I am not sure if this comment was ever intended for publication (though I think I dimly remember Scott’s journals did get published during his lifetime), this comment the elderly Scott makes about Coleridge is pretty telling.

From: Walter Scott, 22 April 1828; “The Journal of Sir Walter Scott”, 1825-32 (1891) 578.

Lockhart and I dined with Sotheby, where we met a large dining party, the orator of which was that extraordinary man Coleridge. After eating a hearty dinner, during which he spoke not a word, he began a most learned harrange on the Samothracian Mysteries, which he considered as affording the germ of all tales about fairies past, present, and to come. He then diverged to Homer, whose Iliad he considered as a collection of poems by different authors, at different times during a century. There was, he said, the individuality of an age, but not of a country. Moritt, a zealous worshipper of the old bard, was incensed at a system which would turn him into a polytheist, gave battle with keenness, and was joined by Sotheby, our host. Mr. Coleridge behaved with the utmost complaisance and temper, but relaxed not from his exertions. “Zounds! I was never so thumped with words.”

Now, I have not yet gotten to read Richard Holmes’ famous biogrpahy about Mr C, but, bluntly said, to characterize a man who was such a  self-abusing drug user as Mr Coleridge as sort of a mildly sociopathic whacko – which is what Scott really does here – might not be out of the question. However, I’d be interested in knowing about the further interaction between the two poets.


Taken from: http://spenserians.cath.vt.edu/CommentRecord.php?action=GET&cmmtid=4437