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Editors for February-C. E. BURNS, S. G. BARNES, W. H. SCHUYLER.




BY H. G. M.


We had glanced at Edinburgh; we had just finished our ramblings through glorious old Melrose Abbey, which through its beautiful stone tracery, its crumbling walls and tumble-down tomb-stones told us of its magnificence five hundred years ago. There was one place yet to be visited ere we took cars for Liverpool. A great, lumbering one-horse carriage was at the hotel door; it was engaged for five shillings, which amounted to seven before we returned; we jumped in; the door was slammed shut with almost noise enough to wake the dead, and away we went, on that cool October morning, over such a road as would delight Americans "to all eternity,' through the quaint little village of Darnick, with the smoke wreathing out of the chimneys, and great stout Scotchmen standing at their gates, wishing us a good morning as we passed to Abbotsford. In half an hour the carriage halted on the border of a grove, and, alighting, we opened a wicket-gate, passed down a romantic path overhung with lovely trees, and going through the gate-way were ushered into the presence of the residence of Sir Walter Scott.

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I would like to picture it as I saw it then-that irregular brick building, with its pleasant windows and dainty towers, its winding

walks and sombre elm trees, and its green terraces sloping gently down to the Tweed, which here sweeps around a declivity that overhangs the river. Vases and statues are placed here and there; beautiful flowers nod and laugh and dance in the morning sun, and hedges separate one plot from another. Bowers or benches. are placed in little nooks or commanding positions. (Were there lovers in those days?) Half way between the building and river there is a homely white-washed fence-we would call it homely in America, but it was picturesque in Scotland. And while I think of it I might as well jot down what I saw beyond this fence: three old elm trees standing together near the river brink; underneath them three lazy cows, stretching themselves after their night's nap. An unpainted, uncouth boat was rolling up and down in the Tweed, trying to break its fastening, and through the fog that was rising I spied a fisherman in mid-stream tugging away as though every nibble would draw him under.

"The place itself,"-I quote from Mr. Lockhart, Sir Walter's. son-in-law, though not to the general observer a very attractive one, had long been one of peculiar interest for him. I have often heard him tell that, while traveling in his boyhood with his father from Selkirk to Melrose, the old man suddenly desired the carriage to halt at the foot of an eminence, and said, 'We must get out here, Walter, and see a thing quite in your line.' His father then conducted him to a rude stone (called turn-again) about half a mile above the Tweed at Abbotsford, which marks the spot

"Where gallant Cessford's life-blood dear
Reeked on dark Elliot's border spear.'

"This was the conclusion of the battle of Melrose, fought in 1526, between the Earls of Angus and Home and the two chiefs of the race of Ker on the one side and Buccleuch on the other, in sight of the young King James V, the possession of whose person was the object of the contest. In his own future domain the young minstrel had before him the scene of the last great clan battle of the borders."

But we have stayed out in the cold long enough. We enter the mansion by a small waiting-room, with a very low ceiling, and the walls of which are hung with old portraits and wood-cuts, and above the doors are petrified stags' horns. After registering our name in a large visitors' book our attendant takes us into a narrow passage,

up a flight of stairs just as narrow, and passing through a doorway we stand in the library. This, 50 feet by 60, is the largest apartment, and a royal place it is. The ceiling is carved oak. The floor is of oak, too, no carpet being used. Around the three, and part of the fourth, walls, are arranged 20,000 volumes, some of them very rare and valuable, and all handsomely bound, shut off from the touch of the vulgar by neat wire doors, all of which are fastened with delicate brass padlocks. Books in almost every language are there next to the English the French predominating. Easy chairs are grouped about, the room, and near the large window, overlooking the Tweed, is a huge table-desk, filled with apartments and covered with books. In the east wall, standing in a recess, on a neat pedestal, is a magnificent marble bust of Scott.

Out of the library we go into the drawing-room, the handsomest of all the apartments, with wood of cedar for the roof. Here are many of the presents given Scott by his friends, among them some rich ebony chairs, beautifully carved cabinets, tables, ottomans, &c. There is here, also, a fine collection of paintings-a full-length portrait of Colonel Scott, Sir Walter's son, who died on his way home from the Cape of Good Hope; the head of Queen Mary on a charger the day after she was beheaded; portraits of Charles XII of Sweden, of Oliver Cromwell, of Scott's two daughters, Charles II, Claverhouse, and one of the novelist's great-grandfather, who allowed his beard to grow after Charles I was executed.

Then we enter the armory, very small, but next to the study the most interesting room in the building, for here are weapons of rare workmanship, quaint pistols, quainter guns, relics from India, great broadswords, and the beautiful sword belonging to Sir Walter. There, beside the door, hanging in a rack, is Scott's rifle; above it rifles belonging to his gamekeeper and Rob Roy, and looking down on all are curious carved figures in wood taken from the same on Melrose Abbey.

And here we are in the rich entrance hall, with panelled walls and an arched roof of carved oak from the palace of Dunfermline. These same walls "are hung with ancient armor and various specimens of military implements." The floor is of marble from the Hebrides. In middle of the north wall there is a huge fire-place, such a one, I pictured, as the Cotter was wont to spend his Saturday nights around. "Round the cornice there is a line of coats

armorial richly blazoned, belonging to the families who kept the Borders as the Douglases, Kers, Scotts, Turnbulls, Maxwells, Chisholms, Elliots, and Armstrongs." Near a window, looking out into the yard, is a glass case containing the body-clothes-ah, what sacred relics !-worn by Scott before he died. There is the high broad-brimmed white hat, the old-fashioned green coat with large brass buttons, the white and black plaid trousers, the low shoes, the ankle-gaiters, and the heavy walking stick-sad reminders of him who shall put them on no more! We looked long and intently. We were loath to turn away, when the kind voice of the usher -wonder if he fathomed our thoughts-bade us enter the study. On the way I glanced at three meerschaums hanging in a case, the ones Sir Walter smoked. Those pipes were made of good stuffat least they had colored well. How nice it was in our attendant to bring us to the study last. From the light admitted by a single window we see this most interesting room, with its small officetable, chairs, and books of reference that crowd three of the walls. Up a diminutive ladder we clambered to a light gallery which opens on a private stair-case by which Sir Walter could enter the study from his bedroom. Then we clambered down again and sat in the arm-chair covered with black leather where Scott sat when he penned his writings, and leaned on the old desk. What a sacred place! Here he wrote, in yonder room he died-Scotland's great novelist, Sir Walter Scott. Waverly, Ivanhoe and Kenilworth, and his other great masterpieces, Marmion, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, The Lady of the Lake, and his other poetic gems will be his monument-whiter than marble, more enduring than bronze.

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