ONE of the most memorable incidents of Burns’s first visit to Edinburgh, was Scott’s meeting with him in the house of Dr. Adam Ferguson, in George Square. Scott was then a boy of sixteen, and the sole reason of his presence on the occasion was his close and warm friendship with young Adam Ferguson, afterwards Sir Adam.
“Of course,” Scott says, “we youngsters sat silent and listened.” By-and-bye, however, the two poets of Scotland were brought into closer contact. Burns was deeply touched by Runberg’s representation of a soldier lying dead on the snow. Some verses written under the picture, which drew tears even from Burns, took the poet’s fancy, and he asked whose they were. Scott was the only one in the room who was able to tell that they were from a half-forgotten poem of Langhorne’s entitled “Justice of Peace,” and after this information was given to Burns, he rewarded Scott with a look and a word which “The Author of Waverley” never forgot.