Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/13

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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

THE STORY OF SCOTT'S RUIN


Mr. Andrew Lang, in his Life of J. G. Lockhart, has succeeded, in spite of the want of adequate materials, in drawing a most interesting portrait. Lockhart's Life of Scott, though it made all readers love the subject, did not persuade every one to love the author. The man, indeed, who could display such reverent and loyal affection was certainly lovable; and yet he contrived to keep his own fine qualities in the background. Lockhart, in truth, was one of the men who are predestined to be generally misunderstood. He was an intellectual aristocrat, fastidious and over-sensitive, with very fine perceptions, but endowed with rather too hearty a scorn of fools as well as of folly. Circumstances had tempted him in early youth to give free utterance to his contempt, and occasionally, moreover, to forget that courtesy is due even to vulgar antagonists. In later life, the shyness,