1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Southey

Walter Scott to Robert Southey, 4 September 1813; Lockhart, Life of Scott (1837-38; 1902) 2:355.



On my return here, I found, to my no small surprise, a letter tendering to me the laurel vacant by the death of the poetical Pye. I have declined the appointment.... Will you forgive me, my friend, if I own I had you in my recollection? I have given Croker the hint, and otherwise endeavored to throw the office into your option. I am uncertain if you will like it, for the laurel has certainly been tarnished by some of its wearers, and, as at present managed, its duties are inconvenient and somewhat liable to ridicule. But the latter might be amended, as I think the Regent's good sense would lead him to lay aside these regular commemorations; and as to the former point, it has been worn by Dryden of old, and by Warton in modern days.