Abbotsford Scotland 1892

ABBOTSFORD SCOTLAND — This home of the great novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott, is an intensely interesting object to visit. It was his own creation. He even planted many of the noble trees in its adjoining Park. Its very ground was dear to him, for it had formerly belonged to the Abbots of Melrose, and was near Melrose Abbey, whose beauty inspired Scott to write some of his most beautiful stanzas. Yet this was not merely a poet’s home. It was a veritable battlefield, where one of the noblest sons of Genius took arms against a sea of troubles, which would have paralyzed a braver heart than his. The failure of the publishing house with which he was connected threatened him with ruin, and to save this dearly loved estate, yet pay to the utmost every creditor, became the one great object of his life. Payment was deemed impossible. But Scott knew no such word, and actually assumed the entire debt of about $600,000, asking only for time. In four years he had realized for his creditors nearly $400,000; working ten, twelve and often fourteen hours out of the twenty-four. Never, before or since was such a sum thus earned. It was Sir Walter’s custom to do a vast amount of literary work early in the morning before his numerous guests had thought of stirring, and when everyone supposed him to be still asleep. It was this habit of early toil which enabled Scott to preserve for so long a time his incognito as the author of the Waverly Novels. Here on September 21st, 1832, the noble-hearted Scotchman passed away from earth while the members of his family knelt around his bed, and his eldest son kissed and closed his eyes. No sculptor ever modeled a more majestic image of repose. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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