Instead of endeavoring to manufacture a great poem out of what was foreign and artificial, he let the poem make itself out of him. The epic which he wished to write in the universal language of scholars, and which might have had its ten lines in the history of literature, would sing itself in provincial Tuscan, and turns out to be written in the universal dialect of mankind.
Thus all great poets have been in a certain sense provincial,—Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe, Burns, Scott in the Heart of Midlothian and Bride of Lammermoor,—because the office of the poet is always vicarious, because nothing that has not been living experience can become living expression, because the collective thought, the faith, the desire of a nation or a race, is the cumulative result of many ages, is something organic, and is wiser and stronger than any single person, and will make a great statesman or a great poet out of any man who can entirely surrender himself to it.
As the Gothic
Coleridge was their companion during a part of this excursion, of which Miss Wordsworth kept a full diary.
In Scotland he made the acquaintance of Scott, who recited to him a part of the Lay of the Last Minstrel, then in manuscript.
The travellers returned to Grasmere on the 25th of September.
It was during this ntences are long and involved; and his friend De Quincey, who corrected the press, has rendered them more obscure by an unusual system of punctuation.
（Southey to Scott, 30th July, 1809.) The tract is, as Southey hints, heavy. It was at Allan Bank that Coleridge dictated The Friend, and Wordsworth contributed to it two essays, onehe did not look upon poetry too exclusively as an exercise rather of the intellect than as a nepenthe of the imagination.
According to Landor, he pronounced all Scott's poetry to be not worth five shillings. He says of himself, speaking of his youth:—
In fine, I was a better judge of thoughts than words, Misled in estimating