LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of Francis Hodgson
Thomas Denman to Francis Hodgson, [1806?]

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II. 1794-1807.
Chapter III. 1807-1808.
Chapter IV. 1808.
Chapter V. 1808-1809.
Chapter VI. 1810.
Chapter VII. 1811.
Chapter VIII. 1811.
Chapter IX. 1811.
Chapter X. 1811-12.
Chapter XI. 1812.
Chapter XII. 1812-13.
Chapter XIII. 1813-14.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chapter XIV. 1815-16.
Chapter XV. 1816-18.
Chapter XVI. 1815-22.
Chapter XVII. 1820.
Chapter XVIII. 1824-27.
Chapter XIX. 1827-1830
Chapter XX. 1830-36.
Chapter XXI. 1837-40.
Chapter XXII. 1840-47.
Chapter XXIII. 1840-52.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

My dear Hodgson,—You are mistaken in supposing that my communication of Mr. Oswald’s proposal proceeded from a despair of your succeeding in the Law; on the contrary, I think that, if all other methods fail, the Law may offer the highest opportunities of honour and emolument to talents such as yours. At the same time, if you ask my frank opinion which course is the most advisable, I cannot hesitate to recommend one trial more, even of the loathsome task of tutorship, before you enter on this hazardous profession. The expense it imposes is enormous, the labour unremitting, the advantages most doubtful and remote. . . .


You mention reviewing as a means of procuring money; indeed it would be totally inconsistent with that complete devotion and abandonment to the Law which could alone give a probability of success. It is the duty of friendship to state these circumstances and offer this counsel, but if your aversion is unconquerable, remember that even the Law may be forced by labor improbus; that Vevers’s 1 chambers are open to receive you, and that it was his most ardent wish to have them occupied by you; that it may be in my power and would be my delight to shorten your trouble and elucidate your views on legal subjects; and that Merry and myself should rejoice to call you fellow-labourer in the same vineyard. Occasions do certainly occur in which general abilities are called into immediate action, and kept in constant employment; if such occurred to you, no doubt your fame and fortunes would be fixed at once; but that ‘if’ is a talisman which hardly any power of magic can command.

This letter seems much more calculated to perplex than enlighten you; it is a picture of my own wavering and unsteady mind (!), which has poured out all its thoughts upon the subject as they arose.

1 Denman’s brother-in-law.

You will be sure that they are dictated by the warmest friendship and attachment, for God knows that (after my domestic feelings) no wish is so near my heart as that of seeing you independent and happy. I repeat the word independent, though it will not meet your ideas of tutorship, for I am sure it is fully as applicable to that position as his who lives on the smiles of attorneys.

Your sincere friend,
Thos. Denman.