LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
William Hazlitt XXVI
William Hazlitt to Peter George Patmore, [20 June 1822]

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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“The deed is done, and I am virtually a free man.   *   *   *   What had I better do in these circumstances? I dare not write to her—I dare not write to her father. She has shot me through with poisoned arrows, and I think another ‘winged wound’ would finish me. It is a pleasant sort of balm she has left in my heart. One thing I agree with you in—it will remain there for ever—but yet not long. It festers and consumes me. If it were not for my little boy, whose face I see struck blank at the news, and looking through the world for pity, and meeting with contempt, I should soon settle the question by my death. That is the only thought that
brings my wandering reason to an anchor—that excites the least interest, or gives me fortitude to bear up against what I am doomed to feel for the ungrateful. Otherwise, I am dead to all but the agony of what I have lost. She was my life—it is gone from me, and I am grown spectral. If it is a place I know, it reminds me of her—of the way in which my fond heart brooded over her. If it is a strange place, it is desolate, hateful, barren of all interest—for nothing touches me but what has a reference to her. There is only she in the world—‘the false, the fair, the inexpressive she.’ If the clock strikes, the sound jars me, for a million of hours will never bring peace to my breast. The light startles me, the darkness terrifies me—I seem falling into a pit, without a hand to help me. She came (I knew not how) and sat by my side, and was folded in my arms, a vision of love and joy—as if she had dropped from the heavens, to bless me by some special dispensation of a favouring Providence—to make me amends for all. And now, without any fault of mine but too much love, she has vanished from me, and I am left to wither. My heart
is torn out of me, and every feeling for which I wished to live. It is like a dream, an enchantment—it torments me, and makes me mad. I lie down with it—I rise up with it—and I see no chance of repose. I grasp at a shadow—I try to undo the past, or to make that mockery real—and weep with rage and pity over my own weakness and misery.   *   *

“I had hopes, I had prospects to come—the flattering of something like fame—a pleasure in writing—health even would have come back to me with her smile. She has blighted all—turned all to poison and drivelling tears. Yet the barbed arrow is in my heart—I can neither endure it nor draw it out, for with it flows my life’s blood. I had dwelt too long upon Truth to trust myself with the immortal thoughts of love. That —— —— might have been mine—and now never can: these are the two sole propositions that for ever stare me in the face, and look ghastly in at my poor brain. I am in some sense proud that I can feel this dreadful passion. It makes me a kind of peer in the kingdom of love. But I could have wished it had been for an object that, at least, could
have understood its value and pitied its excess.   *   *   *   The gates of Paradise were once open to me, and I blushed to enter but with the golden keys of love! I would die—but her lover—my love of her—ought not to die. When I am dead, who will love her as I have done? If she should be in misfortune, who will comfort her? When she is old, who will look in her face and bless her?   *   *   *   Oh, answer me, to save me if possible for her and from myself!

“Will you call at Mr. ——’s school, and tell my little boy I’ll write to him or see him on Saturday morning. Poor little fellow!”