arge measure of happiness is unfavourable to enterprise, and what young Wilson now really stood in need of was some stimulus to exertion from without. Such stimulus duly arrived, taking the form of what in a worldly sense is known as ruin. To speak more circumstantially, in the fourth year after his marriage, the unencumbered fortune of L50,000 which he had enjoyed from the time of his father's death, was, through the dishonesty of an uncle who had acted as steward of the estate, entirely lost to him. But, severe as this blow was, his biographers are agreed in pronouncing it to have been a blessing in disguise, and the means of bringing out much that was in the man, which would otherwise in all probability have been lost to the world.
It was now, of course, necessary for him to put his shoulder to the wheel, and, with the exception of Sir Walter Scott, perhaps no man ever rose more manfully or uncomplainingly to the occasion. But between these parallel cases there was one great difference; for Scott
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