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Dryburgh Abbey

Dryburgh Abbey

Beautiful as are the ruins of the abbeys and minsters which the spirit of worship has raised in various parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, there are few if any, which surpass in simple dignity the ancient abbey of Dryburgh. Founded by Hugh de Morville about A.D. 1150, a considerable part of the building has withstood the efforts of time for centuries. Situate in the county of Roxburgh, close by Abbotsford, on the Tweed, there was, perhaps, no place better fitted to keep in calm repose all that was mortal of a great man, broken down by the stern strength of necessity. The story of Scott's weakness, his desire-all unworthy of such a man-to found a family, and his superhuman struggles, when engulfed by pecuniary difficulties, must be known to most of our readers. He failed in the great and secret wish of his heart; and, far better than a cold resting place in the state of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, he lies, as Thackeray would say, quietly awaiting the great judgement-day. Few graveyard scenes have a more abiding air of peace and repose than this, and the artist has not fallen short of his subject. The grave, half-way between the beholder and the distant clouds, is typical of death leading up to life; yet not half-way: from us to the tomb but a few years, and then the vista of futurity stretching to the light above the distant clouds. Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott is considered the first major European historical novelist. His first novel, Waverley (1814), was a great success and revealed his clear understanding of human nature.

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