many hours of heartfelt satisfaction has our au

thor given to the gay and thoughtless! How many sad hearts has he soothed in pain and solitude! It is no wonder that the public repay, with lengthened applause and gratitude, the pleasure they receive. He writes as fast as they can read, and he does not write himself down. He is always in the public eye, and we do not tire of him. His worst is better than any other person's best. His back-grounds (and his latter works are little else but back-grounds capitaliy made out), are more attractive than the principal and most complicated figures of other writers. His works (taken together) are almost like a new edition of human nature. This is indeed to be an author! • The political bearing of the Scotch Novels has been a considerable recommendation to them. They are a relief to the mind, rarified as it has been with modern philosophy, and heated with ultra-radicalism. The candour of Sir Walter's historic pen levels our bristling prejudices, and sees fair play between roundheads and cavaliers —between protestant and papist. He is a writer reconciling all the diversities of human nature to the reader. He does not enter into the hostile distinctions of sects and parties, but treats of the strength or the infirmity of the human mind, of the virtues and vices of the human breast, as they are to be found blended in the whole race of mankind. Nothing can show more handsomely, or be more gallantly executed." Another critic attempts a comparison between our author and the late Lord Byron, as follows:– * The two most celebrated writers of this age, Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott, resemble each other not a little in their works. Their respective series of productions, from Childe Harold to Don Juan, and from Waverley to Woodstock, though differing essentially in structure, object, and subject, agree, nevertheless, in several particulars. Each series, for example, evinces a remarkable qualification of mind in the author, and each betrays a remarkable defect. It is likewise a singular coincidence, that the same qualification and the same defect should exist in both, viz. extraordinary facility of invention as far as respects composition, and difficulty of invention as far as respects character. Both authors are about equally remarkable for the said power, and (if the expression may be used) impotence of mind, in these different provinces of invention. • And first as to composition. The prodigal effusion of poetry, which in Childe Harold, the Corsair, the Giaour, etc., etc., almost overwhelmed the reading world, is only to be paralleled by the quantity of prose so dissolutely expended in the composition of Waverley, Guy Mannering, etc., etc., a series to which we can see indeed no pro

bable termination. Both the poems and the novels indicate a fertility of mind in this respect, amounting to what might be designated even a rank luxuriance. Before we had eaten down one crop of this intellectual pasture, another began to present itself, and a third growth shot up whilst our heads were deep in the second. There is here an obvious resemblance between the two series of works now compared. It would be hard to say whether the poet or the novelist were the greater spendthrift of his words. In both, eloquence is of so splendid and profluent a nature, that it takes the form, and might assume the name, of splendid loquacity. The labour with these authors seems to have been merely that of transcribing from the folds of the brain to the leaves of their paper. Facility in composition— and when we say this, we do not mean fluency without a considerable degree of solidity,+is the qualification in which these two great writers resemble each other, and that, perhaps, in which they most surpass all their contemporaries. we allow there is much difference between the ‘weighty bullion' of Childe Harold, or waverley, and the “French wire' into which the small portion of sterling ore, forming the real worth of Sardanapalus, or Redgauntlet, is drawn; but still, the same ease of language, the same wealth of imagery, is everywhere displayed, even in their most precipitate works, by each writer, and with about equal claims on our admiration. Sir Walter, like his late noble competitor for the crown of fame, in his thore recent works, seems to have depended almost wholly on the power of writing ad infinitum, agreeably upon any or no subject. But all-powerful as those two great writers may be considered, in the department of eloquence, and what may be generally described as composition, they are both radically, though not perhaps equally, impotent in the province of character, variously modified by the different circumstances in which it is placed throughout all Lord Byron's poems, that of a noble-minded, but depraved being, of fine feelings, but irregular passions, more or less satirical and misanthropical in his disposition, gloomy, heart-withered, reckless, and irreligious. Sir Walter Scott has taken a cir. cle of somewhat greater circumference, but within which he is just as strictly confined. He has excogitated, or his experience has furnished him with a certain definite number of characters, and these he plays as he would chess-men, sometimes bringing one forward, sometimes another, but without the power of increasing the number of men on the board.”

