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Literaria, or biographical sketches of bour to procure a reputation for him his life and opinions; and other works, as the founder of a sect in morals or poetical and political. In 1818, he philosophy. The chief fault of Colecommenced The Friend, a series of ridge's poetry lies in the style, which essays, that extended to three volumes; has been justly objected to on account and in the tenth and eleventh num- of its obscurity, general turgidness of bers of which, he says, he has left a diction, and a profusion of new-coined record of inis principles. !n 1825, he double epithets. With regard to its ob. published Aids to Reflection, in the scurity, he says, in the preface to a late formation of a manly character, &c.; edition of his poems, that where he and, in 1830, his Treatise on the Con- appears unintelligible, the deficiency stitution of the Church and State, ac- is in the reader.” This is nothing more cording to the idea of each : with aids
or less than to suppose his readers entowards a right judgment of the late dowed with the powers of divination; for catholic bill. Mr. Coleridge is at pre- we defy any one who is not in the consent residing at Highgate, where he fidence of the author upon the subject, occasionally receives his literary friends, to solve the riddle which is appended, and passes his time in reading, and the as a conclusion, to Christabel. He amusements of his garden. He is said | might as well attribute deficiency of to excel all his cotemporaries in powers capacity to a beholder of his counteof argument; and, when once fairly nance, who should fail, in its workings, launched on any favourite topic, to be to discover the exact emotions of his possessed of the faculty of rivetting, for mind; for Mr. ('oleridge has afforded hours, the attention of his audience, by no clearer clue to the generality of his the charm of his eloquence alone. poetical arcana This is particularly
In addition to the works already inanifest in his singularly wild and mentioned, he wrote, during the peace striking poein of The Ancient Mariner, of Amiens, essays for The Morning Post on which he is said to have written the and Courier. Mr. Fox is said to have following epigram, addressed to himself: pointed his allusion to these contri
Your poem must eternal be, butions, when he declared, that the war, which followed the above treaty,
For, 'tis incomprehensible,
Aud without head wt tail, was a war raised by The Morning Post. Whilst Mr. Coleridge was staying at
Mr. Coleridge is unques:ionably at Rome, Buonaparte is said to have sent the head of the Lake school of poctry', an order for his arrest, from which he and excels all his fraternity of that class was rescued, partly by the forbearance in feeling, fancy, and sublimity. Some of the late pope, Pius the Seventh. Our of his minor poems will bear compa. poet, however, has never displayed any rison with those of the burds of this or evidence of his having been guided by any other age or commtry; and his any fixed political creed ; and he alto- verses on Love appear to its the niost geiler disowns, as was hinted by The touching, delicate, and beatitiful deliMorning Chronicle, that he ever bei neation of that passion, that tier was tered his fortune by his labours as a penned. Mr. Coleridge, who is much political writer. Indeed, it is as a poet esteemed in private lite, is, he believe, vuly that he will be known by posterity; a widower, but has two sons suiviving, however zealously his friends may la- who have graduated at the universities,
Dear sir! it cannot fail;
SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.
This illustrious author, descended early removal to a farm insi froin a respectable family, and the son cailed Sandy know, nevi" . of a writer to the signet, was born at Tweed, where he rt sist up Edinburgh, on the i5in of August, under the care of his per 1771. Til health rendered necessary his failer. The mode ini
outry, Sale of
this portion of his youth, and the pears to have had a strong desire for a scenery by which he was surrounded, 1 military life ; but a lameness in his right are strikingly described in the intro- leg prevented him from following his duction to the third canto of Marmion. inclination. On being told that this He received the rudiments of educa- defect was an insuperable bar to his tion at an academy kept by a Mr. wishes, he, in an agony of mortified seelLeechınan, in Edinburgh, whence he ing, went and suspended himself by the was removed to the high school, then wrists from his bed-room window, and under the superintendence of Dr. on being discovered in this situation, Adam; but, during the four years he said he wished to prove, that however remained there, he does not appear to unfitted by his limbs for the profession liave displayed any remarkable abilities. of a soldier, he was at least strong There is his own authority for saying, enough in his arms. In the October of observes the writer of his life in Cham- the year last-mentioned, he became a bers's Edinburgh Journal, that even in student of the University of Edinthe exercise of metrical translation, he burgh, and left it in a year or two, fell far short of some of his companions, without having added much to his stock although others preserve a somewhat of classical knowledge. At the age of different recollection, and state,
