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desired, would not probably have had any difficulty in obtaining such a living as would have placed him in independent circumstances. Resolved, however, to devote himself to the muses, after a long ramble over the Continent he withdrew to the mountains of Cumberland, where his life was, thenceforward, chiefly spent, and depended for a time entirely on a sum bequeathed to him by a friend who died in early life. Slowly, but surely, Wordsworth's poetical works forced their way into public estimation; and, before his death, at the advanced age of eighty, he had received nearly as many honours and practical evidences of the high appreciation of his genius as ever fell to the lot of a poet so retired, and so little inclined to aim at popular favour. From the residence of Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, and Wilson, among the Cumberland Lakes, they were styled, along with one or two contemporaries of somewhat similar style, “The Lake Poets ;" but the term, which was originally employed in ridicule, has long ceased to bear any such construction.
SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.
BORN, 1771; DIED, 1832. Scott is now less remembered as the poet than as the great novelist. Nevertheless, his poetry is justly valued for its truthfulness to nature, and would have sufficed to secure for him an enduring fame, had it not been eclipsed by his later and more popular prose writings. He was the younger son of an Edinburgh writer, and had not his ambition to found a family, and become a landed proprietor, tempted him to involve himself in large tradiug speculations as a printer and publisher, the direct rewards of his literary labours, added to the advantages which they secured for him through the influence of powerful friends, would have enabled him to live in the style of a Scottish gentleman. As Sheriff of Selkirkshire, he had an annual income of £300. As Clerk of the Court of Session, he obtained a still larger sum; and, such was the value of his writings, that by the sale of “Woodstock” alone, one of the least valued of them, and the product of only three months' labour, his creditors realised the sum of £8000. The romance, however, which gave such value to his writings, was a most dangerous element in the practical business of life. By indulging in his romantic and ambitious visions of worldly dignity and honour, he sacrificed the substance for a most illusory shadow; and when, in the disastrous failure of Constable and Ballantyne, in 1826, his connection with these houses could no longer be concealed, his personal liabilities amounted to upwards of £100,000. Then it was that his noble heroism and integrity became manifest. He set himself to work, when he might have looked forward to the wellearned honours of old age, to redeem his fair fame, and to right all who had suffered by his dreams of romantic ambition. His exertions were great, and the amount of his success wonderful ; but the task he had set himself was beyond his powers; and after a voyage to Italy, in the vain hope of restoring his shattered constitution, he only returned to die on the banks of the Tweed, in the mansion which he had reared with so much pride. In 1820, he was created a Baronet by George IV., and his great ambition was to perpetuate its hereditary honours in his family; but already, before his contemporaries have followed him to the grave, his splendid dream of family rank