‘…You do well to read Gillies; but as for Hallam,2 you may safely let him rest—he is heavy as clay—and you would relish him little or profit by him little till after reading Gibbon and various others. Washington Irving has a new Book “Bracebridge-hall” which is very good. You ought to read all Scott's Novels at odd hours—and Byron's poetry—and Shakespear—and Pope—and the like. These things are of the very highest value…’
It is interesting to see that Thomas Carlyle put Walter Scott on a par with Shakespeare, Byron, and Pope. Carlyle’s commendation was made in a letter he wrote to brother Jack, on June 23, 1822.