For amateur historians and trivia collectors everywhere

Location: Masterton, New Zealand

I survived school history despite the best efforts of the education system to bore me to death. Many years later, I discovered Treaties, dates, the movement of nations, are mere context. The fascination is in the details.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Edinburgh, February 20, 1807 - Sir Walter Scott to Miss Seward.
"As for poetry, it is very little labour to me; were all the time I wasted on the "Lay (of the Last Minstrel)" put together, I am sure it would not exceed six weeks. The last canto was written in three forenoons when I was lying in quarters with our yoemanry. I leave it to yourself to guess how little I can have it in my most distant imagination to place myself upon a level with the great bards you have mentioned, the very latchets of whose shoes neither Southey nor I are worthy to unloose.
My admiration of Chaucer, Spenser and Dryden does not blind me to their faults, for I see the courseness of the first, the tediousness of the second, and the inequalities of the last, but, my dear Miss Seward, 'in those days were giants in the land,' and we are but dwarfs beside them."


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