On 24th January 24, 1799, MJ ‘Monk’ Lewis wrote to Scott, having written previously regarding certain ballads, namely ‘Glenfinlas’ and ‘The Eve of St John’. Lewis, as in previous correspondence, remarked on several aspects of Scott’s poetical style, including words which, in his consideration, did not rhyme. Having evidently discussed the matter with an acquaintance, Lewis wrote this to Scott.
I must not omit telling you, for your own comfort,
and that of all such person as are wicked enough to
make bad rhymes, that Mr Smythe (a very clever
man at Cambridge) took great pains the other day
to convince me, not merely that a bad rhyme might
pass, but that occasionally a bad rhyme was better
than a good one!!!!!! I need not tell you that he left
me as great an infidel on this subject as he found me.
(Signed) M. G. Lewis