The Waverley novels were highly admired by Byron ; he never travelled without them. .. 1 hey * said he to Captain Medwin one day, a

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library in themselves—a perfect literary treasure. I could read them once a year with new pleasure." During that morning he had been reading one of Sir Walter's novels, and delivered the following criticism: . How difficult it is to say any thing new Who was that voluptuary of antiquity who offered a reward for a new pleasure? Perhaps all nature and art could not supply a new idea. This page, for instance, is a brilliant one; it is full of wit. But let us see how much is original. This passage," continued his lordship, a comes from shakspeare; this bon mot from one of Sheridan's comedies; this observation from another writer; and yet the ideas are new moulded, and perhaps Scott was not aware of their being plagiarisms. It is a bad thing to have a good memory." - I should not like to have you for a critic," observed Captain Medwin. * Set a thief to catch a thief," was the reply. On the death of the illustrious Byron, Sir Wal

memory:— • That mighty genius, which walked amongst men as something superior to ordinary mortality, and whose powers were beheld with wonder, and something approaching to terror, as if we knew not whether they were of good or of evil, is laid as soundly to rest as the poor peasant whose ideas never went beyond his daily task. The voice of just blame; and that of malignant censure, are at once silenced; and we feel almost as if the great luminary of heaven had suddenly disappeared from the sky, at the moment when every telescope was levelled for the examination of the spots which dimmed its brightness. It is not now the question what were Byron's faults— what his mistakes: but how is the blank which he has left in British literature to be filled up? Not, we fear, in one generation, which, among many highly-gifted persons, has produced none

who approach Byron in originality, the first attribute of genius. Only thirty-seven years old— so much already done for immortality—so much time remaining, as it seems to us short-sighted mortals, to maintain and to extend his fame, and to atone for errors in conduct and levities in composition: who will not grieve that such a race has been shortened, though not always keepint; the straight path—such a light extinguished, though sometimes flaming to dazzle and to bewilder? One word on this ungrateful subject ere we quit it for ever. • I he errors of Lord Byron arose neither from

had ever a kinder heart for sympathy, or a more open hand for the relief of distress; and no mind was ever more formed for the enthusiastic admiration of noble actions, provided he was conVino that the actors had proceeded on disinterested principles. But his wonderful genius was of a nature which disdained restraint, even when restraint was most wholesome. When at school, the tasks in which he excelled were those only which he undertook voluntarily; and his situation as a young man of rank, with strong passions, and in the uncontrolled enjoyment of considerable fortune, added to that impatience of strictness or coercion which was natural to him as an author; he refused to plead at the bar of criticism. As a man, he would not submit to be morally amenable to the tribunal of public opinion. Remonstrances from a friend, of whose intentions and kindness he was secure, had often great weight with him; but there were few who

ter Scott evinced his candour and liberality of could venture on a task so difficult. Reproof he mind in the following tribute to his lordship's

endured with impatience, and reproach hardened him in his error; so that he often resembled the gallant war-steed, who rushes forward on the steel that wounds him. In the most painful crisis of his private life, he evinced this irritability and impatience of censure in such a degree, as almost to resemble the noble victim of the bull-fight, which is more maddened by the squibs, darts, and petty annoyances of the unworthy crowds beyond the lists, than by the lance of his nobler, and (so to speak) his more legitimate antagonist. In a word, much of that in which he erred was in bravado and scorn of his censors, and was done with the motive of Dryden's despot, “to show his arbitrary power. It is needless to say that his was a false and prejudicial view of such a contest; and, if the noble bard gained a sort of triumph, by compelling the world to read poetry, though mixed with baser matter, because it was his, he gave in return an unworthy triumph to the unworthy, beside deep sorrow to those whose applause, in his coolermoments, he most valued. • It was the same with his politics, which on several occasions assumed a tone menacing and contemptuous to the constitution of his country; while, in fact, he was in his own heart sufficiently sensible, not only of his privileges as a Briton, bot of the distinction attending his high birth and rank, and was peculiarly sensitive of those shades which constitute what is termed the manners of a gentleman. Indeed, notwithstanding his having employed epigrams, and all the petty defence of that to which he naturally belonged. • We are not Byron's apologists, for now, alas! he needs none. His excellencies will now be

