LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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My Friends and Acquaintance
Charles Lamb VIII

Vol I Contents
Charles Lamb I
Charles Lamb II
Charles Lamb III
Charles Lamb IV
Charles Lamb V
Charles Lamb VI
Charles Lamb VII
‣ Charles Lamb VIII
Charles Lamb IX
Charles Lamb X
Thomas Campbell I
Thomas Campbell II
Thomas Campbell III
Thomas Campbell IV
Thomas Campbell V
Thomas Campbell VI
Thomas Campbell VII
Lady Blessington I
Lady Blessington II
Lady Blessington III
Lady Blessington IV
Lady Blessington V
R. Plumer Ward I
R. Plumer Ward II
R. Plumer Ward III
R. Plumer Ward IV
R. Plumer Ward V
R. Plumer Ward VI
Appendix vol I
Vol II Contents
R. Plumer Ward VII
R. Plumer Ward VIII
R. Plumer Ward IX
R. Plumer Ward X
R. Plumer Ward XI
R. Plumer Ward XII
R. Plumer Ward XIII
R. Plumer Ward XIV
R. Plumer Ward XV
R. Plumer Ward XVI
R. Plumer Ward XVII
R. Plumer Ward XVIII
R. Plumer Ward XIX
R. Plumer Ward XX
R. Plumer Ward XXI
R. Plumer Ward XXII
R. Plumer Ward XXIII
Horace & James Smith I
Horace & James Smith II
William Hazlitt I
William Hazlitt II
William Hazlitt III
William Hazlitt IV
William Hazlitt V
William Hazlitt VI
William Hazlitt VII
William Hazlitt VIII
Appendix vol II
Vol III Contents
William Hazlitt IX
William Hazlitt X
William Hazlitt XI
William Hazlitt XII
William Hazlitt XIII
William Hazlitt XIV
William Hazlitt XV
William Hazlitt XVI
William Hazlitt XVII
William Hazlitt XVIII
William Hazlitt XIX
William Hazlitt XX
William Hazlitt XXI
William Hazlitt XXII
William Hazlitt XXIII
William Hazlitt XXIV
William Hazlitt XXV
William Hazlitt XXVI
Laman Blanchard I
Laman Blanchard II
Laman Blanchard III
Laman Blanchard IV
Laman Blanchard V
Laman Blanchard VI
Laman Blanchard VII
Laman Blanchard VIII
R & T Sheridan I
R & T Sheridan II
R & T Sheridan III
R & T Sheridan IV
R & T Sheridan V
R & T Sheridan VI
R & T Sheridan VII
R & T Sheridan VIII
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Most literary men of extensive reputation have met with odd and unexpected testimonies of the admiration they have excited in quarters where they would have least looked for it, and which has been set forth in a fashion drolly discordant with their tastes and habits of feeling; and Lamb was not without these testimonies. One of them he related to me as having mightily tickled his sense of the ludicrous. A young gentleman in the country, of a “literary turn,”
“A clerk foredoomed his father’s soul to cross,
Who penned a stanza when he should engross,”
solicited the favour of Lamb’s correspondence and friendship; and as an unequivocal testimonial of his claims to these, he forwarded to the object of his admiration his miniature portrait; the said effigy setting forth a form and feature such as “youthful maidens fancy when they love.”


It was excessively amusing to hear Lamb describe his droll embarrassment, on the reception of this naive and original mode of paying court to a man who almost piqued himself on having no eye or taste for personal comeliness, even in women, while anything like coxcombry in a man made him sick; and who yet had so exquisite a sense of what was due to the feelings of others, that when a young lady who was staying at his house, had been making some clothes for the child of a poor gipsy woman in the neighbourhood, whose husband was afterwards convicted of sheep-stealing, would not allow her (the young lady) to quit the village without going to see and take leave of her unhappy protegée,—on the express plea that otherwise the felon’s wife might imagine that she had heard of her husband’s “misfortune,” and was ashamed to go near her. “I have a delicacy for a sheep-stealer,” said he.*

* See a letter to Mr. Procter, printed in the “Athenæum” immediately after his death, in which Lamb himself gives an account of this incident; also an exquisite sonnet, embodying the woman’s supposed feel-


There are many who duly appreciate, and are ready enough to extol, the beauty and the merits of this delicacy to the personal feelings of others, and a few who can sympathize with it even in extreme cases like the one just cited; but I never knew any one who was capable of uniformly, and at all costs, practising it, except Charles Lamb and William Hazlitt,—both of whom extended it to the lowest and vilest of man and woman kind; would give the wall to a beggar if it became a question which of the two should cede it, and if they had visited a convicted felon in his cell, would have been on tenter-hooks all the time, lest anything might drop from them to indicate that they had less consideration for the object of their visit than if he had been the most “respectable” of men.

The name of William Hazlitt reminds me that a writer* of some pleasing “recollections” of Charles Lamb, in the number of the New Monthly Magazine immediately following his death, speaking of Lamb’s

ings towards her child on the occasion of its father’s conviction.

* Mr. Forster, I believe.

intimacy with Hazlitt, and of the unshrinking manner in which he stood by him, “through good report and through ill report,” says,—“He (Lamb) was, we believe, the only one of Hazlitt’s early associates who stood beside his grave.” He was not merely (as I have said elsewhere) the only one of Hazlitt’s “early” associates,—he was the only one of all his associates or friends, early or recent, excepting his own son and the writer of these pages. The fact offers a sorry evidence of the estimation in which purely intellectual endowments are held among us. And the case is not bettered by the circumstance that, to this day, no one of the many who knew him intimately through the whole of his literary life, has taken the pains to rescue his name and character from the load of undeserved obloquy that was cast upon them, during his life-time, by those political enemies and opponents who saw no other way of combatting the “cannonade-reasoning” and the terrible invective he was accustomed to bring to bear against them.*

* In a subsequent portion of these Memorials I have done what I could to supply this deficiency, as


But Hazlitt, to say nothing of his unpopular manners, and his unlucky disposition to “call a knave a knave, and Chartres Chartres,” could not abstain from speaking the truth even of his best friends, when they happened to treat him as he felt that only an enemy should be treated; and the man who does this must reckon upon outliving every friend he has in the world, die when he may.

regards the last twelve years of Hazlitt’s life, during which period alone I knew him. Those, however, were by far the most remarkable years of his literary life, and I believe I saw and knew more of him during those years than any other of his friends.