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Sir Walter Scott
(English Men of Letters Series)

written by "Hutton, Richard Holt, 1826-1897"
...e Lady of the Lake, part of The Bridal of Triermain, and part of Rokeby, and writing reviews, he wrote a Life of Dryden, and edited his works anew with some care, in eighteen volumes, edited Somers's Collection of Tracts, in thirteen volumes, quarto, Sir Ralph Sadler's Life, Letters, and State Papers, in three volumes, quarto, Miss Seward's Life and Poetical Works, The Secret History of the Court of James I., in two volumes, Strutt's Queenhoo Hall, in four volumes, 12mo., and various other single volumes, and began his heavy work on the edition of Swift. This was the literary work of eight years, during which he had the duties of his Sheriffship, and, after he gave up his practice as a barrister, the duties of his Deputy Clerkship of Session to discharge regularly. The editing of Dryden alone would have seemed to most men of leisure a pretty full occupation for these eight years, and though I do not know that Scott edited with the anxious care with which that sort of work is often now prepared, that he went into all the arguments for a doubtful reading with the pains that Mr. Dyce spent on the various readings of Shakespeare, or that Mr. Spedding spent on a various reading of Bacon, yet Scott did his work in a steady, workmanlike manner, which satisfied the most fastidious critics of that day, and he was never, I believe, charged with hurrying or scamping it. His biographies of Swift and Dryden are plain solid pieces of work—not exactly the works of art which biographies have been made in our day—not comparable to Carlyle's studies of Cromwell or Frederick, or, in point of art, even to the life of John Sterling, but still sensible and interesting, sound in judgment, and animated in style. FOOTNOTES: [24] Lockhart's Life of Scott, ii. 268-9. [75] CHAPTER VIII. REMOVAL TO ABBOTSFORD, AND LIFE THERE. In May, 1812, Scott having now at last obtained the salary of the Clerkship of Session, the work of which he ha...

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