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By sudden blasts, or slow decline,
Our social comforts drop away.'* “ I am not sure whether it was your ladyship, or the poor Duchess of Buccleuch, who met my mother once, and flattered me by being so much pleased with the good old lady. She had a mind peculiarly well stored with much acquired information and natural talent, and as she was very old, and had an excellent memory, she could draw without the least exaggeration or affectation the most striking pictures of the past age. If I have been able to do anything in the way of painting the past times, it is very much from the studies with which she presented me. She connected a long period of time with the present generation, for she remembered, and had often spoken with, a person who perfectly recollected the battle of Dunbar, and Oliver Cromwell's subsequent entry into Edinburgh. She preserved her faculties to the very day before her final illness; for our friends Mr and Mrs Scott of Harden visited her on the Sunday; and, coming to our house after, were expressing their surprise at the alertness of her mind, and the pleasure which she had in talking over both ancient and modern events. She had told them with great accuracy the real story of the Bride of Lammermuir, and pointed out wherein it differed from the novel. She had all the names of the parties, and detailed (for she was a great genealogist) their connexion
* Lines on the death of Mr Robert Levet.
with existing families. On the subsequent Monday she was struck with a paralytic affection, suffered little, and that with the utmost patience; and what was God's reward, and a great one to her innocent and benevolent life, she never knew that her brother and sister, the last thirty years younger than herself, had trodden the dark path before her. She was a strict economist, which she said enabled her to be liberal ; out of her little income of about £300 a-year she bestowed at least a third in well chosen charities, and with the rest lived like a gentlewoman, and even with hospitality more general than seemed to suit her age; yet I could never prevail on her to accept of any assistance. You cannot conceive how affecting it was to me to see the little preparations of presents which she had assorted for the New Year —for she was a great observer of the old fashions of her period — and to think that the kind heart was cold which delighted in all these acts of kindly affection. I should apologize, I believe, for troubling your ladyship with these melancholy details, but you would not thank me for a letter written with constraint, and my mind is at present very full of this sad subject, though I scarce know any one to whom I would venture to say so much. I hear no good news of Lady Anne, though Lord Montagu writes cautiously. The weather is now turning milder, and may, I hope, be favourable to her complaint. After my own family, my thought most frequently turns to these orphans, whose parents I loved and respected so much. - I am always, dear Lady Louisa, your very respectful and obliged WALTER SCOTT."
There is in the library at Abbotsford a fine copy of Baskerville's folio Bible, two vols., printed at Cambridge in 1763; and there appears on the blank leaf, in the trembling handwriting of Scott's mother, this inscription—“ To my dear son, Walter Scott, from his affectionate mother, Anne Rutherford, January 1st, 1819.” Under these words her son has written as follows :-“ This Bible was the gift of my grandfather Dr John Rutherford, to my mother, and presented by her to me; being, alas ! the last gift which I was to receive from that excellent parent, and, as I verily believe, the thing which she most loved in the world, — not only in humble veneration of the sacred contents, but as the dearest pledge of her father's affection to her. As such she gave it to me; and as such I bequeath it to those who may represent me— charging them carefully to preserve the same, in memory of those to whom it has belonged, 1820.”
If literary success could have either filled Scott's head or hardened his heart, we should have no such letters as those of December 1819. Ivanhoe was received throughout England with a more clamorous delight than any of the Scotch novels had been. The tion — equal to 15 or 10 of the originas ampo-- uengnt than any of the Scotch novels had been. The