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which were libelled, the very tranquillity and / which fell to his portion. We have endeabeauty they had shed into his soul,—all his voured to trace his intellectual character in comprehension of the sympathy and delight of the records he has left of himself in his works, thousands, which, accumulating through long as an excitement and a guide to their perusal time, had attested their worth-were fused to by those who have yet to know them. The gether to dazzle and to blast the poor caviller concern of mankind is with this alone. In who would disturb the judgment of ages. So, the case of a profound thinker more than of when a popular poet assailed the fame of any other, " that which men call evil”—the Rousseau-seeking to reverse the decision of accident of his condition-is interred with posterity on what that great writer had done, him, while the good which he has achieved by fancying the opinion of people of condition lies unmingled and entire. The events of Mr. in his neighbourhood on what he seemed to Hazlitt's true life are not his engagement by their apprehensions while living with Madame the “Morning Chronicle," or his transfer of de Warrens, he vindicated the prerogatives of his services to the “ Times,” or his introduce genius with the true logic of passion. Few tion to the “Edinburgh Review," or his conthings irritated him more than the claims set tracts or quarrels with booksellers; but the up for the present generation to be wiser and progress and the development of his underbetter than those which have gone before it. standing as nurtured or swayed by his affecHe had no power of imagination to embrace tions. “ His warfare was within;" and its the golden clouds which hung over the Future, spoils are ours! His “thoughts which wanbut he rested and expatiated in the Past. To dered through eternity” live with us, though his apprehension human good did not appear the hand which traced them for our benefit is a slender shoot of yesterday, like the bean-stalk cold. His death, though at the age of only in the fairy-tale, aspiring to the skies, and end- fifty-two, can hardly be deemed untimely. He ing in an enchanted castle, but a huge growth lived to complete the laborious work in which of intertwisted fibres, grasping the earth by he sought to embalm his idea of his chosen numberless roots, and bearing vestiges of “a hero; to see the uphoped-for downfall of the thousand storms, a thousand thunders." legitimate throne which had been raised on
It would be beside our purpose to discuss the ruins of the empire; and to open, without the relative merits of Mr. Hazlitt's publica exhausting, those stores which he had gathered tions, to most of which we have alluded in in his youth. If the impress of his power is passing; or to detail the scanty vicissitudes pot left on the sympathies of a people, it has of a literary life. Still less do we feel bound (all he wished) supk into minds neither unre. to expose or to defend the personal frailties fecting nor ungrateful.
THE LATE DOWAGER LADY HOLLAND.
(MORNING CHRONICLE, Nov. 25, 1845.)
It seems scarcely fitting that the grave breathing picture of his most imminent dans should close over the remains of the late Dow-ger, or to embolden the bashful soldier to disager Lady Holland without some passing tri- close his own share in the perils and glories bute beyond the paragraph which announces, of some famous battle-field ; to encourage the with the ordinary expression of regret, the de- generous praise of friendship, when the speaker cease of a widow lady advanced in years, and and the subject reflected interest on each other, reminds the world of fashion that the event or win the secret history of some effort which has placed several noble families in mourning. had astonished the world or shed new lights That event, which a fortnight ago was re on science;—to conduct those brilliant devegarded by friendly apprehensions as probably lopments to the height of satisfaction, and at the distance of some years, has not merely then to shift the scene by the magic of a word, clouded and impaired the enjoyments of one were among her daily successes. And if this large circle, but has extinguished for ever a extraordinary power over the elements of sospirit of social happiness which has animated cial enjoyment was sometimes wielded without many, and severed the most genial link of as the entire concealment of its despotism ; if a sociation, by which some of the finest minds decisive check sometimes rebuked a speaker which yet grace the literary and political who might intercept the variegated beauty of world were connected with the mightiest of Jeffrey's indulgent criticism, or the jest anthose which have left us. The charms of the nounced and self-rewarded in Sydney Smith's celebrated hospitalities of Holland House, in delighted and delighting chuckle, the authority the time of its late revered master, have been was too clearly exerted for the evening's prostoo gracefully developed, by one who has often perity, and too manifestly impelled by an partaken and enhanced them, in the Edinburgh urgent consciousness of the value of those Review for July, 1841, to allow a feebler expres- golden hours which were fleeting within its sion; but death had not then bestowed