1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Walter Scott to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, 16 January 1819; Letters from and to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharp (1888) 2:193-94.



Sunday, January 16, 1819.

MY DEAR SHARPE,

I have already bespoke Spence, but of late I have not been looking after my books, so have not received him. Never suppose you want such books as I have while I am to the fore. I have always detested literary quarrels, in which, as in common gambling-houses, you stake your tie and temper against those of very unworthy antagonists. But Pope was a fine fellow. His fault was, he was quite literary, and had neither the business nor the idleness of life to divide his mind from his Parnassian pursuits. Those who have not his genius may be so far compensated by avoiding his foibles, and least of all ought they to be nourished by your true and sincere friend,

WALTER SCOTT.

I return with best thanks La Belle Chuck.