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The Poems of Sir Walter Scott are reprinted from the standard edition of Cadell, Edinburgh, 1851. The smaller pieces, dispersed through several volumes in that edition, are here, with the “ Imitations of the Ancient Ballad,” from the Border Minstrelsy, arranged continuously; and in compliance with a demand for completeness, we have inserted immediately after these, various trifles printed in Lockhart's Biography, and not generally received into the collections, together with the poetry of the Waverley Novels. The Memoir is extracted from an edition of Scott's poetry, by Adam and Charles Black, Edinburgh, 1853.



SIR WALTER Scott was born at Edinburgh on the 15th of August, 1771, the same day which gave birth to Napoleon Bonaparte. “My birth,” says he," was neither distinguished nor sordid. According to the prejudices of my country, it was esteemed gentle, as I was connected, though remotely, with ancient families, both by my father's and mother's side.” His paternal great-grandfather—a cadet of the border family of Hardenwas sprung, in the fourteenth century from the great house of Buccleuch; his grandfather became a farmer in Roxburghshire; and his father, Walter Scott, was a writer to the signet in the Scottish capital. His mother, Anne Rutherford, was the daughter of one of the medical professors in the university of Edinburgh.

-Neither Scott's poetical turn nor his extraordinary powers of memory seem to have been inherited from either of his parents. His early years displayed little precocity of talent; and the

year, deli

uneventful tenor of his childhood and youth seemed little calculated to awaken in his mind a love of the imaginative or romantic.

Before he had completed his second cacy of constitution, and lameness, which proved permanent, assailed him, and soon afterwards caused his removal to the country. There, at his grandfather's farm-house of Sandyknowe, situated beneath the crags of a ruined baronial tower, and overlooking a district famous in border-history, the poet passed his childhood till about his eighth year, with scarcely any interruption but a year at Bath. At this early age was evinced his warm sympathy with the beauty and grandeur of nature; and the ballads and legends, recited to him amid the scenes in which their events were laid, cooperated in after-days with family and national pride to decide the bent of the border-minstrel's fancy.

His health being partially confirmed, he was recalled home; and from the end of 1778 till 1783 his education was conducted in the High School of Edinburgh, with the assistance of a tutor resident in his father's house. Prior to this change, he had shown a decided inclination towards literary pursuits; but now, introduced with imperfect preparation into a large and thoroughly trained class, consisting of boisterous boys, his childish zeal for learning seems to have been quenched by ambition of another kind. His

it is true, was still remarkable, and procured for him from his master the title of historian of the class; while he produced some schoolverses, both translated and original, at least creditable for a boy of twelve. Even his intellectual powers, however, were less active in the proper business of the school than in enticing his companions from their tasks by merry jests and little stories; and his place as a scholar rarely rose above mediocrity. But his reputation stood high in the play-ground, where, possessed of unconquerable courage, and eager to defeat the scorn which his physical defects excited, he performed hazardous feats of agility, and gained pugilistic trophies over comrades who, that they might have no unfair advantage over the lame boy, fought, like him, lashed face to face on a plank. At home, his tutor, a zealous Presbyterian, instructed him, chiefly by conversation, in the facts of Scottish history, though without being able to shake those opinions which the boy had already taken up as an inheritance from his Jacobite ancestors. At every interval also which could be stolen from the watchfulness of his elders, he eagerly pursued a course of reading miscellaneous and undigested, embracing much that to most minds would have been either useless or positively injurious. “I left the High School,” says he, “ with a great quantity of general information, ill arranged, indeed, and collected without


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