that fifteen, the breaking of a blood-vessel this was a department in which he als brought on an illness, which, to use his ways manifested a superiority. His own words," threw him back on the passion for tale-telling probably was no kingdom of fiction, as if by a species of small hindrance to his advancement at fatality." Being for some time forschool, as he himself confesses in his bidden to speak or move, he did nothing general introduction to a new edition but read, from morning to night; and of his novels. “I believe,” he says, by a perusal of old romances, old plays, " some of my old schoolfellows can still and epic poetry, was unconsciously bear witness that I had a distinguished amassing materials for his future character for that talent, at a time when writings. His studies, he tells us, rethe applause of my companions was sembled those of Waverley in a similar my recompense for the disgraces and situation; "the passages concerning plinishments, which the future romance whose reading," he adds, “were imiwriter incurred, for being idle himself tated from recollections of my own." and keeping others idie, during hours In his sixteenth year, he commenced that should have been employed on our studying for the bar, and became an tisks. The chief enjoyment of my apprentice to his father, and a pupil of holidays was to escape with a chosen Professor Dick, the professor of civil friend, who had the same taste with law in the university. On the 10th myself, and alternately to recite to each of July, 1792, he passed advocate, and other such wild adventures as we were began life in an elegant house in the able to devise. We told, each in turn, most fashionable part of the town; but interminable tales of knight errantry, being already placed beyond the reach and bariles and enchantments, which of want by the affluence of his father, were continued from one day to another and his iniellect being by no means of as opportunity offered, without our ever the forensic cast, he, with the exception thinking of bringing them to a con- of one occasion in defence of a prisoner, clusion. As we observed a strict se- gave no indication of professional cacrecy on the subject of this intercourse, pacities, nor exerted himself to display it acquired all the character of a con- ihem. cealed pleasure ; and we used to select, Taking advantage, therefore, of the for the scenes of our indulgence, long occurrence of circumstances favourable walks through the solitary and ro- to the developement of his poetical mantic environs of Arthur's Seat, Salis- genius, he, after a few years' practice, bury Craigs, Braid Hills, and similar gave up the bar, and devoted himself to places in the vicinity of Edinburgh; literary pursuits. This was primarily and the recollection of those holidays in consequence of an introduction to still forms an oasis in the pilgrimage Mr. Lewis, author of The Monk, whose which I have to look back upon.” imitations of the German ballad poets
On leaving school, in 1783, he ap- had acquired for their author a degree
of fame which ronised the ambition of troductory narrative to a late edition of Scott. He had already made some pro The Lay of the Last Minstrel, he gives gress in the language alluded to, but, a very interesting sketch of his reasons with the exception of a few verses on a for renouncing the bar, and of the thunder storm, and other subjects, com manner in which he had passed part of posed at the high school, he does not his time previous to the above period. appear, up to this period, to have at “ Since my fourteenth or fifteenth tempted any thing in rhyme.. “ I had year," he says, "my health, originally, not,' for ten years," he says, “indulged delicate, had been extremely robust;" the wish to couple so much as love and and in defiance of his lameness, he dove ; when, finding Lewis in possession continues, “ I had often walked thirty of so much reputation, and conceiving miles a day, and rode upwards of a that, if I fell behind him in poetical hundred without stopping.”
An unpowers, I considerably exceeded him willingness to resign this sort of exerin general information, I suddenly took cise was not one of the least induce. it into my head to attempt the style by ments to his secession from the bar; which he had raised himself to fame. whilst his income, as he says, being His first essay was a translation of equal to all the comforts and some of Bürger's Leonore, which, consisting of the elegancies of life, he was not pressed sixty-six stanzas, he began one evening to an irksome employment by neafter supper,
and finished by day-break cessity, and was, consequently, the the following morning. He published more easily seduced to choose the emit, together with The Wild Huntsman, ployment which was most agreeable. in 1796, under the title of The Chase, In 1805, he published The Lay of and William and Helen; but its fate, the Last Minstrel, which was comhe confesses, was by no means flatter- | posed at the rate of a canto per week ; ing, and a great part of the edition was and, on its completion, produced him condemned to the service of the trunk- £600. He was shortly afterwards apmakers.
pointed a principal clerk in the court In 1797, he became quarter-master of session, on the retirement of Mr. in the Edinburgh volunteer light Home, upon an understanding, at our dragoons; and, in the same year, he author's request, that the former should married Miss Margaret Carpenter, continue to draw the emoluments until daughter of a French refugee, and who his decease. When George the Third possessed an annuity of £400 per an: signed the commission, he is reported num. He soon afterwards took a house to have said that he was happy to have at Lasswade, on the banks of the Eske; it in his power to reward a man of and, in 1799, he was appointed sheriff genius, and a person of such distinof Selkirkshire, into which county he guished merit. Mr. Scott received the consequently removed, and engaged the salary attached to the office about six house of Asherteil, on the banks of the years afterwards, which, together with Tweed, where he resided until his re the profits of his shrievalty, amounted moval to Abbotsford. In the same to £1,500 per annum.
