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which have illumed it, your kind recollection so obligingly expressed, and a fortnight's sojourn which Francis Hare and his excellent wife made here, are remembered with most pleasure. She is, indeed, a treasure-well-informed, clever, sensible, well-mannered, kind, lady-like, and, above all, truly feminine: the having chosen such a woman reflects credit and distinction on our friend, and the communion with her has had a visible effect on him, as, without losing any of his gayety, it has become softened down to a more mellow tone, and he appears not only a more happy man, but more deserving of happiness than before. The amiable and, I think, admirable Augustus Hare is to be married next autumn. He is a very great favorite of mine, and he possesses a peculiar delicacy of sentiment and nobleness of nature that make one regard him as something superior to the ordinary class of mankind, while his enthusiasm and honesty, both so seldom met with in our days of commonplace mediocrity, give a raciness to his character and manner that is peculiarly pleasing to me. I look with impatience for the two volumes that have been announced from Mr. Julius Hare, and shall read them with the same attention, pleasure, and profit with which I have perused all the other productions of the same author. Should you write to him, pray urge him not to forget that you promised those two volumes, and that I have in this matter even more than my sex's share of impatience. I shall not be unmindful of the interest of Mr. Godwin Swift,* you may be sure, as I never can be to any recommendation of yours. Thanks for your congratulation on the marriage of my sister; it is, and will be, I am sure, a very happy one, for the speaker is an excellent man, and she is truly a good woman, so that this union can not but be fortunate.
"My dear Mr. Landor, your sincerely attached friend,
"London, Seamore Place, July 10th, 1834. "What shall I say to you for all your kindness! I feel it more than I can express, and only wish I could in any way prove my sense of the obligations I owe you. I sent for Mr. Ottley the day (yesterday) I got your letter, and communicated your wishes with regard to 'The Trial.'t He seemed sensibly touched, and so expressed himself, at the generosity of your proposal, and spoke in terms of the highest admiration of the production, which he considers most admirable. He requests me to assure you that the work shall go to press forthwith, and that in the course of a month from this date it will be ready for publication. How admirable is the conversation between Essex and Spenser, as also that of Colonel Walker! So inimitably do you identify yourself with the characters you make converse, that you make me forget the lapse of ages, and create new sympathies with those who have for years been
Of the Mr. Godwin Swift mentioned in this letter, an account will be found in the Appendix.-R. R. M.
† Mr. Landor's "Examination of W. Shakspeare," &c.-R. R. M.
numbered with the dead. How soothing is it, my dear friend, to retire within ⚫ one's own heart from the turmoil and petty cares of life, to dwell and think with the wise and good of other days, and, still more, to make known their feelings to thousands who must esteem you for the delight you offer them! I have often wished that you would note down for me your reminiscences of your friendship, and the conversations it led to with my dear and ever-to-belamented husband-he who so valued and loved you, and who was so little understood by the common herd of mankind. We, who knew the nobleness, the generosity, and the refined delicacy of his nature, can render justice to his memory, and I wish that posterity, through your means, should know him as he was.* All that I could say would be viewed as the partiality of a wife, but a friend, and such a friend as you, might convey a true sketch of him. Pray think of this, and give me a conversation (suppose your voyage to Naples the scene of it) between you. Pray tell me something of poor Augustus Hareanother friend gone before us!! I knew not that he was ill, and death snatches him while I believed him in health and happiness. He was good and amiable, and therefore fit to die, though his death is more painful to his friends. Do you remember our calm nights on the Terrace of the Casa Pelosi, now seven years ago? When you recall them, remember also that you have a sincere friend in her who shared them. M. BLESSINGTON."
"London, Seamore Place, June 9th, 1834. "I have to thank you for your admirable contributions to my Book of Beauty,' with both of which I am delighted. The Search after Honor' is as original as it is excellent, and the Conversation between Steele and Addison' is one of the most interesting productions I ever read. What a singular power you have of identifying yourself with the minds of others! It seems like an intuitive knowledge, which enables you to continue their train of thought, without ever losing your own powerful originality.