depravity of heart, for Nature had not commit- war of wit, when such would have been much ted the anomaly of uniting to such extraordinary better abstained from, he would have been found,

talents an imperfect moral sense, nor from feel- had a collision taken place between the different ings dead to the admiration of virtue. No man . parties in the state, exerting all his energies in


universally acknowledged, and his faults (let us

hope and believe) not remembered in his epitaph. It will be recollected what a part he has sustained in British literature since the first appearance of Childe Harold, a space of nearly sixteen years. There has been no reposing under the shade of his laurels, no living upon the resource of past reputation; none of those petty precautions which little authors call taking care of their fame. Byron let his fame take care of itself. His foot was always in the arena, his shield hung always in the lists; and although his own gigantic renown increased the difficulty of the struggle, since he could produce nothing, however great, which exceeded the public estimate of his genius, yet he advanced to the honourable contest again and again, and came always off with distinction, almost always with complete triumph. As various in composition as shakspeare himself (this will be admitted by all who are acquainted with his Don Juan), he has embraced every topic in human life, and sounded every string on the divine harp, from its slightest to its most powerful and heart-astounding tones. There is scarce a passion or a situation which has escaped his pen; and he might be drawn, like Garrick, between the weeping and the laughing muse, although his most powerful efforts have certainly been dedicated to Melpomene. His genius seemed as prolific as various. The most prodigal use did not exhaust his powers, but seemed rather to increase their vigour. Neither childe Harold, nor any of the most beautiful of his earlier tales, contain more exquisite morsels of poetry than are to be found scattered through the cantos of Don Juan, amidst verses which he appears to have thrown off with an effort as spontaneous as that of a tree resigning its leaves to the wind. But that noble tree will never more bear fruit or blossom It has been cut down in its strength, and the past is all that remains to us of Byron. We can scarce reconcile ourselves to the idea—scarce think that the voice is silent for ever, which, bursting so often on our ear, was often heard with rapturous admiration, sometimes with regret, but always with the deepest interest: All that's bright must fade, The brightest still the sleetest.

• With a strong feeling of awful sorrow, we take leave of the subject. Death creeps upon our most serious as well as upon our most idle employments; and it is a reflexion solemn and gratifying, that he found our Byron in no mo

ment of levity, but contributing his fortune, and hazarding his life, in behalf of a people only endeared to him by their past glories, and as fellowcreatures suffering under the yoke of a heathen oppressor. To have fallen in a crusade for freedom and humanity, as in olden times, it would have been an atonement for the blackest crimes, and may in the present be allowed to expiate greater follies than even exaggerated calumny has propagated against Byron.” The first person on whom his Majesty George Iv., conferred a baronetage, was Sir Walter Scott; and in August, 1822, when the king honoured Edinburgh with a visit, Sir Walter acted as croupier, or vice-president, at a dinner given by the Lord Provost and corporation, to the royal guest. In the summer of 1825, Sir Walter paid a visit to Ireland, where he was most hospitably received by the sons of the Shamrock. During his stay in Dublin, he frequently visited the library adjoining St Patrick's cathedral; on one of these occasions the deputy librarian, who happened to be a collegian, having got into conversation with the (then) - Great Unknown,” wished to take him by surprise, and thereby prove his own dexterity, with this view he exclaimed, “Oh, Sir Walter, do you know that it is only lately I have had time to get through your Redgauntlet." Sir," replied Sir Walter, . I never met with such a book." The librarian stood rebuked, and said nothing. As Sir Walter and a friend were one day slowly sauntering along the High-street, Edinburgh, their ears were saluted by the cries of an Italian vender of images, who, in broken English, was extolling his brittle ware to excite custom. The chief burthen of the itinerant merchant's song, however, was the bust of de Grate Unknown, which he declared to be a perfect likeness. He now of. fered his wares to the inspection of our two gentlemen, still dwelling upon a de Grate Unknown," as de a most parfaite likeness of de vonderful original himself.” The friend of Sir Walter desired him to look at the features of the latter, when the poor fellow, in an ecstacy of joy, exclaimed, a’t is he, 'tis de grand unknown I make my most profits by him, and I will beg him to take von, two, tree images, all vat he like, for not any ting." The following lively description of Sir Walter's personal appearance was written by a gentleman who visited Edinburgh about two years ago:— • My departure from ––– was so sudden, that I had no time to seek letters of introduction; and the Scotch are not naturally fond of introductions which only give them trouble; but I had

