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Some sixty five years ago, and in the county of Berwickshire, upon the silvery border stream—in an 'auld wifes' cottage there lay a crippled boy-son of a briefless barrister, with few to care for, and none to instruct his mind. But there were instructors there, better than doughty gerund grinders,' or any human teachers. Scenes of the Lowland border song and minstrelsy, are spread in grandeur round him! Yonder stands the chivalric seat of an ancient family, famous in the story of Southron spoil ;beyond, across the winding Tweed lies the venerable mansionthe scene of many a festive hour in the days of his prosperity. Below, stands frowning on the yew tree's shade, the tablature of Dryburgh-the waste of Laminermoor stretches away behind him, while on the distant range of the Cheviots, dark battlements break the line of the horizon, and towards the western ocean, Melrose, memorable in after legend, stands fretted on the blue hills of the Ettrick and the Yarrow !
Years roll on, and that cripple boy is a giant man. Within his own baronial hall, nobles court his favor, and princes do him reverence ! A short time more, and misfortunes swarm upon hin, as if to try his strength; the gilded castle which industry and merit had reared, Mammon levels at a blow. Scotland sees her birthright sinking, and weeps! but scarce a helping hand is outstretched to save his wreck, and he sinks—proudly, and with giant struggles—yet he sinks ! and death, which had left a warning, a half century back, in that crippled limb, comes to redeem his pledge, and cuts him down!
And now, where is the mysterious unknown? Where his baronetcy-where his kingly possessions
“His glittering towers,
Oh, how ambition flush'd
Such was the scene of Sir Walter's existence; mystery veiled it for a time, but the light which revealed it, showed the curtain falling !-yet music floated round-a voice was there-Scott left behind him more to tell the story of himself, than ever man before him.
Struggling in early years with difficulties which gave a resolution to his character, he achieved by his almost unaided exertions, a name and an eminence which few, if any literary man ever attained. But viewing his unexampled favor with the world, as not even presumptive evidence of his merit, we propose to consider, what reflection, and attentive observation may expose in the character of such a man, worthy our admiration. Feeling has ever given a decision in his favor; and while the sweeping tide of blandishments that flowed from his pen, coursed over our sympathies, judgment was not allowed a sitting. Now the charm is broken, and the jury of a dispassionate throng give in their verdict.
Educated in the high school of Edinburgh, which was possessed of the best means of communicating instruction that the times afforded, we find him apparently neglectful of imposed duties, and as he playfully says, 'greater in the yards, than at the desk.' Still, attaining a competency of learning by his wonderful quickness and retentive memory, he is by no means without admiration at that early period of life ; and he there manifests to his schoolmates that trait of mind, which has given him his fame. Nature had aided him by general physical superiority; of a stalwart form, and possessing a lively expression of countenance, he found it by no means difficult to arrest the attention and enchain the feelings of his school-boy companions, as effectually, as he has since bound the reading world by the charms of his genius. The law, was the branch in which his energies were destined by a watchful father, to be caught up from their wanton propensities, and to be bent and matured for future eminence. Dis aliter vi
Law was too strict for his recreant fancy_too much confined for his buoyant character. He possessed a mind which left free to its own suggestions, though hazarding many a rude encounter, would work ably. Confined, its energies were relaxed, because subdued; weakened, because fettered. And who may not say, that many a mind training its faculties for usefulness, in one of the great thoroughfares of professional livelihood, if left to iis