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WALTER SCOTT, the subject of this short Memoir, claimed descent from Scottish ancestors celebrated in the annals of Border chivalry. Of these illustrious progenitors so many notices are interspersed in his various works, that a detailed account of their lives and exploits is altogether unnecessary. The reader anxious for fuller information, will find what he requires in the great poet and novelist's own words, in the illustrative notes to his poems, &c. He has rescued from oblivion traditions concerning "Auld Watt," of Harden, and "Beardie," his own great-grandfather, whose devotion to the cause of the exiled Stuarts furnishes the explanation of the cognomen; nor have the claims of "Auld Watt's" fair dame, the "Flower of Yarrow," been forgotten by her renowned descendant.

The poet's father, Walter Scott, born in 1729, was the eldest of a numerous family. He received a good education, and became a writer to the Signet. The position he obtained in his profession was in all respects an honourable one; and in 1758 he married Anne Rutherford, daughter of Dr. Rutherford, professor of medicine in the University of Edinburgh. The union was blessed with a numerous progeny, of which only five survived the critical period of childhood. Walter, one of the youngest, was born in Edinburgh on the 15th of August, 1771. His health in his earlier years was delicate, and he was, moreover, afflicted with a lameness, which had the effect of turning his attention towards studies and literature; for his love of enterprise and adventure would doubtless have induced him-had

he been blessed with corporal strength and soundness of limb-to embrace an active profession.

Having received some early instruction at home, he was in 1778 sent to the High School of Edinburgh. His progress was satisfactory, and on leaving this esta blishment he spent a few months with a maiden aunt at Kelso, in which delightful place he imbibed that love of scenery that afterwards induced him to hunt up every tradition connected with spots and ruins so cherished. It was at this period that he made acquaintance with many standard English authors, and Percy's "Reliques of Ancient Poetry" served at once to kindle his inspiration and to increase his love for legendary lore.

Upon his return to Edinburgh Walter entered the college, and from his total unacquaintance with Greek, and his unwillingness, on account of the advantage enjoyed by his fellow-students, all of whom had mastered the rudiments of that language, to apply himself to remedy the defect, obtained the name of the "Greek Blockhead." On quitting college he entered into indentures with his father, who resolved that his son should serve the ordinary apprenticeship of five years to his profession., In the course of this probationary period Walter broke a blood-vessel: his recovery was slow, and kept him for some time a prisoner to the house. Eventually, his constitution became stronger, and although he could not get the better of his lameness, it did not interfere with his taking both horse and foot exercise, and he made many excursions into the Highlands.

When the time of his apprenticeship expired, Scott decided upon qualifying himself as an advocate, and in 1792 was called to the bar. An early attachment to Margaret, daughter of Sir John Belches, of Invermay, does not appear to have met with any return, and the lady at last became the wife of Sir William Forbes, Bart., of Pitsligo. In 1792 Scott joined a German class, and speedily acquired a knowledge of that language. Not meeting with much success at the bar, he indulged in his favourite studies, and went on many excursions in search of old ballads, legends, and tradi tions. His antiquarian stores increased rapidly. In

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