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Wilt thou, I say, forever breed my
pain ? And wilt thou ne'er return my joys
a clever piece of handiwork, and Sir Walter felt at first great relief from the use of it: inasmuch that his spirits rose to quite the old pitch, and his letter to me upon the occasion overflows with merry applications of sundry maxims and verses about Fortune. Fortes Fortuna adjuvat” – he says — “never more sing I!” Lockhart, Chapter lxxix. The first stanza is an old Elizabethan song. The second, Scott's palinode, appears to be his last effort in
The incident was in February, 1831.
No – let my ditty be henceforth
FORTUNE, my Foe, why dost thou frown
on me ? And will my Fortune never better be ?
I. JUVENILE LINES
ON THE SETTING SUN A TRANSLATION FROM VIRGIL
• These lines, as well as the foregoing, were
found wrapped in a paper with the inscription, * The autobiography tells us that his transla
by Dr. Adam, “Walter Scott, July, 1783.”' tions in verse from Horace and Virgil were
Lockhart, Chapter üi. often approved by Dr. Adam. One of these little pieces, written in a weak boyish scrawl,
THOSE evening clouds, that setting ray,
And beauteous tints, serve to display within pencilled marks still visible, had been
Their great Creator's praise ; carefully preserved by his mother; it was Then let the short-lived thing called man, found folded up in a cover, inscribed by the Whose life's comprised within a span, old lady
My Walter's first lines, 1782.". To Him his homage raise. Lockhart, Life of Scott, Chapter iii.
We often praise the evening clouds, In awful ruins Ætna thunders nigh,
And tints so gay and bold, And sends in pitchy whirlwinds to the sky
But seldom think upon our God, Black clouds of smoke, which still as they as Who tinged these clouds with gold.
pire, From their dark sides there bursts the glowing At other times huge balls of fire are tossed,
II. MOTTOES FROM THE NOVELS That lick the stars, and in the smoke are lost; Sometimes the mount, with vast convulsions * The scraps of poetry, which have been in torn,
most cases tacked to the beginning of chapEmits huge rocks, which instantly are borne ters in these novels, are sometimes quoted With loud explosions to the starry skies,
either from reading or from memory, but, in The stones made liquid as the huge mass flies,
the general case, are pure invention. I found Then back again with greater weight recoils,
it too troublesome to turn to the collection of While Ætna thundering from the bottom boils.
the British Poets to discover apposite mottoes, and in the situation of the theatrical machinist,
who, when the white paper which represented ON A THUNDER-STORM
his shower of snow was exhausted, continued
the shower by snowing brown, I drew.on my 'In Scott's Introduction to the Lay, he
memory as long as I could, and when that alludes to an original effusion of these“ school failed, eked it out with invention. I believe boy days,” prompted by a thunder-storm, which that in some cases, where actual names are af.
“was much approved of, until a malevo fixed to the supposed quotations, it would be lent critic sprung up in the shape of an apothe
to little purpose to seek them in the works of cary's blue-buskined wife ; she affirmed that the authors referred to. In some cases I have my most sweet poetry was copied from an old been entertained when Dr. Watts and other magazine." ; Lockhart, Chapter iii. The
graver authors have been ransacked in vain for lines were written in 1783.
stanzas for which the novelist alone was responsible.
Introduction to Chronicles of the LOUD o'er my head though awful thunders roll,
It may be worth noting that it was in cor
recting the proof-sheets of The Antiquary that Thy arm directs those lightnings through the
Scott first took to equipping his characters sky.
with mottoes of his own fabrication. On one Then let the good thy mighty name ere,
occasion he happened to ask John Ballantyne, And hardened sinners thy just vengeance fear. who was sitting by him, to hunt for a particu.