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William Wordsworth, engraved by Achille Collas after a medallion by Henry Weekes (1838)

From: The Authors of England: A Series of Medallion Portraits of Modern Literary Characters,
Engraved from the Works of British Artists
(London: Charles Tilt, 1838)

Sir Walter Scott was a friend and admirer of William Wordworth. They first met when Scott accompanied the poet and his sister on a tour of the Border Country in September 1803. Scott visited the Wordsworths at Grasmere in August 1805 and climbed Helvellyn with Wordsworth and Sir Humphry Davey. A further visit to Grasmere took place in August 1825. Finally, the Wordsworths visited Abbotsford in 1831, leading Wordsworth to compose 'On the Departure of Sir Walter Scott from Abbotsford, for Naples'. Writing of Wordsworth, Scott declared that he did not know 'a man more to be venerated for uprightness of heart and loftiness of genius' (letter to Allan Cunningham, 7 January 1821). His conversation 'as much distinguished by manly sense and candour as by talent and principle, was like a fountain in the desert' (letter to Sir George Beaumont, 28 August 1825). Scott, who particularly admired Wordsworth's sonnets, regretted that his poetry was not as popular as it deserved to be as it was 'too subtle and metaphysical in the idea, & too blunt in the expression' (letter to Allan Cunningham, 14 October 1828). The medallion by Weekes was cast after a bust by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey.