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So though the waves are raging white, I'll row you o'er the ferry."
By this the storm grew loud apace,
And in the scowl of heaven each face
But still as wilder blew the wind,
Adown the glen rode armed men,
"O haste thee, haste!" the lady cries,
I'll meet the raging of the skies,
The boat had left a stormy land,
A stormy sea before her,—
The tempest gather'd o'er her.
And still they row'd amidst the roar
Of waters fast prevailing:
His wrath was changed to wailing.
For sore dismay'd, through storm and shade,
His child he did discover:—
And one was round her lover.
"Come back! come back!" he cried in grief,
"Across this stormy water:
My daughter!—oh my daughter!"
'Twas vain: the loud waves lashed the shore,
Return or aid preventing;
And he was left lamenting.
SIR WALTER SCOTT
By Grace E. Sellon
gS^F the old and honorable families of Scotland there are perhaps none more worthy than those from which were descended the parents of Sir Walter Scott. In the long line of ancestors on either side were fearless knights and bold chiefs of the Scottish Border whose adventures became a delightful heritage to the little boy born into the Edinburgh family of Scott in 1771. Perhaps his natural liking for strange and exciting events would have made, him even more eager than other children to be told fairy stories and tales of real heroes of his own land. But even had this not been so, the way in which he was forced to spend his early childhood was such that entertainment of this kind was about all that he could enjoy. He was not two years old when, after a brief illness, he lost the use of one of his legs and thus became unable to run about as before, or even to stand. Soon afterward he was sent to his grandfather's farm at Sandy-Knowe, where it was thought that the country life would help him. There he spent his days in listening to lively stories of Scotsmen who had lived in the brave and rollicking fashion of Robin Hood, in being read to by his aunt or in lying out among the rocks, cared for by his grandfather's old shepherd. When thus out of doors he found so much of interest about him that he could not lie still and would try so hard to move himself about that at length he became able to rise to his feet and even to walk and run.
Except for his lameness, he grew so well and strong that when he was about eight years old he was placed with his brothers in the upper class of the Edinburgh grammar school, known as the High School. Though he had had some lessons in Latin with a private tutor, he was behind his class in this subject, and being a high-spirited and sensitive boy, he felt rather keenly this disadvantage. Perhaps the fact that he could not be one of the leaders of his class made him careless; at any rate, he could never be depended upon to prepare his lesson, and at no time did he make a consistently good record. However, he found not a little comfort for his failure as a student in his popularity as a storyteller and kind-hearted comrade. Among the boys of his own rank in the school he won great admiration for his never-ending supply of exciting narratives and his willingness to give help upon lessons that he would otherwise have left undone.
At the end of three years his class was promoted, and he found the new teacher much more to his liking. Indeed, his ability to appreciate the meaning and beauty of the Latin works studied became recognized: he began to make translations in verse that won praise, and, with a new feeling of distinction, he was thus urged on to earnest efforts. After leaving this school, he continued his excellent progress in the study of Latin for a short time under a teacher in the village of Kelso, where he had gone to visit an aunt.
Meanwhile his hours out of school were spent in ways most pleasing to his lively imagination. His lameness did not debar him from the most active sports, nor even from the vigorous encounters in which, either with a single opponent or with company set against company, the Scotch schoolboys defended their reputation as hard fighters. One of these skirmishes that made a lasting impression upon Walter Scott he himself tells us of, and his biographer, Lockhart, has quoted it in describing the hardy boyhood days of the great writer. It frequently happened that bands of children from different parts of Edinburgh would wage war with each other, fighting with stones and clubs and other like weapons. Perhaps the city authorities thought that these miniature battles afforded good training: at least the police seem not to have interfered. The boys in the neighborhood where Walter lived had formed a company that had been given a beautiful standard by a young noblewoman. This company fought every week with a band composed of boys of the poorer classes. The leader of the latter was a fine-looking young fellow who bore himself as bravely as any chieftain. In the midst of a hotly fought contest, this boy had all but captured the enemy's proudly erected standard when he was struck severely to the ground with a cruelly heavy weapon. The dismayed companies fled in all directions, and the lad was taken to the hospital. In a few days, however, he recovered; and then it was that through a friendly baker Walter Scott and his brothers were able to get word to their mistreated opponent and to offer a sum of money in token of their regret. But Green-breeks, as the young leader