well as compressions. But even this abridgment is itself a bulky volume of 800 pages, containing, I should think, considerably more than a third of the reading in the original ten volumes, and is not, therefore, very likely to be preferred to the completer work. In some respects I hope that this introduction may supply, better than that bulky abbreviation, what Mr. Gladstone probably meant to suggest,-some slight miniature taken from the great picture with care enough to tempt on those who look on it to the study of the fuller life, as well as of that image of Sir Walter which is impressed by his own hand upon his works.
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
ANCESTRY, PARENTAGE, AND CHILDHOOD.
SIR WALTER SCOTT was the first literary man of a great riding, sporting, and fighting clan. Indeed, his fathera Writer to the Signet, or Edinburgh solicitor--was the first of his race to adopt a town life and a sedentary profession Sir Walter was the lineal descendant-six generations removed—of that Walter Scott commemorated in The Lay of the Last Minstrel, who is known in Border history and legend as Auld Wat of Harden. Auld Wat's son William, captured by Sir Gideon Murray, of Elibank, during a raid of the Scotts on Sir Gideon's lands, was, as tradition says, given his choice between being hanged on Sir Gideon's private gallows, and marrying the ugliest of Sir Gideon's three ugly daughters, Meiklemouthed Meg, reputed as carrying off the prize of ugliness among the women of four counties. Sir William was a hand
He took three days to consider the alternative proposed to him, but chose life with the large-mouthed lady in the end; and found her, according to the tradition which the poet, her descendant, has transmitted, an excel.
lent wife, with a fine talent for pickling the beef which her husband stole from the herds of his foes. Meiklemouthed Meg transmitted a distinct trace of her large mouth to all her descendants, and not least to him who was to use his “meikle" mouth to best advantage as the spokesman of his race. Rather more than half-way between Auld Wat of Harden's times—i, e., the middle of the sixteenth century—and those of Sir Walter Scott, poet and novelist, lived Sir Walter's great-grandfather, Walter Scott generally known in Teviotdale by the surname of Beardie, because he would never cut his beard after the banishment of the Stuarts, and who took arms in their cause and lost by his intrigues on their behalf almost all that he had, besides running the greatest risk of being hanged as a traitor. This was the ancestor of whom Sir Walter speaks in the introduction to the last canto of Marmion :
“ And thus my Christmas still I hold,
Where my great grandsire came of old,
Sir Walter inherited from Beardie that sentimental Stuart bias which his better judgment condemned, but which seemed to be rather part of his blood than of his mind. And most useful to him this sentiment un.