the confines, to sadden the enforced silence with melancholy privilege of expatiating on the more than a momentary regret. If ever her share of its mistress in crowding those me- prohibition, clear, abrupt, and decisive, indimorable hours with various pleasure, or on cated more than a preferable regard for livethe energetic kindness with which she strove, lier discourse, it was when a depreciatory tone against the perpetual sense of unutterable was adopted towards genius, or goodness, or loss, to renew some portion of their enjoy- honest endeavour, or when some friend, perments. For the remarkable position she oc- sonal or intellectual, was mentioned in slightcupied, during many years of those daily fes- ing phrase. Habituated to a generous partisantivals in which genius, wit, and patriotic hope ship by strong sympathy with a great political were triumphant, she was eminently gifted. cause, she carried the fidelity of her devotion While her own remarks were full of fine to that cause into her social relations, and was practical sense, and nice observation, her in- ever the truest and the fastest of friends. fluence was chiefly felt in the discourse of those The tendency, often more idle than malicious, whom she directed and inspired, and which, to soften down the intellectual claims of the as she impelled it, startled by the most animated absent, which so insidiously besets literary contrasts, or blended in the most graceful har-conversation, and teaches a superficial insinmonies. Beyond any other hostess we ever cerity even to substantial esteem and regard, knew-and very far beyond any host-she pos- found no favour in her presence; and hence sessed the tact of perceiving and the power the conversations over which she presided, of evoking the various capacities which lurked perhaps beyond all that ever flashed with a in every part of the brilliant circles she drew kindred splendour, were marked by that integaround her. To enkindle the enthusiasm of rity of good nature which might admit of their an artist on the theme over which he had exact repetition to every living individual achieved the most facile mastery; to set loose whose merits were discussed, without the danthe heart of the rustic poet, and imbue his ger of inflicting pain. Under her auspices, speech with the freedom of his native hills; not only all critical, but all personal talk was to draw from the adventurous traveller al tinged with kindness; the strong interest
which she took in the happiness of her friends out, and bring it within the sphere of his noble shed a peculiar supniness over the aspects of sympathy, was the delightful study of her's. life presented by the common topics of alli- How often, during the last half century, has ances, and marriages, and promotions; and the steep ascent of fame been brightened by not a hopeful engagement, or a happy wed- the genial appreciation she bestowed, and the ding, or a promotion of a friend's son, or a festal light she cast on its solitude! How ofnew intellectual triumph of any youth with ten has the assurance of success received its whose name and history she was familiar, but crowning delight amid the genial luxury of became an event on which she expected and her circle, where renown itself has been realrequired congratulation, as on a part of her ized for the first time in all its sweetness! own fortune. Although there was naturally How large a share she communicated to the a preponderance in her society of the senti- delights of Holland House will be understood ment of popular progress, which once was by those who shared her kindness, first in cherished almost exclusively by the party to South-street, and recently in Stanhope-street, whom Lord Holland was united by sacred ties, where, after Lord Holland's death, she hono expression of triumph in success, no viru- noured his memory by cherishing his friends lence in sudden disappointment, was ever per- and following his example; where, to the last, mitted to wound the most sensitive ear of her with a voice retaining its girlish sweetness, conservative guests. It might be that some she welcomed every guest, invited or casual, placid comparison of recent with former times with the old cordiality and queenly grace ; spoke a sense of freedom's peaceful victory; where authors of every age and school-from or that, on the giddy edge of some great party Rogers, her old and affectionate friend, whose struggle, the festivities of the evening might first poem illuminated the darkness of the last take a more serious cast, as news arrived closing century “like a rich jewel in an Ethifrom the scene of contest, and the pleasure be op's ear,” down to the youngest disciple of the deepened with the peril; but the feeling was latest school-found that honour paid to literaalways restrained by the present evidence of ture which English aristocracy has too compermanent solaces for the mind, which no po- monly denied it; and where, every day, almost sitical changes could disturb. If to hail and to her last, added to her claim to be rememwelcome genius—or even talent which revered bered as one who, during a long life, cultiand imitated genius-was one of the greatest vated the great art of living happily, by the pleasures of Lord Holland's life, to search it great means of making others happy.
