LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 16: 1832-36
John Gibson Lockhart to Abraham Hayward, 3 March 1845

Vol. I. Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter 1: 1794-1808
Chapter 2: 1808-13
Chapter 3: 1813-15
Chapter 4: 1815-17
Chapter 5: 1817-18
Chapter 6: 1817-19
Chapter 7: 1818-20
Chapter 8: 1819-20
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Chapter 10: 1821-24
Chapter 11: 1817-24
Chapter 12: 1821-25
Chapter 13: 1826
Vol. II Contents
Chapter 14: 1826-32
Chapter 15: 1828-32
Chapter 16: 1832-36
Chapter 17: 1837-39
Chapter 18: 1837-43
Chapter 19: 1828-48
Chapter 20: 1826-52
Chapter 21: 1842-50
Chapter 22: 1850-53
Chapter 23: 1853-54
Chapter 24: Conclusion
Vol. II Index
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
March 3, 1845.

Dear Hayward,—I believe there was about as much cause for an apology from me to you as from you to me—at least we both lost our temper, and it signifies little which soonest or most. I was extremely unwell all yesterday, and therefore hope you will forget all my part of the mischief, as I do yours—with sincere thanks for your prompt and kind note.

“Since I am writing, let me say distinctly that I used the word gentleman, in reference to a most amiable man, in its heraldic sense only; though my acquaintance with him is very slight, I believe he is most entirely a gentleman in every other and better sense of the term; and I am sure you never dreamt that I meant, in reference to his wife, to insinuate that she was not, by every personal circumstance,
entitled to the position which, however, in my perhaps erroneous opinion, she owes to the literary merit generally acknowledged by the world. I was, I own, vexed, under Mrs. N.’s roof, and in the presence of Mrs. H. and Sir A. Gordon, to hear a literary man echo the complaint of something like a prejudice against literary men being entertained among the higher circles of English society. I don’t believe any such feeling lingers among them. It is, I daresay, very true that people of consequence in their own province, who find themselves of no consequence here, regard with some spleen the ready access which science or literature affords to the fine houses of which they themselves hardly ever see more than the outside. But I think, on reflection, you will also allow that if these rural dignitaries wished to strengthen their own complaint, they might with perfect justice say that science and literature are flattered by the aristocracy—the real aristocracy—in a degree remarkably contrasted with their social treatment of the great professions themselves. If you find, in fact, that a clergyman, a physician, a surgeon, has made his way into the fashionable circles here, you will find that this has been so because of his having earned an extra professional reputation. How many now of the eminent doctors and divines in this town can be said to move in the sort of society you consider as the thing? Does any lawyer mix in it, unless he has made himself distinguished either in politics or in letters?


“I have pretty well done with the beau-monde, and have no pleasure at all in it, though I am not so foolish or so improvident (being a father) as to desire to drop wholly out of it. You are younger, and will, I hope, long be much gayer than I am. But I was thinking most of Kinglake, who has just begun to see the interior of life in the West End—who enters the scene with something like radical feelings—and whom I should like to form his own opinion on matters of this class, without a preliminary impression that we Tories of his order do seriously at heart attribute to our worldly superiors a species of prejudice which, I do believe, has no existence whatever—quite the reverse.—Ever yours, very truly,

J. G. Lockhart.”