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HAL YAN" ELDARY

GIIT OF
EDWIN FRANCIS GAY
AUG 30 1932

Copyright, 1895,
BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.

All rights reserved

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

men.

SIR WALTER Scott came of a family of Scotch gentle

One of his ancestors, six generations before him, whose name also was Walter Scott, is celebrated in “The Lay of the Last Minstrel ;” and his grandfather, Robert Scott, is described in the poetical introduction to “ Marmion,” the third canto. Sir Walter's father, who was a successful solicitor in Edinburgh, was the first man 6 of the great riding and sporting and fighting clan to adopt a town life and a sedentary profession." It was in Edinburgh that Sir Walter, the ninth of twelve children, was born on August 15, 1771, precisely two years (as the date has usually been fixed) after the birth of Napoleon, whose life he wrote; a piece of literary work that was done for frofit, that brought a large sum, and that has long ago been forgotten. Several more or less important dates in English literature fall near this time. During this very year, 1771, Gray died; the next year Coleridge was born and the year thereafter Goldsmith died. Dr. Johnson lived thirteen years after Scott's birth, and Byron was his contemporary, although he was seventeen years younger. The three great Scotchmen of our literature were alive at the same time, for a brief period; for Carlyle was born the year before Burns died, and Scott was then twenty-five

years old.

In his early childhood, Scott was left lame by a fever which, as he said, rather disfigured than disabled him; for, in spite of his lameness, he became a very robust man, and he was exceedingly handsome. During the weakly period

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