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be at his disposal for the voyage. On the 29th October the Barham set sail with its illustrious freight.
Blessings and prayers, in nobler retinue
Wafting your charge to soft Parthenope! Visiting Graham's Island, a volcanic curiosity, which disappeared soon after he had trodden its transitory dust, and Malta by the way, he reached Naples, where he met his son Charles who was attached to the embassy. Here his inind was agitated with literary schemes, and his physical activities went the whole length of his strength. He began to revert in thought to his first love, poetry. But he only succeeded in reaching home to die. He was still at Naples when he heard of the death of Goethe, on the 221 March 1832. “Alas for Goethe !” he exclaimed ; " but he at least died at home. Let us to Abbotsford.”
On the 16th of April he left Naples, passed through Rome, the Tyrol, Frankfort. At Nimeguen he bad another attack of paralysis, combined with apoplexy. He reached London on the 16th June, almost in a state of insensibility. He was removed to Scotland by steamer, and landed on the quay at Newhaven. As his carriage approached the scenery of the vale of Tweed, he began to gaze about. Catching at length from a distance a glimpse of Abbotsford, he sprang up from his prostration with a cry of delight. The presence of a friend had always lately excited a flash, but no more. The endearments of home awoke him to something like continued sensibility. He was wheeled about a short time for a few successive days in a Bath chair. He tried once to write, but could not. The pen dropped, and tears followed. He retired to the couch from which he hardly ever afterwards arose.
Several weeks passed thus, whilst his bodily strength was gradually decaying. At length the intervals of returning sensibility ceased, and on the 21st September he drew his last breath in the presence of all his children. About a month before he had completed his 61st year.
On Wednesday, the 26th September 1832, the remains of Sir Walter Scott were laid in the tomb of his maternal ancestors, amid the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey.
Measures were taken soon after to discharge the debts he had made such exertions to wipe out, by means of his literary and other property, and the house of Abbotsford was thus preserved to his family, in whose possession it remains.
THE LAST MINSTREL.
IN SIX CANTOS.
"Dam relego, scripsisse pudet; quia plurima cerno,
Me quoque, qui feci, Jadice, digna lini."
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
CHARLES, EARL OF DALKEITH,
THIS POEM IS INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION, 1805.
THE Poem, now offered to the Public, is intended to illustrate the customs and manners which anciently prevailed on the Borders of England and Scotland. The inhabitants, living in a state partly pastoral and partly warlike, and combining habits of constant depredation with the influence of a rude spirit of chivalry, were often engaged in scenes highly susceptible of poetical ornament. As the description of scenery and man. ners was more the object of the Author, than a combined and regular narrative, the plan of the ancient Metrical Romance was adopted, which allows greater latitude, in this respect, than would be consistent with the dignity of a regular Poem. The same model offered other facilities, as it permits an occasional alteration of measure, which, in some degree, authorizes the change of rhythm in the text. The machinery, also, adopted from popular belief, would have seemed puerile in a Poem which did not partake of the rudeness of the old Ballad, or Metrical Romance.
For these reasons, the Poem was put into the mouth of an ancient Minstrel, the last of the race, who, as he is supposed to have survived the Revolution, might have caught some yhat of the refinement of modern poetry, without losing the simplicity of his original model. The date of the Tale itself is about the middle of the sixteenth century, when most of the personages actually flourished. The time occupied by the action is Three Nights and Three Days