"Sir Egerton Brydges has lately taken a hint from you, and published two volumes of Imaginary Biography,' which, though very clever and interest
*The intelligence of the death of Lord Blessington had been communicated to Mr. Landor in a letter, dated Paris, May 29th, 1829.
"It is with feelings of the deepest regret that I have to announce to you that poor dear Lord Blessington was seized with an apoplectic fit at half past six o'clock on Saturday last, and though medical aid was at hand almost immediate. ly, and nothing left undone that could be done to save him, all efforts were used in vain. He remained speechless from the first moment, and lingered until half past four o'clock on Monday morning, when he breathed his last. Nothing can equal the grief of poor dear Lady Blessington; in fact, she is so ill that we are quite uneasy about her, as is also poor Lady Harriet. But not only ourselves, but all our friends, are in the greatest affliction since this melancholy event. Fancy what a dreadful blow it is to us all to lose him; he who was so kind, so generous, and so truly good a man. As he has always expressed a desire to be interred at Mountjoy, his body is to leave this in a few days for Ireland."
.. falls infinitely short of his model, and wants the vigor and spirit of the -Imaginary Conversations.' I have received your MS., and am delighted with it. Mr. Willis delivered it to me with your letter, and I endeavored to show him all the civility in my power, in honor of his recommendation.
"A fatality seems to pursue the books I send you. Colonel Hughes, the brother of Lord Dinorben, pledged himself to give you the 'Conversations of Lord Byron,' which I put into his hand, and has been as negligent as the friend by whom I sent 'The Repealers.' The first person I find going to Italy I shall again consign a copy to; and I am really mortified that you should not have sooner had them, knowing as I do the indulgence with which you would have perused any thing from my pen.
"Lord Mulgrave, who is lately returned from Jamaica, has been sitting with me, and talked of you very kindly; finding that I was about to write to you, he desired to offer you his kind regards. M. BLESSINGTON."
"London, Seamore Place, May Fair, October 13th, 1834. "The introduction to your Examination' is printed, and the Conference of Spenser and Lord Essex' follows the Examination,' and reads admirably in print. I have read all the proof-sheets, and hope you will be satisfied with their correctness, and Messrs. Saunders and Ottley have informed me that the book will be out in the course of this week. Of its success I entertain no doubt, though I have had many proofs that the excellency of literary productions can not always command their success. So much depends on the state of the literary horizon when a work presents itself: the sky is at present much overclouded by the unsettled state of politics at home and abroad; but, notwithstanding all this, I am very sanguine in my expectations about the success your book will have, and so are the publishers. The 'Conference' is peculiarly interesting, as bearing on the state of Ireland, which, alas! now, as in the reign of Elizabeth, remains unsettled, unsatisfied, and unsatisfying, resisting hitherto the various remedies that have been applied to her disease by severe surgeons or timid practitioners. I think very highly of the Examination; it is redolent with the joyous spirit of the immortal bard with whom you have identified yourself; his frequent pleasantry wantons in the breasts of song, while snatches of pathos break in continually in the prose. The 'Conference' is deeply interesting, and so dissimilar from the Examination,' that it is difficult to imagine it the work of the same mind, if one did not know that true genius possesses the power of variety in style and thought. I wish you could be persuaded to write your Memoirs; what a treasure they would prove to posterity! Tracing the working of such a mind as yours, a mind that has never submitted to the ignoble fetters that a corrupt and artificial society would impose, could not fail to be highly interesting as well as useful, by giving courage to the timid and strength to the weak, and teaching them to rely on their own intellectual resources, instead of leaning on that feeble reed the world, which can wound but not support those who rely on it. Mr.
E. L. Bulwer's new novel, The Last Days of Pompeii,' has been out a fortnight. It is an admirable work, and does him honor. He refers to you in one of the notes to it as his learned friend, Mr. Landor;' so you see you are in a fair way of being praised (if not understood) by the dandies, as his book is in the hands of the whole tribe. The novel is dedicated to our friend Sir W. Gell. There is no year in which your fame does not gain at all sides, and it is now so much the fashion to praise you, that you are quoted by many who are as incapable of appreciating as of equaling you. M. BLESSINGTON."