AT THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE MANCHESTER ATHENÆUM, Oct. 23, 1845.
(MANCHESTER GUARDIAN, Oct. 25, 1845.]
If there were not virtue in the objects and newing old ties of brotherhood and attachment purposes, and power the affections, which among all classes, ranks, and degrees of the have called into life the splendid scene before human family, I feel that scarcely less than me, capable of emboldening the apprehensive the inspiration which breathes upon us here, and strengthening the feeble, I should shrink through every avenue of good you have opened, at this moment from attempting to discharge could justify the hope that the deficiencies of the duties of the high office to which the kind the chairman of this night may be forgotten in ness of your directors has raised me. When the interest and the majesty of his themes. I remember that the first of this series of bril- Impressive as such an assembly as this would liant anniversaries, which is still only begin- be in any place, and under any circumstances, ning, was illustrated by the presidency of my it becomes solemn, almost awful, when the friend, Mr. Charles Dickens,—who brought to true significancy of its splendour is unveiled your cause not only the most earnest sympathy to the mind. If we consider that this festival with the healthful enjoyments and steady ad- of intellect is holden in the capital of a district vancement of his species, but the splendour containing, within comparatively parrow conof a fame as early matured and as deeply im- fines, a population scarcely less than two milpressed on the hearts of his countrymen as that lions of immortal beings, engrossed in a proof any writer since the greatest of her intellec- portion far beyond that of any other in the tual eras: when I recollect that his place was world, in the toils of manufacture and comfilled last year by one whose genius, singularly merce; that it indicates at once an unprecediversified and vivid, has glanced with arrowy dented desire on the part of those elder and flame over various departments of literature wealthier labourers in this region of industry, and conditions of life, and who was associated to share with those whom they employ and with kindred spirits, eager to lavish the ardours protect, the blessings which equally sweeten of generous youth, on the noble labour of re-line lot of all, and the resolution of the young
to win and to diffuse them; that it exhibits not merely to claim, but to select for his own literature, once the privilege only of a clois- a portion in that inheritance which the mighty tered few, supplying the finest links of social dead have left to mankind,--secured by the union for this vast society, to be expanded by magic power of the press, against the decays those numerous members of the middle class of time and the shocks of fortune; or to exult whom they are now embracing, and who yet in a communion with the spirit of that mighty comprise, as the poet says, “two-thirds of all literature which yet breathes on us fresh from the virtue that remains," throughout that greater the genius of the living; to feel that we live mass which they are elevating, and of whose in a great and original age of literature, proud welfare they, in turn, will be the guardians,- also in the consciousness that its spirit is not we feel that this assembly represents objects only to be felt as animating works elaborately which, though intensely local, are yet of uni- constructed to endure, but as, with a noble versal concern, and cease to wonder at that prodigality, diffusing losty sentiments, sparkfamiliar interest with which strangers at once ling wit, exquisite grace, and suggestions even regard them.
