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PREFATORY NOTE

L

OCKHART'S Life of Sir Walter Scott is and

will always remain the magazine from which

the material for the great novelist's biography must be drawn. The Familiar Letters and the Journal have of late years been published separately and in detail, and numerous more or less eminent writersHogg, Chambers, Gillies, to name but these—have contributed each his mite of information. It cannot be pretended that many new or important facts have been added to those Lockhart collected. His work, indeed, is an English classic, and is one of the best biographies in the language. It is very long and done on a scale suited to a more leisurely age than ours, but no rash attempt is here made to supersede it. This is a briefer story for the readers of to-day. Each time has its own fashion of regarding the great men of the past, and its own criticism on their works. Hence this brief modern Life of Scott.

The chapter on Scott as a Lawyer has been written by Mr. Francis Watt, of the Middle Temple.

THE LIFE OF
SIR WALTER SCOTT

CHAPTER I

FIRST YEARS

I

T is fortunate for us that we are able to draw our picture of Scott as a child and young man from

the best of all sources-himself. In the year 1808, though not yet thirty-seven, he had already made himself a name in Scotland by the publication of his Minstrelsy of the Border, and in England also by the Lay of the Last Minstrel and Jlarmion. Conscious of real merit, and manifestly confident that he would succeed in building up a great literary reputation, he had no mock modesty, but recognised himself as a public man, one whose life's record was to be of interest to future generations. In order, then-to use his own words—"that the public may know from good authority all that they are entitled to know of an individual who has contributed to their amusement," he sat down and wrote that account of his

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