1844 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

William Wordsworth, 12 July 1844; memoir by Lady Richardson in Prose, ed. Grosart (1876) 3:445.



He discoursed at great length on Scott's works. His poetry he considered of that kind which will always be in demand, and that the supply will always meet it, suited to the age. He does not consider that it in any way goes below the surface of things; it does not reach to any intellectual or spiritual emotion; it is altogether superficial, and he felt it himself to be so. His descriptions are not true to Nature; they are addressed to the ear, not to the mind. He was a master of bodily movements in his battle-scenes; but very little productive power was exerted in popular creations.