The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt: With Reminiscences of Friends and Contemporaries - Vol. 2

By Walter Scott | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI.
KEATS, LAMB, AND COLERIDGE.

Charles Cowden Clarke.--Keats and Shelley.--Mr. Monckton Milnes's Letters and Remains of Keats.--"Other-worldliness."--Armitage Brown.--Keats and Lamb.--Wordsworth on Shakspeare.--Milton dining.--Keats and Byron.--Keats in Italy.--His death and personal appearance.--"Foliage."--The Indicator.--Tasso's Aminta. --Foolish ignorance of business.--Mr. Lockhart.--Personal appearance of Lamb.--Character of his genius.--His bon-mots and imaginary notices of his friends.--Person of Coleridge.--Character of his genius.--Coleridge and Hazlitt.--Coleridge's conversation and daily habits.

AND now to speak of Keats, who was introduced to me by his schoolmaster's son, Charles Cowden Clarke, a man of a most genial nature, and corresponding poetical taste, admirably well qualified to nourish the genius of his pupil.

I had not known the young poet long, when Shelley and he became acquainted under my roof. Keats did not take to Shelley as kindly as Shelley did to him. Shelley's only thoughts of his new acquaintance, were such as regarded his bad health, with which he sympathized, and his poetry, of which he has left such a monument of his admiration in Adonais. Keats, being a little too sensitive on the score of his origin, felt inclined to see in every man of birth a sort of natural enemy. Their styles in writing also were very different; and Keats, notwithstanding his unbounded sympathies with ordinary flesh and blood, and even the transcendental cosmopolitics of Hyperion, was so far inferior in universality to his great acquaintance, that he could not accompany him in his dædal rounds with nature, and his Archimedean endeavors to move the globe with his own hands. I am bound to state thus much; because, hopeless of recovering his health, under circumstances that made the

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