Remaining an infidel

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.

Ever yours,

(Signed) M. G. Lewis


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