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CHAPTER IV Dr. Adam, Rector of High School Walter Scott's first Lines Influence of Adam Persecution by Nicol Death- scene of the Rector Home Life in George Square Walter Scott the ' Writer' Anecdotes of his Character. Very special honour, on the part of all lovers of Scott, is due to Alexander Adam, the Rector of the High School. Adam, whose text-book of Roman Antiquities continued for over a century to be used in the Scottish Grammar Schools and Universities, was not only a scholar, but a man of literary tastes and sympathies. He was ever ready to detect and encourage any sign of talent or character among the boys. It was his custom to encourage them to attempt poetical versions of Horace and Vergil. These were purely voluntary efforts, never set as tasks. Of course, such attempts had a strong attraction for Scott. Though he might not understand the Latin so well as some of his comrades, the Rector himself declared that Gualterus Scott was behind few in following and enjoying the author's meaning. His versions therefore often gained discriminating praise, and Adam ever after took much notice of the boy. It is a pleasure to find in the pages of Lockhart one of these juvenile efforts. No wonder that Adam had faith in the boy of twelve who could turn Vergil in language like this : ' In awful ruins /Ktn;i thunders nigh, And sends in pitchy whirlwinds to the sky Black clouds of smoke, which, still as they aspire, From their dark sides there bursts the glowing fire; At other times huge balls of fire are toss'd, That lick the stars, and in the smoke are lost; Sometimes the mount, with vast convulsions torn, Emits huge rocks, which instantly are borne With loud explosions to thestarry skies, The stones made liquid as the huge mass flies, Then back again with greater weight...