Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/18

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6
STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

stories. They had met again at a club which Scott frequented in his early days at the Bar. A little later Ballantyne set up as a printer, and was publishing a newspaper at Kelso. Scott then employed Ballantyne to print some of his early ballads. He showed the result as a creditable specimen of his friend's skill, and then suggested to Ballantyne to come to Edinburgh and take advantage of his good report. Ballantyne accordingly set up the 'Border Press' in 1802. The press speedily obtained a good character, and Scott, now beginning his literary career, was able to bring a steady flow of custom to his friend. So far the scheme was carried out successfully, and the printing business not only succeeded for the time, but attained permanent prosperity. It survived the ruin of Scott's fortunes and enabled Ballantyne ultimately to provide for his family. There was unfortunately one difficulty. Ballantyne had not sufficient capital for his trade, and was forced from the first to carry it on partly with borrowed money. How far he was incompetent as a man of business was afterwards matter of argument; but there can be no doubt that he was, as he himself admits, always embarrassed, and that he was regarded with distrust in business