1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Joseph Ritson to Walter Scott, 10 June 1802; Letters of Joseph Ritson (1833) 2:222-23.



I had once or twice called at Cadells for The Minstrelsy of the Scottish border, without success: "They had no orders:" but a few weeks after, Heber told me there was a copy lying in the shop, with my address; which you may be sure, I lost no time in fetching away. I, therefore, return my most grateful acknowledgments for your obliging present of the most curious and valuable literary treasure I possess; but, as some one says, that "I may lose no drop of this immortal man," I shall still endeavour to procure the frontispiece. I mean, however, to be very chary of it, and by only perusing a single poem, or ballad at a time, to extend my gratification which will be exquisite, to the most distant period. Every thing is excellent throughout, both in verse and prose, and I am happy to congratulate you on its being so much the object of popularity and admiration.