Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/72

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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

on the second visit caught the yellow fever, of which he died. He had made a will, witnessed by Byron and Shelley, intending to secure the welfare of his slaves; and the posthumous 'journal' of his voyage is a really interesting book, pronounced to be 'delightful' by Coleridge. Lewis, too, had a great facility for versification, a genuine ear for metre, and some of his ballads (Alonzo the Brave and the Fair Imogene, for example) have still a kind of lingering vitality. Lewis was a friend, perhaps a rejected lover, of the lady known for certain questionable memoirs who afterwards became Lady Charlotte Bury. He visited her in Scotland in 1798 and there met Scott, who, though he laughed good-humouredly at the little fop, was ready to receive him as a mentor. Lewis could tell Scott of the great Germans whom he had seen in the flesh. He was collecting ballads for his projected Tales of Wonder, and found a promising recruit in the translator of Lenore. He criticised Scott's careless grammar and rhymes with a good deal of acuteness, and actually got a publisher to give £25 for the Götz of Berlichingen. Possibly, too, it was he who induced Kean to think for a time of producing The House of Aspen, which, however, as Scott says, was