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There is also discoverable in these compositions a profound intimacy with the workings of intense and agonizing feeling, instances of which, in relation to the passions of pity and terror, I could particularize as given with the most powerful effect, and more especially in Waverley, the Antiquary, Old Mortality, the Heart of Mid Lothian, and Kenilworth.
An objection, it is true, has been raised to the ascription of these interesting tales either to sir Walter Scott, or any other individual writer, from the apparent improbability that such a rapid succession of works of fancy could have issued from one and the same pen. And, indeed, when we recollect that, during the short space of twelve years which has elapsed between the first and last of these productions, we are called upon to believe that not less than twenty-two novels, occupying sixty-two volumes, have been the product of a single mind, it must be confessed that a fertility so extraordinary is sufficient to stagger our credulity.
Yet at the same time, when we compare these romances with each other, it is impossible not to perceive throughout the entire series such a similarity in style and manner, as well in conception as in execution, as compels us to acknowledge,
that if sir Walter has been assisted by his family or friends, it has only been in such a subordinate degree as has enabled him to finish every picture with so much of peculiarity of tone and colouring, with so much of correspondency and integrity of composition, as to impress upon each work, and upon the whole, the stamp of individuality.
It should not be forgotten, perhaps, as an auxiliary argument in support of the attribution of these works to sir Walter Scott, that with the exception of two small poems, Waterloo, and Halidon Hill, and Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk, no original work has issued from his pen since the appearance of Waverley; and it will readily be granted, that if the similar productions which followed this romance be correctly assigned to him as their author, this apparent sterility, so unexpected from the rapidity with which he formerly brought forth his poetical fictions, will be easily accounted for; as assuredly during this period no man can have had more literary occupation than the anonymous fabricator of the Scottish novels*.
* To these pages, which were written nearly a twelvemonth ago, I now stop the press (March 5th, 1827) to add what has appeared in the public papers within these few days, and
which sets this long-agitated question as to the authorship of the Waverley Novels completely at rest. I quote from the St. James's Chronicle of Feb. 27th,.1827.
"At the first annual dinner of the Edinburgh Theatrical Fund, held Saturday, the 24th of Feb. 1827, in the Assembl Rooms, sir Walter Scott in the chair,
"Lord Meadowbank begged to propose a health which he was sure, in an assembly of Scotsmen, would be received not with an ordinary feeling of delight, but with rapture and enthusiasm. He knew that it would be painful to his feelings if he were to speak of him in the terms which his heart prompted, and that he had sheltered himself under his native modesty from the applause which he deserved. But it was gratifying at last to know that these clouds were now dispelled, and that the Great Unknown—the mighty magician-(here the room literally rang with applauses, which were continued for some minutes)—the minstrel of our country, who had conjured up, not the phantoms of departed ages, but realities, now stood revealed before the eyes and affections of his country. In his presence it would ill become him, as it would be displeasing to that distinguished person, to say, if he were able, what every man must feel who recollected the enjoyment he had had from the great efforts of his mind and genius. It has been left for him by his writings to give his country an imperishable name. He had done more for this country by illuminating its annals, by illustrating the deeds of its warriors and statesmen, than any man that ever existed, or was produced within its territory. He had opened up the peculiar beauties of his country to the eyes of foreigners. He had exhibited the deeds of those patriots and statesmen to whom we owed the freedom we now enjoyed. He would give the health of sir
Walter Scott." (Which was drunk with the most enthusiastic cheering).
"Sir Walter Scott certainly did not think, that, in coming there that day, he should have the task of acknowledging, before three hundred gentlemen, a secret, which, considering that it was communicated to more than twenty people, was remarkably well kept. He was now before the bar of his country, and might be understood to be on trial before lord Meadowbank as an offender; yet he was sure that every impartial jury would bring in a verdict of not proven.' He did not now think it necessary to enter into the reasons of his long silence. Perhaps he might have acted from caprice. He had now to say, however, that the merits of these works, if they had any, and their faults, were entirely imputable to himself. (Long and loud cheering). He was afraid to think on what he had done. Look on 't again I dare not.' He had thus far unbosomed himself, and he knew that it would be reported to the public. He meant, when he said that he was the author, that he was the total and undivided author. With the exception of quotations, there was not a single word that was not derived from himself, or suggested in the course of his reading. The wand was now broken, and the rod buried. They would allow him further to say, with Prospero, Your breath it is that has filled my sails.'"
Ιατρικώτατος,—ὁσιος, δίκαιος, ευσεβης, εις άκρον της
A physician of great skill ;- —a man of probity, piety, and profound erudition.
IN retracing the events of the morning of our days, how truly grateful are those retrospections, though mingled, it may be, with some shades of tender regret, which are associated with the fate of our once youthful companions, of those who started with us, side by side, in the race of busy existence, and have either left this sublunary scene, or are descending with us into the vale of years!
More especially is such a retrospection delightful when connected, as in the subject of my present paper, with the fortunes of one who had not only in early life been dear to us from similarity of taste and scientific pursuits, but who, both in a professional and literary point of view, is still prosecuting a career of no common utility and splendour.
The education of medical men, indeed, when conducted, as should ever be the case, upon a broad