Sunday, February 25, 2018

Fortnightly Book, February 25

The next fortnightly book is Sir Walter Scott's Rob Roy, written in 1817, which was one of Robert Louis Stevenson's favorite books.

The title is by all accounts somewhat misleading; while Rob Roy MacGregor is a character with repeated appearances throughout the book, the work is really about the adventures of a young man, Frank Osbaldistone, during the time of the Jacobite uprisings. But, of course, he is not incidental to the story, but part and parcel of the environment in which it occurs. To borrow from Wordsworth,

For thou wert still the poor man's stay,
The poor man's heart, the poor man's hand;
And all the oppressed, who wanted strength,
Had thine at their command.

Bear witness many a pensive sigh
Of thoughtful Herdsman when he strays
Alone upon Loch Veol's heights,
And by Loch Lomond's braes!

And, far and near, through vale and hill,
Are faces that attest the same;
The proud heart flashing through the eyes,
At sound of ROB ROY'S name.

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