"London, Seamore Place, March 16th, 1835. "I am glad that you have at length received the 'Conversations,' and that they give you a better opinion of Byron. He was one of the many proofs of a superior nature spoiled by civilization. The evil commenced when he was a school-boy, and continued its baneful influence over him up to the last moment of his life. But then there were outbreakings of the original goodness of the soil, though over-cultiavtion had deteriorated it.
"His first impulses were always good, and it was only the reflections suggested by experience that checked them.
"Then consider that he died when only thirty-seven years old. The passions had not ceased to torment, though they no longer wholly governed him. He was arrived at that period in human life when he saw the fallacy of the past without having grasped the wisdom of the future. Had ten years been added to his existence, he would have been a better and a happier man. Are not goodness and happiness the nearest approach to synonymous terms?
"I have sent you, by a Mr. Stanley, my two novels, and trust you will soon receive them. I fear they will not interest you, for they are written on the every-day business of life, without once entering the region of imagination. I wrote because I wanted money, and was obliged to select subjects that would command it from my publisher. None but ephemeral ones will now catch the attention of the mass of readers. The Quarterly Review' names you in the last number, and with praise, though the praise, like all that appears in that clever but cynical publication, is measured out most cautiously. Still, it is valuable, because all the world knows it is praise well earned, and extorted by the merit of the author, rather than due to the generosity of the critic. It promises a general notice of your works, which, I trust, will soon appear.
"I see your friend Mr. Robinson sometimes, but not so often as I could wish; he is a person of sound head, and as sound a heart, and full of knowledge. We talk of you every time we meet, and are selfish enough to wish you were near us in this cold and murky climate. If you knew how much I value your letters, you would write to me very often; they breathe of Italy, and take me back to other and happier times.
"Do you remember our calm evenings on the terrace of the Casa Pelosi, where, by the light of the moon, we looked on the smooth and glassy Arno, and talked of past ages? Those were happy times, and I frequently revert to them.
"The verses in your letter pleased me much, as do all that you write. What have you been doing lately?
"What a capital book might be written, illustrative of the passions, when they stood forth more boldly than at present, in the Middle Ages. The history of Italy teems with such, and you might give them vitality.
"I send you the engraving, and have only to wish that it may sometimes remind you of the original. You are associated in my memory with some of my happiest days; you were the friend, and the highly-valued friend, of my dear and lamented husband, and as such, even without any of the numberless claims you have to my regard, you could not be otherwise than highly esteemed. It appears to me that I have not quite lost him who made life dear to me when I am near those he loved, and that knew how to value him. Five fleeting years have gone by since our delicious evenings on the lovely Arnoevenings never to be forgotten, and the recollections of which ought to cement the friendships then formed. This effect I can, in truth, say has been produced on me, and I look forward with confidence to keeping alive, by a frequent correspondence, the friendship you owe me, no less for that I feel for you, but as the widow of one you loved, and that truly loved you. We, or, more properly speaking, I, live in a world where friendship is little known, and, were it not for one or two individuals like yourself, I might be tempted to exclaim with Socrates, 'My friends! there are no friends.' Let us prove that the philosopher was wrong, and, if Fate has denied us the comfort of meeting, let us by letters keep up our friendly intercourse. You will tell me what you think and feel in your Tuscan retirement, and I will tell you what I do in this modern Babylon, where thinking and feeling are almost unknown. Have I not reason to complain that in your sojourn in London you do not give me a single day? and yet, methinks, you promised to stay a week, and that of that week I should have my share. I rely on your promise of coming to see me again before you leave London, and I console myself for the disappointment of seeing so little of you, by recollecting the welcome and the happiness that wait you at home. Long may you enjoy it, is the sincere wish of your attached friend, M. BLESSINGTON.
"P.S.-I shall be glad to hear what you think of the Conversations. I could have made them better, but they would no longer have been, as they now are, genuine."
"Seamore Place, October 1st, 1835.
"I know not when I felt more pleasure than on hearing of your arrival in England. I had been absent from town, on the coast of Hampshire, and not in York or Doncaster, where the newspapers sent me. Health, and not pleasure, was the object of my expedition, and the sea-breezes have done me much