1805 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Anna Seward, 1805 ca.; Russell, Book of Authors (1860) 387.



On Friday last the poetically great Walter Scott came, like a sunbeam, to my dwelling. This proudest boast of the Caledonian muse is tall, and rather robust than slender, but lame, in the same manner as Mr. Hayley, and in a greater measure. Neither the contour of his face nor yet his features are elegant; his complexion healthy, and somewhat fair, without bloom. We find the singularity of brown hair and eyelashes, with flaxen eyebrows, and a countenance open, ingenuous, and benevolent. When seriously conversing, or earnestly attentive, though his eyes are rather of a lightish grey, deep thought is on their lids; he contracts his brow, and the rays of genius gleam aslant from the orbs beneath them. An upper lip too long prevents his mouth from being decidedly handsome, but the sweetest emanations of temper and heart play about it when he talks cheerfully or smiles, and in conversation he is much oftener gay than contemplative.