resolved upon seeing sir walter Scott before I left Edinburgh, and, had Constable been open, I

could have been at no loss, but his door was unfortunately shut. I contrived, however, to get an introduction to Mr ——, the historical painter, with whom I knew the poet was acquainted, and with whom it appears he spends many an hour, but I was just thirty minutes too late! Sir Walter had been there, had told the painter some anecdotes which he assured me threw him into convulsions, and that he had been laughing ever since; and I believed him, for he was hardly out of a convulsion when I entered. Disappointed— I proceeded to the Parliament-house (where Sir Walter sits as chief clerk to the Lord Commissioners), and as soon as I found out my way into court, I had the good luck to find the object of my pursuit. I needed no monitor to point him out—I knew him instantly. I had never seen him before in my life; but I had read some of his works, and, from the pictorial and ideal together, I had formed in my mind his face exactly— and had I seen him hobbling in his favourite • Prince's-street,' I should have known him to be Sir Walter Scott. I pushed ou to the advocates' bench (a place reserved exclusively for the advocates), to be as near him as possible—there I had no right to be, certainly, but, much to the credit of Scotch manners, they saw I was a stranger—knew no better—and they suffered me to remain.—on first beholding Sir W. Scott, I felt all the veneration which is due to the good and the great. I confess I could have knelt down and worshipped him, though to man I never bent a knee. I shall endeavour to describe his personhe is tall, five feet ten or eleven inches, rather stout than otherwise, but not corpulent—appears to be about sixty—is healthy, but lamed in one of his legs, and walks with difficulty. His hair is pure white, and, falling thinly over his ruddy forehead, gives him a venerable aspect. You might fancy him the ‘village Preacher of oliver Goldsmith, and his costume heightens the resemblance. His complexion is ruddy. His head is singularly formed; uncommonly high from the eye-brows to the crown, and tapers upwards, somewhat in the conical form, but there is no projection of forehead, the bump which philosophers lay so much stress upon as being a sign of charm be in the gratification of our curiosity, it is a curiosity, at least, that has its origin in enthusiasm. We are anxious to know all that is possible to be known of those who have an honoured place in public opinion. It is not merely that every circumstance derives a value from the person to whom it relates; but an apparently insignificant anecdote often throws an entirely new light on the history of the most admired works: the most noble actions, intellectual discoveries, or brilliant deeds, though they shed a broad and lasting lustre round those who have achieved them, occupy but a small portion of the life of an individual; and we are not unwilling to penetrate the dazzling glory, and to see how the remaining intervals are filled up—to look into the minor details, to detect incidental foibles, and to be satisfied what qualities they have in common with ourselves, as well as distinct from us, entitled to our pity, or raised above our imitation. The heads of great men, in short, are not all we want to get a sight of; we wish to add the limbs, the drapery, the back-ground. It is thus that, in the intimacy of retirement, we enjoy with them • calm contemplation and poetic ease. " We see the careless smile play upon their expressive features; we hear the dictates of unstudied wisdom, or the sallies of sportive wit fall without disguise from their lips; we see, in fine, how poets, and philosophers, and scholars, live, converse, and behave. With these sentiments, our readers will not be surprised at our introducing here the fol

great intellect, His eyes are small, and I think dark-blue—you can seldom catch their expression, on account of the great projection of the eye-brows; but when you do, the look is divine; they express a mine of intellect, and a kind heart. I wonder many who have seen him say, his countenance is expressive of ‘shrewd cunningthere is no cunning in his looks—nothing but goodness and genius. His manners are prepossessing, and he is very accessible. I perceived,

