1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Leigh Hunt, in Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries (1828) 46-47.



His [Byron's] liking for such of the modern authors as he preferred in general, was not founded in a compliment to them; but Walter Scott, with his novels, his fashionable repute, and his ill opinion of the world whom he fell in with, enabled him to enter heartily into his merits; and he read him over and over again with unaffected delight. Sir Walter was his correspondent, and appears to have returned the regard; though, if I remember, the dedication of The Mystery frightened him. They did not hold each other in the less estimation, the one for being a lord, and the other a lover of lords: neither did Sir Walter's connexion with the calumniating press of Edinburgh at all shock his noble friend. It added a "fearful joy" to his esteem; carrying with it a look of something "bloody, bold, and resolute:" at the same time, more resolute than bold, and more death-dealing than either; — a sort of available other-man's weapon, which increased the sum of his power, and was a set-off against his character for virtue.