THE VOGUE OF SCOTT AND BYRON
for "general ideas", and no room at all for romantic experimentation and "states of soul", such as were to inspire the younger school of Romantics in the still very distant 'eighties? And what, next, of the political sphere? Is these any essential difference to be noted there? When Crane Brinton says that "Scott was born a Tory, and died a Tory",1 there would for Holland, I think, be not the slightest injustice if we substituted the name of Beets instead. Scott's Toryism, in fact, was of a more empirical kind than the other's; so that his political ideas are perhaps not so far out of date in these modern days, as when he sought the Border workers to oppose their own parliamentary enfranchisement. With Beets, on the other hand, one does not readily expunge from memory Mevrouw Ammers-Küller's satirical picture of him in "The Rebel Generation", as he speaks — as uncompromisingly as his once-loved Bilderdijk himself might have done — against the "rechten" of women. And even in asserting the importance of poets as public figures, who will say, on top of this, that the day Beets represented his country at the Scott Centenary celebrations in Edinburgh in 1871 2 was not as close a contact as he ever established with the spirit of the man who for him was the greatest of all the heroes of ages-long Romance?
Contemporary society, it cannot be said, conflicted deeply with any emotional attachment for the past in the heart of either Beets or Van Lennep, however much it may have been antipathetic to Scott's strongly passionate and imaginative secret life; that society, in fact, was very agreeable to the natural bonhomie and practical good-sense of Beets and to the respect for order fostered by the legal training and preoccupation of Van Lennep. But, while this may allow us to understand in what measure they
1 "The Political Ideas of the English Romanticists," p. 108.
2 An account of his visit and of the celebrations is given in his essay, "Het Eeuwfeest van Sir Walter Scott, 1871, te Edinburgh," prefixed to M. P. Lindo's new edition of "Ivanhoe" in 1872.