whenever an advocate or law-man came to speak

with him, he took him kindly by the hand—and

then looked so kindly. The Scotch venerate him, as well they may:—‘suum magnum ingenium honorem illis facit.' I gazed on this extraordinary man until his image was indelibly engraven on my organs of vision; and, were Ia portrait painter, I could now paint his likeness from recollection. Observing I was a stranger, placed in the advocates' seat, and no advocate, and appearing, I have no doubt, very curious, he gazed upon me —we looked at each other, like poor Sterne and the fair glover, for some time—it was curiosity in me, but condescension in him." It is not generally known that there was a poet of the name of Walter Scott, before the present celebrated bard. He lived about the middle of the seventeenth century, and describes himself as

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lowing literary and miscellaneous dialogue, trans

lated from the tour of an eminent foreigner. • Sin W. Scorf.- Well, doctor, how did you like the banks of the Tweed and Melrose Abbey?' DR Pichot.—“They are worthy of the bard who has sung them. I, besides, paid a visit to Abbotsford, and surveyed with interest your Gothic sculptures, your armoury, and pictures, some of which are speaking representations. I shall now re-peruse, with double pleasure, the Lay of the Last Minstrel, and your other works.’ Sin Walter scort.—-‘Are you acquainted with the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border?' Dr. Pichot.—“A great part of it; but more especially with your own imitations of the old border ballads. It was, I believe, your first publication ? Sir Walten Scort.—“Not exactly. I made my debut in 1799, with an imitation of some ballads of Bürger, and a translation of the chivalresque drama of Goethe, Goetz von Berlichingen. These essays procured me the acquaintance of the famous Lewis, author of the Monk, and surnamed Monk Lewis. He was a very agreeable man, whose imagination was particularly fond of the

supernatural, and of popular superstitions. I read to him my Eve of St John and Glenfinlas; and he requested my permission to insert these two poems in his Tales of Wonder.' DR Pichor.— I should apprehend that the Monk of Lewis is a little out of fashion.' SiR WAttrit Scott.—“It is a work written with power. It produced an effect, although it came after the romances of Mrs Radcliffe. Like the latter, Lewis chose the south as the seat of his action: in a southern atmosphere, passions as well as vegetation have more energy; passion is wanted in works of this kind. The marvellous alone will not suffice for so sceptical an age as this. I should have liked Mrs Radcliffe more, if she had been less anxious about the explanation of her mysteries. Lewis wrote as if he believed.' DR Pichot.— Might not Mrs Badcliffe, as a woman, be in dread of passing for superstitious? Sin Walten scort.—- It may be so. Her works, compared with the common novel, are what melo-drames are, compared with tragedies and comedies. Terror is their chief spring of action. But there are some good melo-drames. Walpole created the melo-dramatic romance; but Mrs Radcliffe surpassed Walpole. Lewis and Maturin have alone coune near Mrs Radcliffe. The Montorio Family is a very astonishing work.' DR Pichot.—“Was your Goetz von Berlichingen published at Edinburgh 2 Sir Walten Scott.—-‘No, I published it at London, where I then was. It is from the same epoch that my acquaintance with Messrs Canning and Frere commenced.' DR Pichor.—“You have contributed to transfer a portion of the English bookselling business to Edinburgh.” Sin WALTER Scott.—‘Authors doubtless make publishers; but Mr Archibald Constable has done much for Scotch authorship.' Da Pichot.—‘Scotland has always supplied great men to the literary republic.’ Sin Walten Scott.—“The patriarch of our authors is Mr Henry Mackenzie, who knew Hume and Robertson intimately. In his Life of John Home, he has charmingly described the literary society of Edinburgh during the second half of the last century. He is a poet and romancewriter; a poet in versification, and a poet also in his prose fictions; indeed, it is difficult for a good romance-writer not to be so in some degree. He is an ingenious critic in his periodical essays (the Mirror and Lounger), and a pathetic author in his novels. There is a little of Sterne's manner in his Man of Feeling; the pathos of Julia de Roubigné is more natural and pure.' DR Picnot.—‘Scotland continues to enrich

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