for serene contemplation through the most Personally till a few days ago a stranger 10 rapid effusions, weekly, monthly, daily given almost every member of your institution, or to the world; and, far beyond the literature rather cluster of institutions, I find now to-day, of every previous age of the world, aiding the in the little histories of your aims and achieve- spirit of humanity, in appreciating the sufferments, which your reports present, an affinity, ings, the virtues, and the claims of the poor. sudden indeed but lasting, with some of the And if I must confess, even when refreshed by best and happiest passages in a thousand earn- the invigorating influences of hour, that I est and laborious lives. I seem to take my can scarcely fancy myself virtuous enough to place in your lecture room, an eager and join one of your classes for the acquisition of docile listener, among young men whom daily science or language, or young enough to share duties preclude from a laborious course of in the exercises of your gymnasium, where studies, to be refreshed, invigorated, enlight- good spirits and kind affections attend on the ened-sometimes nobly elevated, sometimes development of physical energy, there are yet as nobly humbled, by the living lessons of phi- some of your gay and graceful intermixtures losophic wisdom-whether penetrating the of amusement to which I would gladly claim earth or elucidating the heavens, or developing admission. I would welcome that delightful the more august wonders of the world which alternation of gentle excitement and thoughtlies within our own natures, or informing the ful repose by which your musical entertainPresent with the spirit of the Past ;-happy to ments tend to the harmony and proportion of listen to such lessons from some gifted stran- life itself. I should rejoice to share in some of ger, or well-known and esteemed professor, those Irish Evenings by which our friend Mr. scattering the gems of knowledge and taste, to Lover has suggested, in its happiest aspects, find root in opening minds ;-but, better still, that land which is daily acquiring, I hope, that if the effort should be made by one of your- degree of affection and justice which it so selves, by a fellow-townsman and fellow- strongly claims. I would appreciate with the student, emboldened and inspirited by the as- heart, if not with the ear, the illustrations of surance of welcome to try some short ex. Burns, by which some true Scottish melodist cursion of modest fancy, or to illustrate some has made you familiar with that poet, and enacherished theory by genial examples, and pri- bled you to forget labour and care, and walk vileged to taste, in the heartiest applause of with the inspired rustic “ in glory and in joy" those who know him best and esteem him most, among his native hills; and with peculiar grathat which, after all, is the choicest ingredient titude to your directors for enabling you to in the pleasure of the widest fame. I mingle snatch from death and time some vestiges of with your Essay and Discussion Class; share departing grandeur in a genial art, which the in the tumultuous but hopeful throbbings of soonest yields to their ravages ;-I would hail some young debater; grow placid as his just with you the mightiest and the loveliest dramas self-reliance masters his fears; triumph in his of the world's poet, made palpable without the crowning success; and understand, in his blandishments of decoration or scenery by the timid acceptance of your unenvying congra- voice of the surviving artist of the Kemble tulations, at the close of his address, that most name-in whose accents, softened, not subexquisite pleasure which attends the first as- dued, by time, the elder of us may refresh great surance of ability to render palpable in lan- memories of classic grace, heroic daring, and guage the products of lonely self-culture, and softened grief, when he shared the scene with the consciousness that, as ideas which seemed his brother and his sister; and those of us who obscure and doubtful while they larked in the cannot vaunt this privilege of age, may guess recesses of the mind, are, by the genial inspi- the greatness of the
powers which thrilled their ration of the hour, shaped into form and kindled fathers in those efforts to which your causeinto life, they are attested by the understand- the cause of the youth of Manchester-breathing ings and welcomed by the affections of num- into the golden evening of life, a second spring, bers. I seek your Library, yet indeed but in redolent with hope and joy, have lent a more its infancy, but from whence information and than youthful inspiration. And while I am inrefined enjoyment speed on quicker and more dulging in a participation of your pleasures, multitudinous wings than from some of the let me take leave to congratulate you on that stateliest repositories of accumulated and gracious boon, which I am informed—(and I cloistered learning, to vindicate that the right rejoice to hear it, as one of the best of all which the youngest apprentice lad possesses, I prizes and all omens in a young career)--you.
virtues have won for a large number of your | lence, that I anticipate the best fruits of your fellow-workers—that precious Saturday's half- peaceful victories. A season has arrived in holiday-precious almost to' man as to boy, the history of mankind, when talents, which in when manhood, having borrowed the endearing darker ages might justify the desire to quit the name from childhood, seeks to enrich it with obscure and honourable labours of common all that remains to it of childhood's delights, life in quest of glittering distinction, can now precious as a noble proof of the respect and only be employed with safety in adorning the sympathy of the employers for those whose in- sphere to which they are native; when of a dustry they direct-and most precious of all in multitude of competitors for public favour, few its results, if, being brightened and graced by only can arrest attention; and when even of such images as your association invokes on those who attain a flattering and merited popuyour leisure, it shall leave body and mind more larity, the larger number must be content to fit for the work and service of earth and of regard the richest hues of their fancy and heaven.
