Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott (of 10) Volume I

Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott (of 10) Volume I

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Excerpt: ...with some of the expletives of Tom Pipes." 67 When, many years afterwards, Clerk read The Pirate, he was startled by the resurrection of a hundred traits of the table-talk of this lugger; but the author has since traced (p. 132) some of the most striking passages in that novel to his recollection of the almost childish period when he hung on his own brother Robert's stories about Rodney's battles and the haunted keys of the West Indies. One morning Scott called on Clerk, and, exhibiting his stick all cut and marked, told him he had been attacked in the streets the night before by three fellows, against whom he had defended himself for an hour. "By Shrewsbury clock?" said his friend. "No," said Scott, smiling, "by the Tron." But thenceforth, adds Mr. Clerk, and for twenty years after, he called his walking stick by the name of "Shrewsbury." With these comrades Scott now resumed, and pushed to a much greater extent, his early habits of wandering over the country in quest of castles and other remains of antiquity, his passion for which derived a new impulse from the conversation of the celebrated John Clerk of Eldin, 68 the father of his friend. William Clerk well remembers his father telling a story which was introduced in due time in The Antiquary. While he was visiting his grandfather, Sir John Clerk, at Dumcrieff, in Dumfriesshire, many years before this time, the old Baronet carried some English virtuosos to see a supposed Roman camp; and on his exclaiming at a particular spot, "This I take to have been the Praetorium," a herdsman who stood by answered, "Praetorium here Praetorium there, I made it wi' a slaughter spade." 69 Many traits of the elder Clerk were, his son has no doubt, embroidered on the character of George Constable in the composition of Jonathan Oldbuck. The old gentleman's enthusiasm, for antiquities was often played on by these young friends, but more effectually by his eldest son, John Clerk (Lord Eldin), who, having a great
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Product details

  • Paperback | 98 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 5mm | 191g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236720059
  • 9781236720054