Washington Irving: Abbotsford And Newstead Abbey
There is a halo over both places, and a sadness too, particularly with all relating to Lord Byron; although the latter days of Scott were overcast by pecuniary misfortunes, there was something so noble, so benevolent, so exalted in his career, that he is remembered with the triumphant expression of "See what genius can achieve!" The records of Byron and his ancient house are gloomy and magnificent, and the kindly and gentle pen of Washington Irving becomes paralyzed, in a degree, when writing the records of Newstead. But at Abbotsford it flows gaily and cheerfully on, and indeed we know of no two men in the world who could have better assimilated together than Scott and Irving. We do not enter into any comparison of their genius; it would be unseemly; we speak merely of their habits and feelings. Irving understood Scott perfectly, and appreciated him as well. He is one whose bosom overflows with kindly feelings, and whose senses answer the desire of his heart—a heart which teaches him to enjoy and sympathize with whatever is excellent upon earth! We shall look for the next volume which is to appear with increased pleasure. When a writer is an accurate observer of human nature, and possesses also a benevolent mind, he cannot fail to improve and interest his readers. How much, then, do we not already owe to the author of the " Sketch-Book!''