1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hoole

Walter Scott, 4 June 1826; The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, 1825-32 (1891) 204.



People are always crying about method, and in some respects it is good, and shown to great advantage among men of business, but I doubt if men of method, who can lay aside or take up the pen just at the hour appointed, will ever be better than poor creatures. Lady L[ouisa] S[uart] used to tell me of Mr. Hoole, the translator of Tasso and Ariosto, and in that capacity a noble transmuter of gold into lead, that he was a clerk in the India House, with long ruffles and a snuff-coloured suit of clothes, who occasionally visited her father [John, Earl of Bute]. She sometimes conversed with him, and was amused to find that he "did" exactly so many couplets day by day, neither more nor less; and habit had made it light to him, however heavy it might seem to the reader.