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Memoirs of William Hazlitt
Ch. XVII 1826-28
William Hazlitt to Charles Cowden Clarke; 7 December 1827

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
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“Dear Sir,

“I thought all the world agreed with me at present that Buonaparte was better than the Bourbons, or that a tyrant was better than tyranny. In my opinion, no one of an understanding above the rank of a lady’s waiting-maid could ever have doubted this, though I alone said it ten years ago. It might be impolicy then and now for what I know, for the world stick to an opinion in appearance long after they have given it up in reality. I should like to know whether the preface is thought impolitic by some one who agrees with me in the main point, or by some one who differs with me and makes this excuse not to have his opinion contradicted? In Paris (jubes regina renovare dolorem) the preface was thought a masterpiece, the best and only possible defence of Buonaparte, and quite new there! It would be an impertinence in me to write a Life of Buonaparte after Sir W.* without some such object as that expressed in the preface. After all, I do not care a damn about the preface. It will get me on four pages somewhere else. Shall I retract my opinion altogether, and foreswear my own book? Rayner is right to cry out: I think I have tipped him fair and foul copy, a lean rabbit and a fat one. The remainder of vol. ii. will be ready to go on with, but not the beginning of the third. The appendixes had better be at the end of second vol. Pray get them if you can: you have my Sieyes, have you not? One of them is there. I have been nearly in the other world. My regret was ‘to die and leave the world “rough” copy.’ Otherwise I had thought of an epitaph

* Sir Walter Scott.

and a good end. Hic jacent reliquiae mortales
Gulielmi Hazlitt, auctoris non intelligibilis: natus Maidstoniæ in comi[ta]tu Cantiœ, Apr. 10, 1778. Obiit Winterslowe, Dec, 1827. I think of writing an epistle to C. Lamb, Esq., to say that I have passed near the shadowy world, and have had new impressions of the vanity of this, with hopes of a better. Don’t you think this would be good policy? Don’t mention it to the severe author of the ‘Press,’ a poem,* but methinks the idea arridet Hone. He would give sixpence to see me floating, upon a pair of borrowed wings, half way between heaven and earth, and edifying the good people at my departure, whom I shall only scandalize by remaining. At present my study and contemplation is the leg of a stewed fowl. I have behaved like a saint, and been obedient to orders.

Non fit pugil, &c., I got a violent spasm by walking fifteen miles in the mud, and getting into a coach with an old lady who would have the window open. Delicacy, moderation, complaisance, the suaviter in modo, whisper it about, my dear Clarke, these are my faults and have been my ruin.

“Yours ever,
W. H.
“December 7, [1827].

“I can’t go to work before Sunday or Monday. By then the doctor says he shall have made a new man of me.

“Pray how’s your sister?”

[C. Cowden Clarke, Esq.]