In 1806, apyear, he published Goetz of Berlichin-peared a collection of his
poems, entitled gen, a tragedy, translated from the Ballads and Lyrical Pieces, which were German of Goethé; and, in 1802, ap succeeded by an elegant edition of his peared his first publication of any note, Poetical Works, in five volumes. In entitled The Minstrelsy of the Scottish 1808, he sold, for £1,000, his Marmion; Border, in two volumes, to which a the extraordinary success of which inthird was added in the following year. duced him, he says, for the first and The work displayed much curious and last time in his life, to feel something abstruse learning, and gained the author approaching to vanity. It was suca considerable reputation as an histori- ceeded by his edition of Dryden's cal and traditionary poet. In 1803, he Works, with a life of the author; and, came to the final resolution of quitting in 1809, he assisted in editing The his profession, observing “there was State Papers and Letters of Sir Ralph no great love between us at the begin. Sadler, which were published in two ning, and it pleased heaven to decrease quarto volumes. In 1810, he composed it on farther acquaintance.”
In his in his Lady of the Lake; in his introduc
tion to a late.edition of which, he tells men of Roxburgshire." With a view, us, that a lady of taste having strongly according to the same authority, of advised him not to risk a fail in the procuring the means of extending his estimation of the public by the publica: estate, Sir Walter composed that detion of this poem, he repied, If I lightful series of fiction, which, at fail, it is a sign that I onight never to the termination of the Georgian era, have succeeded, and I will write prose amounted to no less than seventy for life." Its success, he adds, was so volumes. From 1815 to 1819, apo extraordinary, as to induce him, for the peared, successively, Guy Mannering; moment, to conclude that he had at ihe Antiquary; and the first series of last fixed a nail in the proverbially in- The Tales of My Landlord, containing constant wheel of fortune, whose sta- The Black Dwarf and Old Mortality; bility in behalf of an individual who Rob Roy; and the second series of The had so boldly couried her favours for Tales of My Landlord, containing The three successive times, had not, as yet, Heart of Mid Lothian; and the third been shaken. In 1811, appeared his series of Tales of My Landlord, conDon Roderick; and, in 1813, Rokeby, taining The Bride of Laminermoor and which met with a less favourable re- A Legend of Montrose. In all of these, ception than a burlesque upon it under with the exception of Old Mortality, he the title of Jokeby. it was succeeded, had contrived to keep clear ot' national in 1814, by The Lord of the Isles; but prejudices; but, in the work just alluded it made so little impression upon the to, his partial portraiture of the cavapublic, that, in allusion to this and the liers offended his countrymen, and two preceding productions, a friend gave rise to
a pamphlet from Dr. observed to him, “his works only found M•Crie in The Christian Instructor, a tolerable sale in consequence of having which Sir Walter answered in a subhis name upon the title-page.” To put sequent series of The Tales of My this assertion to the prooi, he published | Landlord. In 1820, in which year he his next poems anonymously, entitled was made a baronet, were published The Bridal of Triermain, and Harold Ivanhoe, one of the most popular, and the Dauntless, which are certainly the The Monastery and The Abbot, the least least popular of his poetical compo- meritorious, of the Waverley novels. silions.
In 1821, appeared Kenilworth ; which He now resolved to attempt prose was succeeded, successively, by The writing; and, in the year last-men- Pirate; The Fortunes of Nigel; Peveril tioned, he published Waverley, about a of the Peak; Quentin Durward; Tales third of which he had written eleven of the Crusaders; Woodstock; Chroyears previously, but had thrown it nicles of the Canongate, first and second áside in consequence of the unfavourable series; and Anne of Geierstein, which opinion of a critical friend. It seems was published in 1829.
