LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Recollections of Writers
Leigh Hunt to Alfred Novello, 12 December [185-]

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX
John Keats
Charles Lamb
Mary Lamb
Leigh Hunt
Douglas Jerrold
Charles Dickens
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7, Cornwall Road, Hammersmith, Decr. 13th.

My dear Alfred—(For, notwithstanding your jovial proportions and fine bass voice, I have danced you on my knee when a child, and Christmas topics and dear old memories will not allow me, out of very regard, to call you “sir”) I enjoyed exceedingly your kind recollection of me and the place which you gave that Christmas effusion of mine in the midst of all those harmonious advertisements. I seemed to be made the centre of some great musical party. I see also my dear old friend “C. C. C.” as touching and cordial as ever.

I need not say how heartily I return your Christmas wishes. I have had a great sorrow to endure of late years—one that often seemed all but unbearable—but it is softening, and I never, thank God, wished any other person’s happiness to be less during it, but greater. How desirable then to me must be the happiness of my friends.

I take this opportunity of asking a question which I have often been going to put to some one acquainted with musico-commercial affairs, of which I am totally ignorant; will you tell me at one of your leisure moments (if such things there be) whether a man of letters like myself could purchase a musical instrument with his pen, instead of his purse; that is to say, for such and such an amount of literary matter, verse or prose, or both, as might be agreed upon? and if so, what sort of matter would be likeliest to be required of him?

Should you be ever wandering this way, and would give me a look in (I have tea and bread and cheese ready for anybody from 6 o’clock onwards), I have long had a musico-literary project or two in my head which possibly you might not be unwilling to hear of.

Ever sincerely yours,
Leigh Hunt.