thought, but as streaks in the dawn of that Thus regarding myself as a partaker, at least jocund day which now “stands tiptoe on the in thought and in spirit, of the various benefits misty mountain's top," and in the full light of of your association, I would venture to regard which they will speedily be blended. But if it them less as the appliances by which a few is almost“ too late to be ambitious,” except on may change their station in our external life, some rare occasions, of the immortality which than as the means of adorning and ennobling earth can bestow; yet for that true immortality that sphere of action in which the many must of which Fame's longest duration is but the continue to move; which, without often en- most vivid symbol; for that immortality which kindling an ambition to emulate the immortal dawns now in the childhood of every man as productions of genius, may enable you the freshly as in the morning of the world, and more keenly to enjoy, and the more gratefully which breaks with as solemn a foreshadowing to revere them; which, if they do not teach you in the soul of the most ordinary faculties, as the art of more rapidly accumulating worldly in that of the mightiest poet; for that immorriches; and if they shall not–because they tality, the cultivation of wisdom and beauty is cannot-endow you with more munificent dis- as momentous now as ever, although no eyes, positions to dispense them than those which but those which are unseen, may take note have made the generosity of Manchester pro- how they fourish. In the presence of that verbial throughout the Christian world, may immortality, how vain appears all undue restensure its happiest and safest direction in time lessness for a little or a great change in our to come, by encouraging those who may dis- outward earthly condition! How worse than pense it hereafter, to associate in youth, with idle all assumptions of superior dignity of one ihe affection of brotherhood, for objects which mode of honourable toil to another!-how suggest and breathe of nothing but what is worthless all differences of station, except so wise, and good, and kind. It may be, indeed, far as station may enable men to vindicate that some master mind, one of those by which some everlasting principle, to exemplify some Providence, in all generations and various con- arduous duty, to grapple with some giant ditions of our species, has vindicated the oppression, or to achieve the blessings of those Divinity which stirs within it, beyond the who are ready to perish! How trivial, even power of barbarism to stifle, or education to as the pebbles and shells upon “this end and improve, or patronage to enslave, may start shoal of time," seem all those immunities from your ranks into fame, under auspices which can only be spared by fortune, to be peculiarly favourable for the safe direction of swept away by death, compared with those its strength; and, if such rare felicity should images and thoughts, which, being reflected await you, with how generous a pride will you from the eternal, not only through the clear expatiate on the greatness which you had meridian of holy writ, but, though more dimly, watched in its dawning, and with how pure a through all that is affecting in history, exqui. satisfaction will your sometime comrade, your site in art, suggestive in eloquence, profound then illustrious townsman, satiated with the in science, and divine in poetry, shall not only applause of strangers, revert to those scenes outlast all the chances and changes of this where his genius found its earliest expression, mortal life, but shall defy the chilness of the and earned its most delightful praise. If an- grave! Believe me, there is no path more other "marvellous boy,” gifted like him of open to the influences of heaven, than the Bristol, should now arise in Manchester, his common path of daily duty; on that path the "sleepless soul” would not "perish in its lights from the various departments of your pride;" his energies, neither scoffed at nor ney. Athenæum will fall with the steadiest lustre; lected, would not be suffered to harden through that path, so illumined, will be trodden in peace sullenness into despair; but his genius, fos- and joy, if not in glory; happy if it afford the tered by timely kindness, and aided by your opportunity, as it may to some of you, of judicious counsel, would spring, in fitting sea- clearly elucidating some great truth, which, son, from amidst the protecting cares of admir- being reflected from the polished mirrors of ing friends, to its proper quarry, mindful, thousands of associated minds, sure of the when soaring loftiest, of the associations and opportunity of affording the means of perceivscenes among which it was cherished, “true to ing and accepting, embracing and diffusing the kindred points of heaven and home.” But many glorious truths, which, when once fairly it is not in the cultivation and encouragement presented, although they may be surveyed in of such rare intellectual prodigies, still less in different aspects, and tinted with the hues of the formation of a race of imitators of excel. I the various minds which receive them, may