In the mean that he took more than ordinary pains time, some of the most important transto conceal that he was the author of actions of his life had occurred; the this work, even after it had been fully bankruptcy of Messrs. Constable and established in the estimation of the Co., in January, 1826, had involved public. The writer of his life, before hiin in obligations to the amount of quoted from, assigns as one reason for £100,000 ; and, in the following May, this, Sir Walter's reluctance to be he had the misfortune to lose his wife. considered as one writing for fortune, He bore the former event with great and having previously, expressed an magnanimity. “It is very hard," was opinion, that our author's desire of be- his observation to a friend on the occacoming a land proprietor was a passion sion, “ thus to lose all the labours of a which far exceeded bis appetite for lifetime, and be made a poor man at literary fame, observes, “It was now last, when I oughi to have been otherthe principal spring of his actions, to wise. But if God grant me health and add as much as possible to the little strength for a few years longer, I have realm of Abbotsford, in order that be no doubt that I shall redeemn it all." might take his place-not among the He now felt himsell called upon to regreat literary names which posterity is double his literary exertions; and, after to revere, but among the county gentle having sold his house and furniture in
Edinburgh, he published, in 1827, his also written some political papers on Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, in nire the Tory side, particularly in a weekly volumes octavo : the profits of which, journal called The Beacon ; but those amounting to £12,000, with other earn- for which he is most celebrated are the ings and resources, enabled him to pay letters signed Malachi Malagrowther, his creditors a dividend of about six in which he opposed the parliamentary shillings in the pound.
regulations, then in progress, for reIt was in this year, at the first ducing the monetary system of Scotannual dinner of the Edinburgh Thea land to an equality with that of Engtrical Fund Association, that Sir Walter land. He was particularly careful about avowed himself to be the author of The the proof of these letters; which being Waverley Novels, and threw off the remarked to him by Mr. Ballantyne, mantle of disguise, which, as he after the printer, “Yes," said he, in a ione wards remarked to a friend, was getting that electrified even this familiar friend, somewhat lattered. “ He did
my former works were for myself, think," he said, " that in coming to the but this is for my country.” assembly rooms that day, he would Sir Walter Scott, is upwards of six feet have the task of acknowledging, before in height; bulky, but not corpulent in three hundred gentlemen, a secret, the upper part of his body; and slightly which, considering that it was com- lame in his right limb, which requires municated to more than twenty people, to be supported by a staff. The most had been remarkably well kept. He remarkable part of his person is said was now before the bar of his country, to be his head, which is tall and and might be understood to be on his cylindrical, with a small chin, large trial betore Lord Meadowbank as an bushy eyebrows, thin lips, and little offender, yet he was sure that every grey eyes, possessing, says his biogrào impartial jury would bring in a verdict pher, " the extraordinary property of of not proven. He did not now think shutting as much below as from above, it necessary to enter into the reasons of when their possessor is excited by a his long silence : perhaps caprice had a ludicrous idea.” When not animated by great share in it. He had only to say,
conversation, his countenance is somehowever, that the merits of these works, times heavy, if not vacant; but the if they had any, and their faults, were cheerfulness of his mind renders, in entirely imputable to himself.”
general, bis aspect more humorous than In November, 1928, he published the solemn. first, and in 1829, the second part of a His great intellectual characteristics juvenile history of Scotland, entitled are, his powers of memory and imagiThe Tales of a Grandfather; and in the nation, his faculty of combining and same year appeared a new edition of the embellishing past events, and his skill Waverley Novels, the copyright of which in portraying natural character. was purchased for £8,400. This was poet, he is neither profound nor subillustrated by notes and prefac s, and, lime; he deals, as in his prose, with the in some parts, amended by the author, beings of the past; but, having little or whose creditors or himself were to have no scope for the delineation of familiar half of the profits, in consideration of characier, his verses, though replete Sir Walter's literary aid. In addition with good feeling and pleasing imagery, to those already mentioned, our author are deficient in interest to the general wrote several minor and fugitive works, reader, and fail to awaken bis sympaparticularly the lives of Swift and thies, though they may gratify his taste. Dryden, with an edition of their works; It is in the character of a novelist Palil's Letters to his Kinsfolk; a poem that his name will go down to posterity, called The Field of Waterloo ; An Ac- as the inventor of a new class of ficticount of the Regalia of Scotland; tious writing, in which respect he is only Halidon Hill, a dramatic poem; An equalled by Shakspeare, Milton, Byron, Introductory Essay to Border Anti- | Godwin, Banim, and Shelley. His Life quities; and the articles, Chivalry, of Napoleon is a decided failure; we in Romance, and The Drama, for the vain look either for the accuracy of the Supplement of the sixth edition of The historian or the profundity of the philoEncyclopædia Britannica. lle liad sopher; and imagination takes up much