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[59] sharp and anxious face, as he has in his pictures, it is round, open, and smiling; his eyes are light, and not black; his air easy and careless, not forward and striking; and I found his manners affable and gentle, the tones of his voice low and conciliating, his conversation gay, pleasant, and interesting in an uncommon degree. I stayed with him about an hour and a half, during which the conversation wandered over many subjects. He talked, of course, a great deal about America; wanted to know what was the state of our literature, how many universities we had, whether we had any poets whom we much valued, and whether we looked upon Barlow as our Homer. He certainly feels a considerable interest in America, and says he intends to visit the United States; but I doubt whether it will not be indefinitely postponed, like his proposed visit to Persia. I answered to all this as if I had spoken to a countryman, and then turned the conversation to his own poems, and particularly to his ‘English Bards,’ which he has so effectually suppressed that a copy is not easily to be found. He said he wrote it when he was very young and very angry; which, he added, were ‘the only circumstances under which a man would write such a satire.’ When he returned to England, he said, Lord Holland, who treated him with very great kindness, and Rogers, who was his friend, asked him to print no more of it, and therefore he had suppressed it. Since then, he said, he had become acquainted with the persons he had satirized, and whom he then knew only by their books,—was now the friend of Moore, the correspondent of Jeffrey, and intimate with the Wordsworth school, and had a hearty liking for them all,—especially as they did not refuse to know one who had so much abused them. Of all the persons mentioned in this poem, there was not one, he said, with whom he now had any quarrel, except Lord Carlisle; and, as this was a family difference, he supposed it would never be settled. On every account, therefore, he was glad it was out of print; and yet he did not express the least regret when I told him that it was circulated in America almost as extensively as his other poems. As to the poems published during his minority, he said he suppressed them because they were not worth reading, and wondered that our booksellers could find a profit in reprinting them. All this he said without affectation; in fact, just as I now repeat it. He gave great praise to Scott; said he was undoubtedly the first man of his time, and as extraordinary in everything as in poetry,—a lawyer, a fine scholar, endowed with an extraordinary memory, and blessed with the kindest feelings.


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