LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoirs of William Hazlitt
Chap. I 1778-1811
William Hazlitt sen. to William Hazlitt, March 1820

Chap. I 1778-1811
Ch. II: 1791-95
Ch. III 1795-98
Ch. IV 1798
Ch. V 1798
Ch. VI 1792-1803
Ch. VII 1803-05
Ch. VIII 1803-05
Ch. IX
Ch. X 1807
Ch. XI 1808
Ch. XII 1808
Ch. XII 1812
Ch. XIV 1814-15
Ch. XV 1814-17
Ch. XVI 1818
Ch. XVII 1820
Ch. XX 1821
Ch. I 1821
Ch. II 1821-22
Ch. III 1821-22
Ch. IV 1822
Ch. V 1822
Ch. VI 1822
Ch. VII 1822-23
Ch. VIII 1822
Ch. IX 1823
Ch. X 1824
Ch. XI 1825
Ch. XII 1825
Ch. XIII 1825
Ch. XIV 1825
Ch. XV 1825
Ch. XVI 1825-27
Ch. XVII 1826-28
Ch. XVIII 1829-30
Ch. XX
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Wem, March —, 1790.
“My dear William,

“Your brother said that your letter to him was very long, very clever, and very entertaining. On Wednesday evening, we had your letter, which was finished on the preceding Monday. The piety displayed in the first part of it was a great refreshment to me. Continue to cherish those thoughts which then occupied your mind; continue to be virtuous, and you will finally be that happy being whom you describe; and, to this purpose, you have nothing more to do than to pursue that conduct which will always yield you the highest pleasures even in this present life. But he who once gives way to any known vice, in the very instant hazards his total depravity and total ruin. You must, therefore, fixedly resolve never, through any possible motives, to do anything which you believe to be wrong. This will be only resolving never to be miserable; and this I rejoicingly expect will be the unwavering resolution of my William. Your conversation upon the Test Act did you honour. If we only think justly, we shall always easily foil all the advocates of tyranny. The inhospitable ladies whom you mention, were, perhaps, treated by you with too great severity. We know not how people may be circumstanced at a particular moment, whose disposition is generally friendly. They may, then, happen to pass under a cloud, which unfits them for social intercourse.
We must see them more than once or twice to be able to form a tolerable judgment of their characters. There are but few, like Mrs. Tracey, who can always appear what they really are. I do not say, however, that the English ladies whom you mentioned are not exactly as you described them. I only wish to caution you against forming too hasty a judgment of characters, who can seldom be known at a single interview. I wish you, if you can, to become master of the gamut while you are there. I am glad that you have made so great a progress in French, and that you are so very anxious to hear Mr. Clegg’s lectures. It is a pity that you cannot have another month at the French, &c. But, as matters are, I hope you will be soon able to master that language. I am glad that you employed the last Sunday so well, and that the employment afforded you so much satisfaction. Nothing else can truly satisfy us, but the acquisition of knowledge and virtue. May these blessings be yours more and more every day! On Thursday morning we had a letter from Mr. Boatt, written at Boston, 24th of June, just five weeks before we received it. He was forty-six days on his passage from England, with agreeable company. They had sometimes very heavy weather, and so extremely cold, that the sails were frozen to the yards. The last winter was very extraordinary, and very unhealthy in America. Consequently, many persons died in Boston, and in other parts of the country. He says, concerning you, ‘I read Billy’s letter to Fanny, and she was delighted with it. She sends her love to him; but
Fanny has lost the recollection of her little playfellow. The letter does Billy much credit. He has uncommon powers of mind; and, if nothing happens to prevent his receiving a liberal education, he must make a great man.’ This compliment, I know, will not make you proud, or conceited, but more diligent. He also desires his and Mrs. Boatt’s affectionate regards to Billy. You see how careful I am to transmit to you all the news in my power. I must, now, give you some information and directions concerning your return home. Before you leave Liverpool you will not neglect to call upon all persons who have shown you any particular civilities. You will thank Mr. Nicholls for the trouble you have given him, and especially your masters for their attention to you, and Mr. Yates for his books, which you will be careful to return in the good order in which you received them. You will give my respects to Mr. Yates. I wish that he, amongst his friends, could procure for your brother engagements for about a score of pictures at Liverpool this summer, that we might have the pleasure of seeing him here. Your mother gives her love; and she unites with me in affectionate regards to Mrs. and all the Miss Traceys. I am, my dear William, your truly affectionate father,

“W. Hazlitt.
“Wednesday, March, 1790.”