There was a rush of people towards the iron chest to look into the dark interior of that veritable chamber of horrors. My father's artist friend went forward with the rest, and endeavoured to pick up some remnant of the demolished structure. As soon as the clouds of dust had been dispersed, he observed, under the place where the iron box had stood, a number of skeletons of rats, as dry as mummies. He selected one of these,[note: I was so much impressed with the events of the day, and also with the fact of the young artist having taken with him so repulsive a memento as a rat's skeleton, that I never forgot it. More than half century later, when I was at a private view of the Royal Academy, I saw sitting on one of the sofas a remarkable and venerable-looking old gentleman. On inquiring of my friend Thomas Webster who he was, he answered, "Why, that's old Linnell!" I then took the liberty of sitting down beside him, and, apologising for my intrusion on his notice, I said it was just fifty-seven years since I had last seen him! I mentioned the circumstance of the rat-skeleton which he had put in his pocket at Edinburgh. He was pleased and astonished to have the facts so vividly recalled to his mind. At last he said, "Well, I have that mummy rat, the relic of the Heart of Midlothian, safe in a cabinet of curiosities in my house at Redhill to this day."]

wrapped it in a newspaper and put it in his pocket as a recollection of his first day in Edinburgh, and of the final destruction of the "Heart of Midlothian." This artist was no other than John Linnell, the afterwards famous landscape painter. He was then a young and unknown man. He brought a letter of introduction to my father. He also brought a landscape as a specimen of his young efforts, and it was so splendidly done that my father augured a brilliant career for this admirable artist.

I had the pleasure of seeing Sir Waiter Scott on another and, to me, a very memorable occasion. From an early period of my schoolboy days I had a great regard for every object that had reference to bygone times. They influenced my imagination, and conjured up in my mind dreamy visions of the people of olden days. It did not matter whether it was an old coin or an old castle. took pleasure in rambling about the old castles near Edinburgh, many of them connected with the times of Mary Queen of Scots. Craigmillar Castle was within a few miles of the city; there was also Crighton Castle, and above all Borthwick Castle. This grand massive old ruin left a deep impression on my mind. the sight of its gloomy interior, with the great hall lighted up only by stray glints of sunshine, as if struggling for access through the small deep-seated windows in its massive walls, together with its connection with the life and times of Queen Mary, had a far greater influence upon my mind than I experienced while standing amidst the Coliseum at Rome.

Like many earnest-minded boys, I had a severe attack at the right time of life, say from 12 to 15, of what I would call "the collecting period." This consisted, in my case, of accumulating old coins, perhaps one of the most salutary forms of this youthful passion. I made exchanges with my school companions. Sometimes my father's friends, seeing my anxiety to improve my collection gave me choice specimens of bronze and other coins of the Roman emperors, usually duplicates from their own collection.

These coins had the effect of promoting my knowledge of Roman history. I read up in order to find out the acts and deeds of the old rulers of the civilised world. Besides collecting the coins, I used to make careful drawings of the obverse and reverse faces of each in an illustrated catalogue which I kept in my little coin cabinet.

I remember one day, when sitting beside my father making a very careful drawing of a fine bronze coin of Augustus, that Sir Walter Scott entered the room. He frequently called upon my father in order to consult him with respect to his architectural arrangements. Sir Walter caught sight of me, and came forward to look over the work I was engaged in. At his request I had the pleasure of showing him my little store of coin treasures, after which he took out of his waistcoat pocket a beautiful silver coin of the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, and gave it to me as being his "young brother antiquarian." I shall never forget the kind fatherly way in which he presented it. I considered it a great honour to be spoken to in so friendly a way by such a man; besides, it vastly enriched my little collection of coins and medals.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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