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The early life of Robert Chambers embracing the period of his connection with Sir Walter Scott has already been described by his brother William in the Memoir of himself. But while Dr William Chambers had acccss to many early papers now in my possession, he made little use of these, and printed no letters of this period. The letters of Sir Walter Scott printed in the Memoir of William and Robert Chambers (1872) were written at a later date, and have no reference to that subject which first awakened in the great man sympathy for a young and struggling literary aspirant. With the exception of the above-mentioned letters, any extracts now printed from Scott manuscripts belonging to me appear for the first time. One of these papers, recently discovered, is the first portion (incomplete) of a History of the Canongate, and may have formed part of that work on the antiquities of Edinburgh which Scott, in collaboration with Mr Skene of Rubislaw, had at one time intended to write. After seeing the first two parts of Robert Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh, Scott's original idea-as we are told by the author in his Preface to the last revised edition-was abandoned, and many of his notes handed on to his youthful protégé and friend. The same Preface makes it no less clear that, besides Sir Walter Scott, Robert Chambers was equally indebted to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe for much valuable information. The series of letters from Mr Sharpe now printed, while slight and unimportant ...
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