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The Mentor: Walter Scott

Hamilton Wright Mabie

Book Overview: 

The causes of Sir Walter Scott's ascendancy are to be found in the goodness of his heart, the integrity of his conduct, the romantic and picturesque accessories and atmosphere of his life, the fertile brilliancy of his literary execution, the charm that he exercises, both as man and artist, over the imagination, the serene, tranquilizing spirit of his works, and, above all, the buoyancy, the happy freedom of his genius.

HE was not simply an intellectual power, he was also a human and gentle comforter. He wielded an immense mental force, but he always wielded it for good, and always with tenderness. It is impossible to conceive of his ever having done a wrong act, or of any contact with his influence that would not inspire the wish to be virtuous and noble. The scope of his sympathy was as broad as are the weakness and need of the human race. He understood the hardship in the moral condition of mankind and he wished and tried to relieve it.

HIS writings are full of sweetness and cheer, and they contain nothing that is morbid—nothing that tends toward surrender or misery. He did not sequester himself in mental pride, but simply and sturdily, through years of conscientious toil, he employed the faculties of a strong, tender, gracious genius for the good of his fellow-creatures. The world loves him because he is worthy to be loved, and because he has lightened the burden of its care and augmented the sum of its happiness.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Eden in the wilderness.

"Flora, like every beautiful woman, was conscious of her own power, and pleased with its effects, which she could easily discern from the respectful yet confused address of the young soldier. But as she possessed excellent sense, she gave the romance of the scene and other accidental circumstance full weight in appreciating the feelings with which Waverley seemed obviously to be impressed; and unacquainted with the fanciful and susceptible peculiarities of his character, considered his homage as the passing tribute which a woman of even inferior charms might have expected in such a situation. She therefore quietly led the way to a spot at such a distance from the cascade that its sound should rather accompany than interrupt that of her voice and instrument, and sitting down upon a mossy fragment of rock, she took the harp from Cathleen."

"Waverley" was the first of the world-famous series of romances to which it . . . Read More